Our time in Japan has come to a close! Yesterday we went out to a temple and a couple of shopping districts and biked throughout the city, which is a great way to see more of a new city! We rode around through parks, seeing more people out having picnics and enjoying the gorgeous cherry blossoms throughout Osaka. The shopping districts, Namba and Shinsekai, were also pretty fun. Namba was absolutely packed with people and shops, with pedestrian streets stretching out for kilometers in all directions.
On our last day, we met up with people that we’d met last Friday at our hostel and went out through the city. First we met with Chizuru and went out to Expo City, a large shopping and amusement area outside of Osaka close to where an world expo was once held. We went to an aquarium / exhibit on interesting animals (unique shapes, abilities, or colors), a Pokemon gym, a place called “English Village” (which was recreations of scenes of everyday American life where people can go practice English), and a park where the world expo was held. The aquarium was really cool, the Pokemon gym was great, the English Village was hilarious, and the park was beautiful, so it was overall a pretty great day.
In the evening, the three of us met up with a Japanese man we’d met at the hostel who wanted to bring us out to a district he enjoyed. We met him in the Temma district and proceeded to bounce around through various restaurants trying new foods. We went to a standing bar, filled with Japanese businessmen winding down their workdays, and for the first time I tried bamboo shoots (they were good!). Then we went on to a sushi restaurant, which was of course delicious. Finally, we tried a local food called takoyaki, which is pretty much fried balls of dough with octopus in them. Also pretty tasty.
Japan during the cherry blossom festival is absolutely gorgeous, and I’m sad that we have to go so soon! But with all of the recommendations from other travelers and locals around Osaka, I’ll just have to come back someday to see more of this incredible country!