08.06.2010 24 °C
The train journey to Osaka took a brief 30minutes and we arrived amongst the Skyscrapers to bewilderment as we tried to locate our ominous hotel. We soon realised that not only did we have shoddy directions, but also that Japan was only full of such polite people and beautiful landscapes because they dumped all the crap in this district of Osaka. The streets were full of, not tramps, but people who looked like they'd been wearing the same clothes for a while. The residents carried worn miscellaneous household trinkets that epitomized their tired gazes of defeat and resignation of their dilapidated lifestyles from impoverishment. We finally found our hotel amongst the dreary streets to be pleasantly surprised. The lobby was fresh and modern with 4 plasma computer screens and free Internet. Thinking that our rooms would probably not continue the trend we got to the top floor of the building (the 9th) and were pleasantly surprised to find a bathroom, toilet, comfortable bedding etc and not so pleasantly surprised to come across the most anti-social American I've ever met.
The next day we sat downstairs in the lobby on the internet all day as the gray clouds drew in overhead. We did venture out down an alleyway to a cheap supermarket to get rabble supplies in the evening, but that was all. It was not a productive day.
The next day however the weather perked up and so did our attitudes towards heading out of our comfortable hotel and onto the streets of Osaka. We got the subway to the center of the city which was more pleasant than our rundown corner. After wandering aimlessly for a while we headed up a skyscraper shaped like a huge Arc de Triomphe to take in some of the views. Osaka looked a bit better from the top, but was no Tokyo by any stretch of the imagination. We took some photos and headed back down to find some grub. Situated near the station we found ourselves eating italian for lunch and making banter with the owner who eloquently informed us he used to reside in such wonderful area of London such as Dartford, Brixton and Clapham, all of which for some reason sounded even more shite in his peculiar italian accent.
Later, using the limited resources Osaka had for tourism, we decided to head to the 'castle' it had situated in the middle of it's park. It was not a good 'castle' more of a glamorized house on top of a mound. Roaming the grounds of the city park and watching some youngsters play baseball was enough entertainment for the day though. We headed back for our third night to find the American in the room, which he hadn't left for the past 48hours still playing on his laptop and watching TV, an odd fellow. We grabbed some beers from our favourite supermarket and breached the fire escape onto the roof. The distant lights of the Osaka skyline and stillness upon the building roof seemed to forget the deprivation that lay on the streets below. Content with this we took some night time photos before seeing off our cans and going to sleep.