On my own, I went to the cafeteria to get some breakfast (I was really after some more melonpan but they didn’t have any. I’m hooked! Already found a recipe online.) and bought an open-faced omelet-type roll and a cup of tea and met Corban at the bus stop at 10:25. We were headed to the Osaka Castle. It was a field trip so it was ok for Corban to skip one of his classes, right????? After the bus, we bought rail tickets to get closer to where we were going, then another ticket for a different train. At one of the stations, we went out into the Umeda area of Osaka, and found another “must see” attraction, The Osaka Sky Building. It took a while to find out how to get to the building visible in the distance and then to the top but we made it. If only the day had been clearer. (If you want to see really good pictures, go to the link.) We took our time (since you have to buy a ticket to go to the top). The Japanese are real business people! There is a small little place to the side of the walkway around that you can “rent” at night as a “love couple.” After you PURCHASE a love locket, you can place it on the fence around the area. Business opportunities!!!
It was lunchtime and we found the basement restaurant area which has been created to look and feel like an early 20th century Japanese street. We picked a cafe. Ramen soup! As we were leaving, a water fall suddenly began onto the large boulders outside the plate glass windows. What was this all about? That was when we discovered the “garden” that was to the side of the sky building. A walk through the tranquil park (which was developed to provide tranquility among the concrete!) brought us upon a man studying or demonstrating (I could never quite figure that one out) lightening bugs. He gave one to Corban to hold and it was “love at first light!” The bug would not leave. LOL
Another area near the rail station was a recently opened shopping center. I don’t mean like our strip malls, but department stores upon mall stores including gourmet food counters (that reminded me a lot of our cosmetic counters in big stores) and a grocery store. We wandered around there going from the ladies shoe floor!!!! to the Pokeman Center to the craft supplies……you get the picture. This whole stop took much more time than we had planned and Corban had a “dinner party” lined up back at campus. So, we decided to skip the castle and head back to campus. The okonomiyaki dinner was at 7:30. We still had to buy groceries. And, we would have made it if it weren’t SO CONFUSING to find the right train and make the right bus stop! We got on one train headed home with a necessary change to another train, however what Corban didn’t realize was that during commuter hours it skips the stop we needed to make!!! So, as soon as we could, we got off and went back the other direction to get the right one. Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!!!! (At least the stations are clean.) He texted the invited friends to change the time to 8:00 but his phone died so he wasn’t sure if the word got out! We got off the train, took a bus toward campus. Got off at the grocery store. Bought groceries and walked the rest of the way home. Whew!
Okonomiyaki, Corban style. On the front patio area of the dorm, we plugged his big round electric griddle into the two linked-together extension cords coming out of the window from the lobby. The 3 Chinese girls began shredding the cabbage and the rest of the crowd began to gather, about 10 total. Corban mixed the shredded cabbage with flour, eggs and water (I think that’s all) and made a pancake like thing on the griddle. When the bottom was browned, he topped the “pancake” with meat and veggies and seasonings and flipped it. When done, it was cut up into small portions and shared. This continued until all the ingredients were used up! (including the octopus!) Oh, he also made another kind of dish when he ran out of cabbage. The “event” lasted until after midnight. Good times talking with his friends. They must all be really smart because I don’t know when they study.