April 3, 2008

Osaka Daytrip with Matthew

It's been your basic day-to-day life this week. Matthew was off for a 2-day whirlwind tour of Tokyo, where he met up with our friends Bob, Maho and Jun who lived there who showed him a great time. Matthew returned on Wednesday night, so now its back into sight-seeing mode for us!

(One funny side note. While visiting one of the Tokyo shrines, Matthew had his fortune predicted. Big mistake, as the English translation on the back of Fortune #54 stated, "Bad Fortune". It went on to say, "Your body is one but with 2 different kind mind, so everything goes out of order. Just like lunar eclipse make the sky all dark all will be at dark. Though fortune approaches to you, but you can't get it. Just like a fish can't meet water, there may be so many possibility to be a bad case for you. The request will not be granted. The patient will be unhappy. The lost article will not be found. The person you wait for will not come. Any kind of marriage, to start a trip, new employment are all bad." [uplifting huh?]). Maho advised that he could tie his bad fortune up to the gate and be rid of it, but Matthew decided he would rather keep it as a souvenir! We just hope Matthew left his bad luck in Tokyo.)

On Thursday, after dropping the kids off at school, Ilena and Matthew headed into Osaka. It was Ilena's first time back into the Osaka Business Park area since the very first week we were in Japan. Of course, Mike heads into Osaka every day for work. With Matthew, the game plan was to first head to Yodobashi Camera, an eight-story MEGA electronics store right near Osaka (Umeda) Station. Some say it's the world's largest electronics store. There must have been at least 1000 different cell phones on display in every shape and size.

Afterwards, they headed to Osaka Castle, which was a terrific place to go with the cherry blossoms in full bloom.

They trekked up 8 flights of stairs and enjoyed some spectacular views from the top observation deck.

Mike met up with Ilena and Matthew for a picnic lunch of sorts. It was noon and all the restaurants around Osaka Business Park were absolutely jam-packed. So we headed to the local konbini (also jam packed!) and purchased an assortment of noodles and sushi and snacks. We sat under a nearby Cherry Blossom Tree and enjoyed a nice lunch.

Afterwards, Matthew and Ilena checked out the Panasonic Center Showroom (in Mike's building). While the huge HDTV's were pretty cool, the highlight of Panasonic Center for them were the massage chairs, as they each enjoyed great massages - full body massage for Matthew and a foot massage for Ilena. We need one of these at home.

Back on Rokko Island, Ilena, Matthew and the kids happened upon a curious event taking place at the ground floor of the nearby Rink Department Store. For 300 Yen a pop, anyone could take a ride on a Segway. Matthew, Jacob, and even Lauren got to go for a ride around the obstacle course. Lauren was flying!

Totally fun and absolutely about as random as you can get. And our bravery trend continued as Lauren was quite eager to jump right on while Jacob took a little bit of coercion. They were all smiles afterwards.

And of course, some adorable pictures of the kids from our time outside by the sakura (cherry blossom trees).

This last one of Matthew is right in front of our apartment:


The Ricketts Family said...

It's interesting that the cherry blossoms are at their peak the same week they are at their peak in DC! Must make you feel like you are close to home. :) Thanks for the great blog entries the last few days. Sounds like you all are having a blast. Hope that Matthew has a safe trip back to the US!
Erin and Lee

jmgesq said...

Good stuffs as always. Such fun. And I LOVE segways. We tried them when we were down in Orlando last year. I had a blast. Jack cursed his lack of balance. I keep vacillating between wanting a Segway and wanting a Vespa. It's a very very close thing!

The Stover Family said...

Funny post! Would love to try out one of those Segways! Saw a priest on a Segway at one of the airports we traveled through last summer...we completly looked lost (which we were but weren't ready to admit) and he rolled right on over...was pretty hilarious! They really haven't caught on here in Dubai...maybe because you would be burned toast by the time you got off...ha ha!