Back to The circle is closing

25. – 27.03.2019

My hostel is close to walk from the station where I arrive. Osaka fulfills the expectations of a huge city. And it’s pretty ugly. I cross through a park and watch all the people and children enjoying the beautiful day. It seems a zoo is part of the park.

I am not long in the city, standing at a semaphore when a man excuses and asks about the rice hat in my hand. He wants to know if I walked the Sukoku Pilgrimage. I deny and tell him about the Kumano Kodo, which surprisingly he doesn’t know. We get to talk and he invites me spontaneously to dinner. He has been working for companies that had very tight relations to German companies, so he has many questions about the current situation there. 

My hostel named Qoo is nothing special, but clean. I thought the time is over where I sleep in an open bunk bed environment, but you never know. 
It takes every day about 30 minutes to get to the VR conference that I visit. 
A very joyful experience during this conference is the invitation to a food market and a coupon of 5000 yen to be spent on this evening only.

The market is huge, but thanks to my professor, who is experienced in Japan in total, we pick the best things in only limited time. For example, we find Jack mussels, Octopus balls (Osakayaki), Kobe beef, oysters, sea urchin and the infamous Fugo (puffer fish). All consumed raw, of course. 

From Germany I get asked if I found shops for used underwear – a gross stereotype of Japan. I ask around and got told, that this would be available in a sex shop. 

I see these sex shops along with some girl shows and very awkward wrestling. But I don’t bother to check them out. 

Japan is very famous for sharp knives and I want to have one, too. I find a popular smith in Osaka and get a hand made super sharp blade there. 

It’s an interesting fact, that Japanese houses usually are not isolated and heated. Like I experienced in Spain the one room where everyone in the family is meeting is the living room. They put a heater under the long blanket of the dinner table and crawl under it as much as possible. 

Going through the city by train is not easy. Even though they come frequently and they connect everything they are various different companies and for each line you have to get another ticket. I wonder how Japanese don’t get crazy since it seems that there is not one app for tickets for all of them. It’s very cute, though, that at train stations music is played when a train arrives. For every train an individual classical music. 

At semaphores there is the sound of different birds on green light. I got told that they help blind people to orientate. 

I notice that people in Japan get up very early to go to work. Shops or cafés, however, open pretty late and close very early, too. Except for shops like 7eleven, that offer everything for survival. Drinks, drugs, an ATM, and even hot food is available. 

I spend a few days in Osaka for a conference. After these days I will go to Kii again, since I liked that peninsula. I decide to go to go to Wakayama city. I stay in a Minshuku with a family and many small dogs. 

Continue to Wakayama