After our castle tours, we made it back to the hotel to dry off before jumping on a train down to Osaka (大阪). It’s only a 15 minute train ride by bullet train, which is free with a Japan Rail Pass. We headed to the Namba district, famous for its nightlife, restaurants and kilometer long shopping arcades.
We made our way down Shinsaibashi, a hugely crowded shopping mall with every brand you could imagine. We stopped by a 4 floor Sega arcade which had an odd selection of games. The entire top 2 floors contained room-sized photo booths, with costumes handy for the girls to change into (and only girls were allowed).
At the end of the street, we crossed the Dōtonboribashi Bridge and sat down for dinner at a okonomiyaki style restaurant. Imagine an egg heavy pancake cooked at a small grill at your table. It’s also a local favorite that started in Osaka.
In our wandering, we also walked through the area featured in the documentary The Great Happiness Space: Tale of an Osaka Love Thief. It’s an interesting documentary about the culture of host cafes – cafes where you pay exorbitant drink fees for the privilege of company and “friendship” from attractive men and women.
After wandering around town and filling ourselves with food we hopped on a train back for our hotel in Kyoto. We had plans to wake up early the following day to explore Nara and interact with some of the famous bowing deer.