Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Japanland: Osaka 2.0

After Kyoto we went to Osaka, because it was faster to catch our flight from there and because I figured Hannes should see the crazy flashing neon light-type place (Dotonbori) many imagine when asked to envisage Japan. I'm not the biggest fan, but I think that's because I don't have any local friends or anything there who could show me the nightlife done properly.

This is how Hannes feels about the size of things in Japan.


We stayed at the Toyo Backpackers hostel, and I found the staff curt and unhelpful to the point of being unwelcoming and rude. There were also really loud, annoying French people (I don`t know, either) running up and down the hallways all night, so I didn`t like it.

But they did have a beer can vending machine, and Hannes did like it, so whatever.

This was Hannes' birthday, and I took him to the exact same kushikatsu (deep-fried things on sticks) restaurant a couple of friends had taken me to for my birthday the year before. Yep, I ate breading again. It was worth it.


We had 90 minutes and I of course opted for the extra 1000 yen or (I think it is) charge for unlimited drinks during that time limit. The excitement was palpable:





As the eating of deep-fried veggies and salady side dishes continued, though, we started to lose steam, and guilt set in. All said and done, we powered through 9 glasses, highballs and mugs, 18 tiny side dishes, and an appalling 67 skewers.


And then we had dessert!
This is deep-friend mini taiyaki, mochi, marshmallows, and bread (yep, we battered and deep-fried bread) covered in chocolate from their fountain and topped with soft serve and maple syrup.

We passed through denial and regret phases, too, before the full effect of the drunkenness set in.

Then we walked all around Dotonbori.








I think this is the biggest he's ever smiled in a picture! Aww.



In German, "tittenautomat"



I wanted one of the phone charms that was a hamster in a latte or cappuccino, so of course I got the some-assembly-required sandwich hamster.. 
It reminds me of the Littlest Pet Shop toys I loved so much as a kid.


I forget exactly what the event was; the opening of a new club playing way-too-loud generic techno over speakers that sounded like they`d taken whole bottles of pills in an attempt to end it all, probably. See what I mean about not getting the nightlife here without a local?


Obligatory drunken trying-on of costumes



For some reason this looks like a still from a 90's movie to me, probably mostly because of grainy confused guy in the corner here






This whole sideways mouth thing is an inside joke making fun of the people who work at Lotte World in Seoul and the dumb faces and poses they have to make and do all day.


The following day we made the lengthy trek to the Asahi Brewery.







Their expansive lobby and tasting area


Hannes was obviously super freaking excited






I shouldn't drink beer at all but was feeling fine after all that tempura and kushikatsu, so I figured what the hell. If you're going to do it, you might as well chug the 3 free glasses (in 20 minutes) you get at the end of this cool brewery tour, right?






Our tour guide came around for pictures. We were pretty tipsy at this point, drinking as much beer as we could as fast as we could on empty stomachs, so all I could think of to say to her was, "Err, your hat is really cute," and immediately understood and sympathised with guys who try to hit on girls in bars the world over.


We stayed for the absolute limit of 25 minutes, and Hannes powered through 4 of those big glasses!


Aaaaand, drunk.



Before leaving for the airport we walked around near Dotonbori one more time, and hit this vegan café called Alt that I'd found online and that had gotten really good reviews. Everyone else in the place was just drinking the dairy-free coffee, but I wanted to order the (really overpriced) lunch set.


The soup and salad were pretty good.


But this risotto and bitter melon curry? No. 
I wrote a scathing review of this "food" on HappyCow.


The iced tea and coffee, though, were also pretty good.


Oh look, it's The Birth of Venus done in train tickets :B

We didn't have much else to do but go to the airport and spend the night there waiting for our awkwardly early flight, because no train in the morning would have been able to get us there in time. 

I didn't sleep a wink the entire night, caught a chill, and ended up with tonsilitis so bad that I had to take an entire week of work and was advised not to talk, so that was kind of a downer, but at that point Hannes and I were living together and Halloween was coming up (see my Halloweekends post), so it wasn't too bad!
... Except for when Hannes got the tonsilitis of doom a couple weeks later even though we'd been extremely careful >_<