Friday, 27 January 2012

PanJapanter - Episode IX: "Ooooooooooooooosaka and the End" (New Year's Day, 2012)

Henry-sama and I were sad to leave Tokyo behind, and having sobered up from the pre-trip excitement, the rumbling ten hour train trip to Osaka was much less riveting.

It was dark when we arrived in Japan’s second city and there wasn’t time to see much. We found another of these cheap, electronic ordering pubs and I choked on a hair of the dog hairball. With food for thought, Henry-sama and I chewed the fat and ate some bar snacks.
We had decided to stay in a capsule hotel. You can read Henry-sama’s account of the night here: http://www.henrystokeley.com/blog/a-night-in-a-capsule/ . 
The staff were friendly, and one of them had even lived in Newcastle for a while, so he went right up in my estimation (I call that the Hansen effect, for obvious reasons). There was an excellent spa, and I had a shave and enjoyed a bit of self-mutilation in the electrified pool. There was a sauna, too, and an ice cold plunge pool.
We got into our respective pods around midnight I think. They’re very comfortable and there’s enough room to sit up. There’s also a TV, brimming with porn for the lonely businessman.

I was woken at around five thirty by someone’s bloody alarm, and then climbed out at around six. It was cold and rainy, and Henry-sama and I cocked-up by trying to be clever and getting on an earlier train to Kobe which, somehow, got us there later than the one we were supposed to take.
The journey was a bit arduous. At a train station in Yamaguchi, when Henry-sama had gone off to buy something, some old bloke told me to go back to my own country. It’s great that my Japanese is now good enough to understand the xenophobia that gets hurled at me!

We pulled into Tempaizan at around ten in the evening and slept soundly. After the travelling, it was good to be back in “my own” bed.

It was a bloody good trip, filled with excitement and rage and peace and mayhem. Truly, truly Japanterous. 

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