Amparo Bertram (spacealien_vamp) wrote,
Amparo Bertram
spacealien_vamp

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.
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