The first 18 days

Yes, I’m counting.

Today was the first day that I had the chance to explore without worrying about things that needed to be done. This might be a bit long so I decided to move Saturday’s (August 5) outing on a different post.

Even though those days were pretty busy, there were still moments worth noting.

Like this event (Bon Odori? not sure) near Osaka station last July 22 when we were out looking for cellphone plans. See if you can figure out the steps to the dance.

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Arms out

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Bend upwards

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Clap a few times

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Then put them arms up again

Oh, and the people were also moving around the stage while dancing.

One last thing, I’m not sure if the steps I mentioned along with the pictures were indeed correct. It’s just how I remembered them. So, don’t quote me on that.

The following day, I decided to try to study. It was kinda boring at home so I decided to go to Osaka Castle.

Not sure if it was my 3rd or 4th visit. Either way, to make it seem like I haven’t been before, I took a different entrance going in.

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From the opposite side of the plum garden

I walked the path opposite the one with the plum garden towards the bridge on I think the castle’s South side. There were less people coming in from that side as compared to the other entrances.

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Towards the bridge on the South(?) side

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Past the bridge

I read a bunch of pages from a pdf-ed book while sitting on a bench near the castle.

At one point an older Japanese person (let’s call him Saitoさん, because that’s actually his name) started talking to me.

It was just a typical conversation. The point here is that I was able to practice using the language aside from just the book reading.

He even showed me a nice spot with a different view of the castle.

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This looks different

Then, another work week started. While on the way home one Thursday afternoon, I happened to remember the unique manhole designs. After that thought, I was actively looking for one on the way home.

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Amagasaki manhole design

I have yet to see one with color.

Another Saturday (July 29) came. This time, kitchen items were on the agenda.

Actually, I was also still looking for pocket wifi plans that had no data and speed caps. It turned out that there were no such plans. There were plans with no caps but a drastic speed reduction is applied once a certain amount of data is consumed.

I decided against getting a pocket wifi and went on to look for kitchen items.

I first went to two such shops near Osaka station but couldn’t find some of the items that I was looking for. A second round of googling led to the discovery of Sennichimae Doguyasuji Shopping Street (click here for the map).

The place was lined with shops that sell kitchen items. There were tons of options to choose from. Though, if you’re looking for a cheap knife, you’re out of luck. The cheapest that I could find cost 1500JPY.

That somewhat stung a bit when I discovered that Daiso also sells knives but at a tiny fraction of the amount above.

Upon reaching the other end of the street, I sort of recognized the place.

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I’ve been here before

Can’t remember how we ended up there before, but that was where a certain friend and I ate takoyaki after probably getting there from a certain shrine in Osaka where I got my first 朱印 stamp. The details elude me.

Anyway, with the list complete, I was good to go for cooking.

It was another busy Sunday as there were forms that had to be filled out and submitted the following day.

While walking home the following Thursday, I stumbled upon this at the nearby park.

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Yep, Bon Odori

It looks similar to the one we saw near Osaka station. I’m guessing it was probably another Bon Odori celebration.

I stayed and watched for a few minutes and went home.

And now we come to Saturday.

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