Osaka is a wonderful place to visit. It's a blue collar town with a great baseball team (The Hanshin Tigers: Win or lose Tigers Pride!) and a fantastic food culture. Osaka is actually the epicenter for food culture in Japan partially because of it's blue collar heritage: Merchants in Japan were at the bottom of the traditional caste system in the 1800s because money was considered to be corrupted or dirty. However, while successful merchants had plenty of money they were not allowed to flaunt their wealth directly or own form land. Instead, they showed status and wealthy by spending on art, food, and non-obvious luxuries like silk linings to otherwise mute clothing. As a result, Osaka's food scene flourished with the patronage of wealthy merchants. The canal district, Dōtonbori, is still a flourishing restaurant and entertainment district that offers something for everyone: There are street vendors serving up takoyaki, walk up booths with snow crabs, open charcoal grills for do it grilled meat, and a wide range of restaurants for any price range.
From Osaka, it's easy enough to get to Kyoto, Himeji, and the rest of Japan via bullet train. Next time, we'll take a look at the last blossoms at Himeji Castle, one of the last authentic ancient castles of Japan (most other castles like the one in Osaka are reconstruction). After the break, more photos from my trip to Osaka!
releasing thousands of screeching balloons at the end of their theme song.
Their mascots, To-Lucky and Lucky are pretty entertaining game day and make for some very cute merchandise. If you're looking for an overload on Japanese media, you can learn how to dance along with them at the start of the game over on the official website here. Since I visited, they have also added a third mascot, Lucky's younger brother, into the mix.