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A big kid's den in Osaka

The Japanese news has constant coverage of Typhoon Fitow as it heads directly for Tokyo. The Shinkansen isn't running and Shinjuku is wet and windy. I'm glad we aren't staying there this time and hope that we will not feel any effects during our flight back to Australia on Saturday night.

Meanwhile CNN would rather talk about microwave popcorn health scares and US senator busted in a toilet. Actually, it's not all crap news from them. They did feature the Chaser's APEC stunt, but with the headline "Who's laughing?" Well, me for one. Legends!

Seeing a rose tinted world through our hotel lobby doors

Today was a shopping day. The intention was to take it easy. Personally I found tramping around the shops more tiring that a four kilometre mountain walk. Unfortunately most of the shops in Osaka open around 11am, closing at 9pm, so we had to do a lot of walking before shopping.

Our first destination was Den-Den Town, the electronics shopping area of Osaka, like Akihabara in Tokyo. So many beautiful Japanese computers and mobile phones! It's such a pity that they don't work in Australia. What does work are Japanese model railways and I had a shopping list of parts to complete my layout at home. At Joshin Super Kids Land I found a floor devoted to model railways. The whole shop is really for big kids with radio controlled cars, plastic models and anime inspired merchandise. I could have spent hours there, but B was really bored, so we purchased the items on my list and left so she could take her revenge.

We passed through the Doguya-Suji Arcade of kitchen and dining appliances. Many of the utensils are both cheap and attractive, especially the ceramics. If only we could purchase them when we needed them in Australia.

The previous day we had entered a Takashimaya department store in Kyoto and were set aback by the cost of the wonderful Japanese doonas - over a thousand dollars! The entire store was devoted to premium brands. The 1001 department store is much more reasonable and aimed at younger people than most of the others.

Also for young people is the America-Mura area of Osaka. Love hotels, ultra trendy clothing stores and young punks populate the streets, overlooked by a replica Statue of Liberty mounted atop a skyscraper.

We entered one store full of colourful women's clothing handmade by the sales staff. The Japanese fashion sense is amazing, so crazy in comparison to staid Australia.

Even the dogs dress up in Japan
Our clothing quest took us to B's favourite clothing shop of Zara, in the Shinsaibashi-Suji arcade, and further north to Gap. On the way we stopped by Loft and admired the Japanese homewares and other quirky items, as we also did at our last stop of Tokyu Hands.

As we walked back towards Dotombori and our hotel we passed by young male touts for bars, Pachinko parlours and probably more and young Japanese women with big blonde hair and much eyeliner. At Dotombori we ate grilled crab legs as a snack, then wandered around in search of dinner, our legs and feet exhausted. We ended up ordering woodfired pizza and pasta from a quiet restaurant by the hotel, then collapsing into our hotel room, exhausted once more.



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