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…
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?
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.
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.
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:
More Osaka sights:
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.
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.
They even do a dessert version, minus the octopus and plus the chocolate.
Oooh, that’s sharp!
Purple Deadpool says: “Let’s party!”
For our farewell dinner, it was another Osaka speciality: okinomiyaki (seafood pancake…sort of).
And that’s a wrap on Osaka. Sayanora! Until next year!
The view outside our room. I could get used to this…
Hey, here’s another EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEEK CLIP from Friday night’s Dark Matter season finale.