Japan 2015 - last day, in Osaka

Today was my last day in Japan! Boo! I woke up early in my prison cell, because I had to be out by 9 or else pay for another night, and headed out into a really cold morning in the middle of Osaka! It was early and everywhere was still mostly closed, and this was the first day I was in the same place as a previous day with no particular plans. I made my way to the subway and headed off to Namba station, where I'd be leaving to go to the airport later , and stored my luggage for the day. I found a little cafe serving breakfast and had some french toast and 'royal milk tea', which is apparently not Japanese for simple white British tea. Whatever it was, it was pretty disgusting, but it did contain tea so I wasn't too put out.
Being my last day I had all my yens to spend if I wanted, so some shopping was in order at some point, but everywhere seemed to be closed and I'd also heard that the Umeda Sky Building was actually worth it. I'd been up Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand during last year's holiday and hadn't bothered with this one when I was in Osaka on Saturday, but I thought it would make a good activity for today. I made my way to the north part of Osaka, and on the way detoured through 'Yodobashi', a massive multi-storey electronics store I'd read about.
As well as electronics it had a whole floor dedicated to real nerdy stuff like comics and video games and models of characters from anime, but more on that later - there's plenty of that in Osaka to be found!! After a quick tour of Yodobashi, I headed across to the Umeda Sky Building. It was very tall! Definitely worth the price of admission, gave some amazing views of the city from above.
After that I went to look around the shops again. I found Osaka really confusing and hard to navigate the first time, so it was good to start to get a feel for what was going on. I jumped on the subway to go south aways, to the location of several distinct shopping districts. The one I was pretty keen to have a good look around was 'DenDen Town', where geeks probably go when they die. There are absolutely tons of shops dedicated to nerd stuff - video games, comics, trading cards, anime, models - it's unbelievable. I spent a good while wandering around in disbelief at the sheer volume of stuff available. I'd find a shop with literally 5 floors, each the size of a Waterstones, filled to bursting with row after row after row of mangas. And then round the corner there'd be another one, exactly the same! There were shops completely dedicated to trading cards, models of robot figures from the anime Gundam Wing, manga; you name it, there were ten shops selling it. All within this little district of Osaka.
I guess it's probably kind of a boring day to hear about, I meandered around shops packing stacks of Super Nintendos, spent some yens on Magic cards (300 yen for a booster pack! That's like HALF the prices in the UK!), goggled at the variety of trading card games I'd never heard of (Magic is probably the most popular in the UK, but totally superseded in Japan by several others). One of the most apparently popular card games involved lots of pictures of cartoon girls in various states of dress or undress! Eventually it was dinner time. I had been having cheap meals the last few days, so I wanted something a bit more pricey today, and I thought it would be interesting to have some 'posh' sushi, rather than the conveyor belt sushi I had in Nara with my host family. And it was certainly interesting! I ordered a plate of mixed nigiri (slice of fish on rice), and tried some stuff I'd never had before. The worst one was the first one I ate, shellfish or something, it was completely impervious to chewing. The best one, to my surprise, was 'unagi' - eel!

After that it was time to head back to the airport for my late flight. I bid farewell to Osaka and Japan, collected my luggage, and shot away on the train. With just 300 yen left in my wallet! I've had a great time in such a short time; I'm really glad I came. I feel totally ready to come back another time! What else has Japan got to offer?

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