DAY 4: OSAKA – SHOPPING & SUBTERRANEAN CITIES


Our last day in Osaka was spent shopping & losing ourselves in the underground malls.

We spent our last day in Osaka doing some “house-keeping” (i.e. catching up on emails, booking a hotel for our next stop and doing laundry – when you’ve only got 3 t-shirts, regular laundry runs become ESSENTIAL), and wandering the shopping malls of Osaka window shopping and actual shopping. We had a couple of small things we wanted to buy, including a new set of PJs for Shane, a new pair of jeans for me (would you believe mine died yesterday – developed a big hole where there shouldn’t be one) and an adaptor to allow us to download photos straight from the camera to our iPads. Nothing urgent, but a great excuse to go mall-trawling.

First stop: Whitey’s Department Megastore and Hanaku Building 17. These massive multi-storey shopping centres were insane. So many people, so many shops, so many lights…. This was where we set out to buy my jeans. A word of warning to any Caucasian female whose bum is larger than a size 8: they don’t make jeans for you in Japan. I am not kidding people. Everywhere we went we were informed the largest size they made ladies jeans in was a 28 (equivalent to an Aussie 8). So: size 8 (28) is a large, size 6 (26) is medium & it just goes down from there. So, as an Aussie size 12, my requests for jeans that might fit me were met with polite and embarrassed shakes of the head. A couple of horrified “No! Too big!” reactions. Too big?? Wow man. That’s kinda funny the first time, less amusing the second time and just down-right depressing the third time! One place had an Extra Large size 30 (equivalent Aussie size 10). Close, but no cigar! Thank goodness for international work permits I say: my salvation came in the form of one part-Japanese, part-African American gentleman who spoke perfect English (and Japanese), over here on a working holiday. He explained that whilst ladies sizes stopped at size 28, men’s jeans in Japan are made to the same styles and start at size 30 and go up. Yay! I don’t really care what side of the gender-divide my jeans come from as long as they bloody fit! One very competent fitting and 12,000 Yen later, I am now the happy owner of one GIANT pair of jeans. It took an authentic Japanese lunch of takoyaki (translation: delicious octopus dumplings) to restore my sensibilities and energy reserves, and prepare me for the next stage of consumerist insanity.

Next stop: Dotonbori. Back to Dotonbori-dori for more people-watching, market-style shopping and street food. This is where we found Shane some great PJs (sizing issues again: Shane is a 3XL here in Japan). This was also where Shane discovered the wonders of Japanese snack foods. We found the cutest little shop, packed with snack foods – both sweet and savoury. Shane was like a big kid in a candy store…, actually that’s basically what he was, exactly. I had to set him a limit of 1,000 Yen, otherwise we would have come home with half the shop. The craziest snacks we saw were desiccated anchovies, dried squid flakes and dried cheesy squid flakes (see photos below for an insight into the wonders of Dotonbori-dori).

Shane: Big kid in a candy store.
Squid chips, cheese balls or anchovies? Savoury snacks anyone?
The Dotonbori-dori strip.
Dotonbori-dori: Giant hand holding sushi restaurants right next to Fugu (blowfish) restaurants.

 

Dotonbori-dori: The angry octopus restaurant.

Last stop: the gigantic Yodobashi Electronics Superstore just next to the Osaka-Umeda subway station. We caught the subway from Dotonbori back to Umeda and went looking for this immense electronics shop to buy the SD card adaptor for the iPads. Talk about sensory overload! This was 8 floors of more colour, noise and chaos than my little brain could handle. We bought our adaptor thingy, ate some dinner in the Level 8 International Food Court and then headed straight back to the hotel for some much needed zzz’s before we train it out of here tomorrow.

Yodobashi Electronics Super-store, Osaka

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