December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!  I got everybody a web page update, although you will probably just play with it for a little while and then be tired of it by the afternoon.

Barrett and I successfully rode the eight-hour night train to Osaka and are now staying with his gracious friend Joe, an ex-pat Engrish teacher from California.  In hindsight, we should have taken the day train, because we would have gotten about as much sleep and could have at least looked out the window.  For some reason, Japanese 'sleeper' trains leave the lights on full blast and make frequent PA announcements.  At least you can drink beer on them.

We spent the day visiting Osaka Castle, which has a rich and complex history, but who really cares?  It is shiny and pretty!  Once the sun went down we hit the town and discovered a party scene every bit the rival of Tokyo.  We played arcade games, ate okinomiyaki, drank sake, and certainly did not try to hit on any twenty-year-olds.

Well, I am sort of running out of funny things to say about Japan, so it's probably a good thing I am coming back in a few days.  I hope everyone is having a great holiday!


Waiting for the train, living the thug life.

Osaka Castle.

Here is a close up.  Shiny!

Joe showing off the size of his armaments.

The roof is guarded by an evil bitey fish.

Japan is essentially a bizarre combination of Las Vegas and San Francisco.

This giant image of a drunk guy losing his money will entice you to come inside and play pachinko.

The local specialty is called takoyaki, or 'octopus balls'.  I think they throw the rest of the octopus away.

I am going to take classes and learn how to take pictures like this on purpose.