Spring break came and went in a blink of an eye. While I do have a few things to share during that time, I’d like to catch up on the little events I attended before this lovely season arrived. I visited a few places but it was nothing really worth mentioning on its own. However, these little trips added up and now I feel like I can just talk about all of them right now.
Around early February I visited Takurazaka in Osaka. Takurazaka is pretty far away from me (it took a little over an hour just to get there) so I never paid a visit. Plus, I didn’t really know anything about the city, so why would I? I eventually learned that the Osamu Tezuka Museum was located right next to the station. In case you don’t know, Osamu Tezuka is considered a legend in the anime/manga industry; he is most known for creating Astro Boy, Black Jack, Cyborg 009, Phoenix, etc. Apparently Takurazaka is his hometown. The museum itself is a bit tiny, but it has a lot of cool items from his past as well as from each of his creations. There is even a manga café where you can read a nice chunk of his manga for free! Here are a few pics of the place:
There is also a drawing studio where you can draw your own characters and animate them. Me, being a terrible artist, tried it out anyways:
Takurazaka itself is a beautiful city. There’s something about it that reminds me of Minneapolis/St. Paul; perhaps it’s the architecture and layout?:
Late February I went to Round 1 Spocha. Round 1 is the bowling place to go around here but they have a spinoff building called Spocha. Spocha is a recreational building where you can do a ton of sports like table tennis, basketball, archery, baseball, etc. There are probably 15+ activities or so that you can do for a pretty decent price. Now you might ask, “Can’t you just go outside and do these things?” Not really because Japan is so cramped, seeing a basketball court or a soccer field that’s not on school grounds is fairly difficult. They even had mini golf! The course itself is pretty mediocre but I didn’t mind; it was the closest thing to mini golf I was going to get in Japan:
Apparently, their version of mini golf is literally miniature golf The courses aren’t wacky at all. Oh well.
One of the highlights of this place was the arcade. Everything was free to play and the variety they had in the arcade itself was awesome. They even had bizarre games like Densha de Go, a game where you conduct a train and try to make it to each stop in time. Ahmed, our local train expert, had a field day with this:
My only complaint is that a nice chunk of the games were in poor condition. Some of the games barely worked. I figured they would take care of their machines better in Japan but I guess not…
The place even had a skating rink! No one was on it but poor Ahmed:
Finally, I went to Kyoto with a few friends around the middle of March. There was a special night show going on where a lot of temples were being lit up so I just had to check it out for myself. We went a bit early and had dinner at the Ninja Café. The Ninja Café was right next to the Ninja Restaurant; I had been to a Ninja Restaurant in New York and had a lot of fun. The café felt more laidback compared to the restaurant as no one was trying to scare you and we just had ninja perform magic tricks for us. Here are a few pics of that:
Finally, we checked out the temples, including the famous Kiyumizu Temple that I went in the fall. It was really beautiful but unfortunately, my camera is horrible at taking night photos. I’ll have to get a new one soon:
Here’s a video of a light show on a temple:
That sums up my random small trips during the winter. Next time I’ll talk about South Korea!