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!