January 12, 2008

The Weekend Begins

Saturday started off as a bit of a dreary and overcast day. After a lazy morning in the hotel room, and in a slow drizzle, we all walked over to Osaka Castle, which is surrounded by a really nice park. It's such a thoughtful/respectful culture here - at the first drops of rain, the hotels put out a large number of umbrellas for guest use. And when you walk in the mall, there is a dispenser of special plastic bags made just to "bag" your umbrella, to keep water from pouring all over the shiny clean floors.

After our journey, we snacked on Takoyaki (balls of mushy dough with a bit of octopus in the middle). Its a regional specialty. Ilena and especially Jacob didn't care for it, but Lauren liked it. Mike is not sure yet.

We then went back to Osaka Business Park to visit a doggy daycare center with big glass windows that the kids love to watch. There are cute little shitzu's with orange, blue, green, and pink dyed tails. We also grabbed some hot cocoa. When Lauren spilled hers all over the place, the waitress rushed over with a new cup, something you don't see everyday back home. So nice. After an unsuccessful attempt at napping, Ilena and Mike each went for a run near the Osaka Castle, and Mike discovered a cool playground.

Also, there was apparently a big concert going on at Osaka-Jo Hall; a group called L'Arc~en~Ciel, on a Tour called Theater of Kiss (apparently they are huge here!). The youth of Osaka were out in full force.

We all went running/jogging/walking to the playground and then ventured out deeper into Osaka and found a place to eat dinner. No english on the menu (And no pictures either! One great thing about Japan is that usually there are plastic display cases with fake food outside the restaurant and pictures on the menu. That makes it easier to figure things out. ) This time, it was just a Japanese menu. We made do (we actually had to walk outside to the display case and do some pointing and asking how to say those things in Japanese so we could order), but it turned out to be a really great meal for everyone. We were deeply craving green salad (gareenu sarada in Japanese!), and it was nice to have some greens. The kids enjoyed too! We took the train back home, and Lauren got a shoulder ride back to the hotel from the train station. Right now, we are having a family movie night - the kids are watching Ratattouille as we type this.

We leave you with these gems :)

"Dorink (Drink) Corner" and Random Shirt Display in the Mall -- "Delaware - First State"?


Mandona said...


Mandona said...

Hi Jacob I really miss you.
Love, Martina
Martina typed this.

Amanda and Chas said...

Hi Kasdans. Love the blog and pictures. Ilena, mad props to you for being so adventurous. Have the kids transitioned to local time? Can't wait to read more of your tales and exploits. Take care!

-Chas and Amanda

jmgesq said...

Why Delaware ???? (Tee Shirt Pic) You look like you're doing well. Great going trying all of the food - especially the kids. I'm surprised at how much English IS visible. I thought there would be none - and no English transliteration. That has got to help.

Love you madly.


relax said...

Hi Illena. This is Jennifer at The Vermont Inn.Looks like you are all having a wonderful time. What a wonderful experience. Your gang arrives this Friday. I'm sure they will miss you. My girls are bummed that Jacob and Lauren won't be there. I told them another year maybe. I'll show them this site so they realize that being in Japan is far more interesting and exciting than Vermont. You all look great. Jack has done a fine job in your absence pulling the weekend plans together.
Mitch is getting ready for the "Pub Quiz."
I pesonally think I would drop a lot of weight (a good thing for me) if I lived in Japan. Can't imagine eating Octopus. Kudos to you for getting your kids to try it.
Take Care.