16 November, Toyoko Inn Juso, Osaka
Had a great night in Dotondori. This is Osaka's answer to the Ginza and Times Square. Not that it isn't great fun, but it is a long way off either in reality. Aside from the bright lights, there are the street stalls selling octopus balls, which are not exactly what we thought they were. What you get is a small bit of octopus, rolled in a fish-flavoured dough, with mayonnaise on top. Never, mind, we did again manage to chance upon another great little restaurant and as a bonus, it was happy hour, so the beer was half price!
On our second last day in Japan, what else could we do but visit a castle? Yep, we had one more castle left in us. Osaka castle is another reconstruction. After the havoc of WWII, Osaka, like most cities in Japan, was a wasteland. Today, standing at the top of the reconstructed castle, looking out over the enormous city that it once defended, you have to admire what the Japanese have accomplished in just one lifetime.
17 November, JQ Flt 20, Osaka to Gold Coast
Our flight left at 8:50pm fairly well on schedule, as you would expect, even from an Australian airline operating in Japan. As it was our last day, we had a late start and headed off to Kobe, just a 25 minute train ride from Osaka. Kobe was about the last city in this part of Japan that we had not visited before, so it was more or less a have-to-do just for the hell of it! As it turned out, it was just that - a nice enough city, but very much like dozens of other cities we have visited. Consequently, we were back to Osaka and out to Kansai Airport well before our flight time. So what else could we do? We just had a few beers and a last taste of original Japanese food and jumped on the plane. Just 8 hours and 45 minutes to go...........