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Amparo Bertram

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06:52 pm: See what you made me do?
Yesterday I met with the two other ALTs who will be giving the English Workshop with me next week. We talked about our plans in general for about half an hour. One of the two was there last year, so at least she's familiar with what will happen. I reminded the head of the English department that we'll both need vegetarian meals. The hotel did a great job providing for us last year, so I have my hopes up that things will be okay on the food front.

Today I was overcome by my camera envy.

At first I thought I was safe because wednesday_10_00 didn't take me anywhere near Akihabara, so the temptation level was low. But then I got to pondering...I've lived in Japan for a total of nearly four whole years now, and I've only visited Osaka once. (I've been in Osaka Station a number of times, but that doesn't count.) Pretty much all I did on my one visit was see Osaka Castle. Wouldn't it be sad if I left Japan without even looking into what else there is to be done in one of the country's largest and most famous cities?

Ah, rationalization.

So, on the spur of the moment, I bought a pocket guide to Osaka and hopped on the train. (I'm about an hour away.) I spent the afternoon wandering through DenDen Town. Den is the Japanese word for electricity, and DenDen Town is an area of Osaka that has many shops selling electric goods and electronics. It's the Kansai version of Akihabara.

This isn't really an area for regular sightseeing. The main reason is that, wherever you have a lot of stores focusing on computer hardware, A/V supplies, and video games, guys will be all over it like nobody's business, resulting in the area's OTHER attraction: an overabundance of porn.

The map in the pocket guide I bought, strangely, didn't have DenDen Town marked on it, so I had to search randomly for a while. In the process, I found a craft store that caused me to dawdle longer than expected. I was mesmerized just by the buttons, not to mention all the other merchandise. Eventually I managed to pry myself away...

I finally found the right area and looked in various shops, but while computer supplies and DVD equipment were everywhere, digital camera stores were few and far between. Also, the ones I managed to locate didn't have prices in the range I was hoping for. Just as I was about to give up and go back to the cheapest store I had seen, I tried one last shop, and it had a price $60 less than the other place. They were out of the color I wanted, but hey, for $60 I can live without my camera matching my cell phone. (I immediately spent the "savings" by buying a larger memory card, but I probably would have done that anyway.)

On my way back to the station, I stumbled across the Osaka branches of Animate and K-Books. This is a good thing, because at K-Books I finally managed to buy a copy of the novel I hadn't been able to get two weeks ago. So, yay!

Update: Oh, did I mention that you can take a cruise around Osaka Bay in a Spanish sailing ship? Technically it's based the Santa Maria, but it's the next best thing to a pirate ship, I'd say.

Comments

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From:basicblack
Date:August 19th, 2005 03:23 am (UTC)
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Have you been to the crepe place in Akihabara? I think when you come out of the station it's into a department store and the little crepe shop is there. If you haven't tried it - potato and egg crepe - it's a winner. *Thumbs up*

I am always inspired by your ability to find good and interesting veggie food in Japan, it makes me feel more hopeful.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:August 19th, 2005 04:20 am (UTC)
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Have you been to the crepe place in Akihabara?

I've had them in Kyoto, Shibuya, and under Tokyo Tower, but never in Akihabara. I usually get the strawberry and chocolate ones, but potato sounds excellent.

I am always inspired by your ability to find good and interesting veggie food in Japan, it makes me feel more hopeful.

It does take effort and can be frustrating sometimes. But other times it can turn out fantabulous, so one never knows.
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From:basicblack
Date:August 19th, 2005 04:24 am (UTC)
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There's a jolly place in Shinjuku down the steps from one of the Lumines (or whatever their silly names are...) that does nice strawberry chocolate and vanilla ice cream crepes... Japan seems to do crepes well. (Better than Paris. Couldn't find a good crepe anywhere!)

I might respectfully and politely ask for some advice regarding restaurants or things to eat when I return to Japan next summer, too... if that would be all right?
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:August 19th, 2005 04:47 am (UTC)
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if that would be all right?

No problem. I'm willing to share anything I know.
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From:wednesday_10_00
Date:August 19th, 2005 09:20 pm (UTC)

So?

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What camera did you get? What color is it? Where are the sample pictures? When are we going on the pirate ship Santa Maria cruise around Osaka Bay? (And yay for City of Glass!)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:August 20th, 2005 12:14 am (UTC)

Re: So?

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What camera did you get? What color is it?

It's the same kind as yours, but silver.

Where are the sample pictures?

I wanted to take some in Osaka while I was there, but the battery didn't come charged. <pout> I haven't read the manual yet, so pretty much all I've done so far is set in the charger.

I'm hoping to go to Kyoto in the morning for the flea market, so I may take some pictures then.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:August 20th, 2005 12:17 am (UTC)

Re: So?

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(This deserved a different icon.)

When are we going on the pirate ship Santa Maria cruise around Osaka Bay?

It says the day cruise runs through November, so we might be able to do it if we go for the Tousuisha event, but that sounds pretty cold...
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:August 20th, 2005 09:56 am (UTC)

Re: So?

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It says the day cruise runs through November, so we might be able to do it if we go for the Tousuisha event, but that sounds pretty cold...

You think? I don't remember it being that cold in November last year. We can always see how the weather is, and if it's too cold we can go next spring.

Have fun with your new camera! (I hope you got a bigger memory card than I did...I'm going to have to buy another one. ._.) You're so diligent with instruction manuals; I haven't even touched mine. I've been meaning to look up the section on the automatic settings, but so far I'm getting by okay on auto.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:August 20th, 2005 03:06 pm (UTC)

Re: So?

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I don't remember it being that cold in November last year.

I'm envisioning wind chill. It's generally windy around water.

We can always see how the weather is, and if it's too cold we can go next spring.

That's true.

I hope you got a bigger memory card than I did...I'm going to have to buy another one.

I got the 512MB, which was the biggest they had, so hopefully it will be sufficient.

You're so diligent with instruction manuals; I haven't even touched mine.

I've never had a digital camera before, so all the controls are new to me. It's not like using a cell phone camera.
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:August 20th, 2005 05:51 pm (UTC)

Re: So?

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It's generally windy around water.

I grew up half an hour from Lake Michigan. I know how it works. ^_^;

I got the 512MB, which was the biggest they had, so hopefully it will be sufficient.

That's twice as big as mine, so you probably won't have a problem. I'm surprised they didn't have a bigger one, though.
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