I always found it interesting that, despite the crazy amount of food I would eat every time I visited Japan, I would return home actually lighter than when I left.  At first, I assumed it was because I’d lost heavier muscle mass and gained comparatively lighter body fat BUT when I started measuring said body fat after subsequent trips, I discovered that I was actually getting leaner.  How to explain it?  Well, it could be the quality of the food I’m eating.  Or a possible change in my metabolism triggered by the time zone change.  But, more than likely, it’s the walking.  Lots and lots of walking.  Consulting my handy iPhone health monitor, I noted that, back in Vancouver, my sedentary lifestyle had me walking about, oh, 2000 steps a day.  Since arriving in Japan, my average daily step count is closer to 17 000.  Poor Akemi, with her tiny little feet, has probably hit 100k since our arrival!

I’d like to say that all this exercise makes me feel great, but the truth is I feel really, really, REALLY sore. Fortunately, while in L.A. recently, I invested in an incredibly comfortable pair of Ermenegildo Zegna’s to replace the pair of mail order Stacy Adams that, literally, fell apart on me while walking down Beverly Blvd.  It could have been much, much worse.

So, for our last day in Osaka, Akemi and I met up for lunch with her mother, father, and brother.  This time, it was soba and udon…

September 16, 2016: Goodbye, Osaka!  Hello, Tokyo!  Again!

I went with the cold soba set and tempura.  It’s accompanied by a dipping broth you season yourself with the daikon, wasabi and/or green onion.  By the way, can I just say how out of this world better tempura is in Japan compared to the heavy, greasy versions we’re usually served in North America?

September 16, 2016: Goodbye, Osaka!  Hello, Tokyo!  Again!

Akemi’s dad, mom, and brother kindly treated us to lunch.  At one point, Mrs. Aota noted I was holding my chopsticks incorrectly.   I adjusted my hold and had my skills totally evaporate – to the point where Mr. Aota, clearly feeling sorry for me, suggested I go back to my original hand position and not worry about it.

After lunch, I did an impromptu Periscope (I think I may do a few more before trip’s end) and then, we walked.  And walked.  And walked.

September 16, 2016: Goodbye, Osaka!  Hello, Tokyo!  Again!

Hey!  We discover a statue of what Akemi declared my “favorite god” because he’s surrounded by food.  Only, it turns out, he maybe isn’t a god at all but a street mascot.

September 16, 2016: Goodbye, Osaka!  Hello, Tokyo!  Again!

We pass this clinic, it’s windows adorned with photos of hot young women.  When I asked Akemi about it, she informed me one visited this doctor “give more energy to your cincin”.  Ah.  That explained the photos.

Other assorted store and restaurant front mascots.  Osaka was full of them:

September 16, 2016: Goodbye, Osaka!  Hello, Tokyo!  Again!
This guy looks like one angry S.O.B. Better eat his kushiage if you know what’s good for you.
September 16, 2016: Goodbye, Osaka!  Hello, Tokyo!  Again!
Tako-yaki restaurant.
September 16, 2016: Goodbye, Osaka!  Hello, Tokyo!  Again!
Fugu restaurant!
September 16, 2016: Goodbye, Osaka!  Hello, Tokyo!  Again!
Deadly…but delicious! Or so they say. I find it kind of bland.
September 16, 2016: Goodbye, Osaka!  Hello, Tokyo!  Again!
Here. Have some sushi.
September 16, 2016: Goodbye, Osaka!  Hello, Tokyo!  Again!
Did I not tell you to try his kushiage?
September 16, 2016: Goodbye, Osaka!  Hello, Tokyo!  Again!
According to Akemi, this giant crab is actually more famous than the restaurant it represents.
September 16, 2016: Goodbye, Osaka!  Hello, Tokyo!  Again!
I know it’s nowhere near as elaborate as the other ones but, damn, I have a soft spot in my heart for this porcine waitress.
September 16, 2016: Goodbye, Osaka!  Hello, Tokyo!  Again!
I love me some scallops.
September 16, 2016: Goodbye, Osaka!  Hello, Tokyo!  Again!
Found this one a little weird. I dunno.
September 16, 2016: Goodbye, Osaka!  Hello, Tokyo!  Again!
More tako-yaki.
September 16, 2016: Goodbye, Osaka!  Hello, Tokyo!  Again!
Awwww.
September 16, 2016: Goodbye, Osaka!  Hello, Tokyo!  Again!
It was all fun and games until the steer vomited on her.
September 16, 2016: Goodbye, Osaka!  Hello, Tokyo!  Again!
Alas, no, this place does NOT serve dragon.

