Landed in the early morning. Very tired now.
Waited until 7am for the Travel Desk to open so that I could buy the Kaiyu Pass and the 3-day Kansai Thru Pass. Can only buy one Thru Pass at a time with one passport, so I'll have to buy the others as I go along.
It gets dark by 5pm around here. I had planned to go shopping in Kobe and look at the Luminarie 2010
--a yearly memorial for the 1995 Hanshin earthquake.. I only managed to do one due to the sheer, frustrating collective insanity of the Luminarie.
The traffic police packed a lot of us sight-seers up on Tor Road and directed us to start, stop and go. One lane of the road had been cordoned off for the mass flow of people. But it went on and on, all the way into the covered arcades of Motomachi, out again past the Chinatown areas and back up towards Daimaru. And it doubled back after several blocks. I did some calculations with my maps and the entire cordon might have been more than 2km in length.
It wasn't a very smart thing to do while running on empty on a cold winter's night, but I didn't opt for the deguchi
along the way. Optimism and 24 hours with no sleep will do that to you.
After passing Daimaru for the second time on the other side of the road, even the optimistic Japanese around me were going "What the [slightly more polite expression for hell
It was like stumbling into a strange roundabout marathon around the Motomachi district of Kobe. We just kept going and going along the cordoned off streets and wondering if we should just get out of this crazy rat race. It took a while until I finally noticed that the people in front of me were not two girls and one guy as I originally thought but two guys and a girl. One of the guys was in a poofy skirt, black and pink hoodie and more make-up than his red-haired girlfriend. This is only notable because I saw the three of them again at the train station in Umeda later in the night--coincidence?
After almost one and half hours, I made it to the start of the Luminarie.
You get to walk through the pretty shiny arcade of lights until you reach an area packed with people and food stands--and another castle-like structure made of pretty lights. The thousands of people around you are also taking photos so no-one minds if you stop and take your own.
It might not be worth it if you're dead tired and sleep deprived, but it's a mad kind of fun. Could not go to Yuzuwaya as it closes at 7.30pm.
Labels: Japan, Osaka, RL, what i did on my vacation