I was looking forward to Osaka, because I remembered being here before and getting around by myself without too much difficulty and seeing a lot. But this time I find it more confusing. I’ve been trying to figure out why that is, and have decided it is due mostly to the weather. Last time we were here in February. I wasn’t expecting it to be warm and was surprised to find flowers and plum trees in bloom. I did lots of walking in parks and in the streets. This time it is January and it is quite cold, and often rainy or windy. So walking around outside isn’t as pleasant. And walking around inside is very confusing! There are so many underground malls that interconnect. If one knew one’s way around it would be a good way to avoid the cold, but I don’t know my way around and though there are signs in English, they often don’t indicate what I am looking for. Here is a typical picture of a mall. I think this is above ground, but the underground malls look similar.
This morning I decided to go look for a shrine that was near one of the big subway stations/shopping areas. I found it on the map on my phone, which I took with me, but once I got off the subway, I could not figure out which way to go. I found maps on the walls, but could not relate those in any way either to my phone or to my position in real life. The map just did not look like the underground intersection I was standing in. I went outside and braved the wind and was able to get my location by gps, but it wasn’t accurate enough for me to be sure which side of the street I was on. After about 45 minutes of this, a kind lady offered to help. I was able to remember the name of the shrine, because I had recently seen it on a sign, so I told her and she knew what I meant and indicated that it was the way she was going, so I walked along with her for a block or so and she showed me to the entrance, which didn’t look like what I had seen on Google street view or on the website I’d looked at.
Here is what I found after entering the shrine.
And here are a couple more pictures I took there. After spending so much time looking for it, I felt I had to at least take a bunch of pictures.
This big marble sphere was rotating. I think that shows in the photo. I could not figure out how it was doing that.
This shrine has a story with it, which I didn’t get, but it has to do with a lovers’ suicide. Here is a statue of the lovers.
I left there on a small lane heading towards another park on my map.
This was a small park, which I reached by taking several small and not particularly interesting streets.
I had been on my feet for a while by then, so I found a bench in the sun and sat down.
Before long I saw a school group come by and stop on the far side of the park, then a second group came into the park. These were little kids. Each one was holding a rolled up jump rope. Their teacher gave them some instructions and then they spread out and started jumping. One or two had done this before, but most were beginners.
All of the children wore identical navy blue smocks over their clothes.
The little girl in pink tights just couldn’t get the hang of it. She would flip the rope in front of her feet and jump over it, then flip it around again and repeat, but she never got a fluid motion going. Everything came to a full stop before she jumped. She tried and tried though.
From there I walked to another park on my map. The middle of this park was just an open space, but there were some very colorful flower beds near the entrances.
Here’s the open space and a modern building beyond.
From here I walked back to the station, where I had started out. I didn’t have any trouble finding it, but once inside I did wander around quite a bit before finding my train.
Here’s another typical street view.
And this is a very common sight—imitations of all the dishes the restaurant serves, I think.
So that was my day today. I bought myself some delicious pastries which I ate in the station and in the hotel. We bought a French press and some coffee so we could make coffee in the hotel. They provide set ups for green tea, but not for coffee, so we bought our own.