More Osaka sights:

September 16, 2016: Goodbye, Osaka!  Hello, Tokyo!  Again!

The famed canal that runs through Osaka.  When the city’s beloved Hanshin Tigers won Japan’s version of The World Series, locals celebrated by jumping off the bridge and into the water.  Not recommended.

September 16, 2016: Goodbye, Osaka!  Hello, Tokyo!  Again!

Osaka is known for many things – chiefest among them is takoyaki, battered octopus balls served molten hot.  Here, locals and tourists alike line up for the hometown delicacy.

September 16, 2016: Goodbye, Osaka!  Hello, Tokyo!  Again!

They even do a dessert version, minus the octopus and plus the chocolate.

September 16, 2016: Goodbye, Osaka!  Hello, Tokyo!  Again!

Oooh, that’s sharp!

September 16, 2016: Goodbye, Osaka!  Hello, Tokyo!  Again!

Purple Deadpool says: “Let’s party!”

For our farewell dinner, it was another Osaka speciality: okinomiyaki (seafood pancake…sort of).

September 16, 2016: Goodbye, Osaka!  Hello, Tokyo!  Again!

And that’s a wrap on Osaka.  Sayanora!  Until next year!

The view outside our room.  I could get used to this…

September 16, 2016: Goodbye, Osaka!  Hello, Tokyo!  Again! September 16, 2016: Goodbye, Osaka!  Hello, Tokyo!  Again!

Hey, here’s another EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEEK CLIP from Friday night’s Dark Matter season finale.

18 thoughts on “September 16, 2016: Goodbye, Osaka! Hello, Tokyo! Again!

  1. Thanks for the Periscope; I missed it live (it was midnight here in NJ, I believe when you did it) but caught the replay later on. I’ve never been to Asia, so I appreciate that you take the time to share your experience with us!

  2. I walked a lot in Japan, and biked too. I can walk for blocks here before I hit anything but a church and houses. So many houses. Even the bus stop is three full size blocks away. I miss urban living, but not enough to move.

    You’re killing me… turns out every food so far is one of my favorites. Okonomiyaki, oh yeah.

    I’ve seen that crab in … Yokohama? It gets around.

    Oddly, I can get acceptable tempura in Ogden at Tona, a reasonably authentic Japanese restaurant, and at So Delicious, a strange place with both Japanese and Chinese food one town over in an old Denny’s. I dare not try the sushi rolls, the combinations are really different. Really, really different.

  3. I cant keep your time straight in my head – so looked it up…iphone to rescue
    For Chicago Land – Tokyo is 14 hours ahead in tomorrow.

    Loving all the food pics.
    Enjoying the scenic tours.
    And, gotta tell you – Akemi is looking very vibrant …well, actually she always is except for bummed out cameras.

    Looking forward to more MORE….

  4. “…despite the crazy amount of food I would eat every time I visited Japan, I would return home actually lighter than when I left.”

    I think it’s a combination of the food you are eating, the amount of exercise you are getting, and how you usually get sick as a dog on the last day of your trip when everything catches up with you. Pace yourself Joe, pace yourself. 😆

    Thanks for sharing the awesome pictures!

  5. Love the restaurant mascots! I honestly didn’t connect the Hanging Octopus as a restaurant for octopus until you mentioned “battered octopus balls molten hot”…and this is a delicacy? I agree, the suspended cow is slightly disturbing and reminds me of the movie “Lake Placid”. Where’s the giant alligator? You have a dragon. I’ve decided the eating establishments I frequent are totally boring.

    That exclusive sneak peek clip is killing me!! This season finale better not end on a cliffhanger! Right? No cliffhangers!! Everything will be nicely tied up with a bow on top! Right?

  6. “battered octopus balls” – I didn’t realise that octopuses have testicles! Badum tish!

  7. Z Nation returns today with a 2hr premiere, and also acts as a lead in for Dark Matter. Should be interesting to see if the networks highest rated scripted series boosts Dark Matter. I think it will personally. I’m hoping for another season high to conclude the season.

  8. Love those pictures and Thank You Both for sharing this trip with us!!!

    You’re killing me though with all the food. I’m trying so hard to save money and cook at home. Now, I want Sushi….

    Your losing weight reminds me of our Disney trip. I lost five pounds and that’s with ice cream sundaes for dinner.

    TheOtherOne: I’m hoping we’ll get rain today too. This heat/humidity is a killer (I mean that literally). This is the season for babies/animals forgotten in cars. The heat seems to trigger a worsening of symptoms in the old/weak too. 🙁
    FYI, If you’re working outside, freeze a wet hand towel and put it around your neck while you’re working. If you have no a/c at home, freeze a damp sheet and drape it in front a fan. (tips from the Southern U.S.-it was 95F yesterday)

  9. Just a theory, as I have limited experience with Japanese food, but Chinese food in China is very different from Chinese food in America because Americans like their food sweet. A nation of sugar addicts we are. Chinese restaurants in America add a lot of sugar to their recipes, so the dishes are not as nutritious as we like to think they are. Perhaps, Japanese food is lower in calories in Japan than it is in Canada. Plus all that walking. Lean, mean fightin’ machine. 🙂

  10. It’s Friday here. 2 p.m eastern U.S. Yay! Finally have a day off! First full day off in a very long while.
    Skipped my morning ice dance workout.
    Went to get some fresh strawberries
    from the farm a couple towns over instead.

    Thanks for sharing the periscope of Osaka.

    Don’t forget to check out a couple of VR cafes
    during your last week in Tokyo!
    And maybe check out Japans music scene this year?
    Might be interesting.??

    BTW: Ditto to what PonyTail said. Please remember to pace yourself so you don’t end up feeling sick when you get home, eh.

    Both excited and sad it’s the season finale tonight!

    Sending my daily dose of hugs n love to you n Akemi.

    Have fun! XO

  11. Shoes, the eternal struggle. Finding the perfect pair is so hard, I have a ton of them but few that I can actually walk in. Osaka looks beautiful, I hope those restaurant mascots make it into a future ep of DM.

    The god of food is one I worship as well, better than Barfy Cow, but not as adorable as Baby Octopus.

  12. So much food! That tempura does look really good though. Better keep walking!

    Speaking of which, I definitely can relate – my last two days in Vancouver were spent walking – a lot. I think I did about 19K steps a day on Sunday and Monday before I left. I actually walked further downtown than I did before hiking out from Garibaldi!

    Also, you need to do a Periscope WFPOTD, eating Shirako again.

  13. DAng, Joseph, if I ever get to Japan, I’ll have to include hard copies of your eateries,,,I’d love to try ALL this food…

  14. re: “According to Akemi, this giant crab is actually more famous than the restaurant it represents.”

    And here was me wondering where my alpha crab went.

    Guess I should have seen this coming, eh?!

    To see that it has moved on to become an international superstar.now makes me kinda feel bad that I was holding it back from its true potential via making it serve as my modest little avatar here on WP.

    Oh well. If you are lucky enough to lay eyes on it again, please tell it
    -its’ former employer Drea dearly misses it and all the joy it brought each time it entered the room.

    Quick word of warning, though: Just don’t ask it to put its arm around you or shake your hand to pose for a pic. Somehow that never seems to end well.

  15. Oh hey! Look everyone! YAY! Seems my crabby missed me too and has returned!!!

    Ah yes. Aint it grand?!

    True love always finds a way, eh! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

  16. Whoa! That’s a lot of walking. No wonder you are so sore. I really don’t want to know how much walking I’m not doing. I doubt it would count it properly since I’m rolling around in a knee scooter to keep weight off my foot. I have to get this large fascia tear in my foot to heal. Apparently I’ve had it since at least June. Guess it wasn’t just plantar fasciitis.

    I love all the mascots. Not so much the food descriptions. I’m just not brave to try new things. I tend to eat the same things at the restaurants we go to. When I do order something different, it is a big deal.

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