Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mie - Hiro & Mayumi's house

We lugged our bags through the subway of Osaka for one last time (thank god!). We got our train to Mie. Hiro & Mayumi picked us up from the station with their cute as little boy called Rin, who is 5 years old.
We drove straight to the hospital. We waited for a while & then the old doctor came in. He didn't speak much english & so Hiro translated.
The doctor's way of testing the pain was to dig his fingers into my ankles & feet asking "Hurt? hurt"? My yelps of pain didn't need any translation.
I then had xrays (no lead blanket provided and no body asked if I was pregnant). Again the doctor reefed my feet into postion.

The xrays should nothing wrong with my feet bones. The doctor then wrote Thrombosis on a piece of paper & said that the rash may be an allergy. He prescribed me with antibiotics for the DBT, tablets for the allergy & cortizone cream for the rash.
He said that I need to keep my legs elevated and try not to walk too much.
He didn't seem too worried though as I do not have a fever & my glands aren't swollen.

We left & went back to Hiro's gorgeous house & sat & chatted for a while. We showered & then went out to dinner at a small oldish sushi house. The food was AMAZING! we tried just about every kind of fish topping. Including a very icky looking squid one.

We went back to the house & I hit the hay at about 8.00.
Mick and I are deciding wether to continue our trip or come home. Their is not much point hitting Tokyo if I can't walk around!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

more Osaka Day Two pics

Osaka - Day Two

We hit the insane Osaka subway system again & headed to Amerika-Mura. Amerikamura is a place that is filled with blaring shops selling cosplay outfits, designers thread, hip hop clothes, punk & rockabilly. It like a much louder Camden Markets. We spotted a number of girlies dressed up in their cosplay outfits. There were quite alot of shops selling very very cool rockabilly clothes (again mainly guys stuff) but also very expensive (a simple T-shirt was around $50AUS). In Amerikamura the object I think is to look as wacky as possible. The fashion of the young guys is hilarious. A mix of Eighties new wave & Twisted Sister. We found an amazing record shop called Timb Bomb which had just about all rockbilly/psychobilly/subculture vinyl & CD you could ever imagine...however, the staff were totally too cool for school and it was hard to muster even a small smile from the DJ. There was a Japanese psychobilly band playing around the corner that night for a cover charge of around $40 AuS. We would have liked to have gone but it was too expensive.
We stopped for lunch and had a delicious bowl of tomato/cheese ramen and a small bowl of apricot tofu. My feet were totally caning by now so we stopped at Sneaker Land & I found a new pair of shoes for only $25Aus Bargain!
We noticed a large crowd forming around this little square and a boxing ring thing had been set up. We asked a guy what was happening and he told us that it would be wrestling. We thought we would stick around.
Well the wrestling was like a really bad (but hilariously funny) comedy act. One guy was in a pair of speedos with goggles, one was normal, one was dressed as an old lady & the last was in purple wrestling gear. thankfully we videoed it. It was great!!
We then headed to Dotonbori. The object of Dotonbori is who can have the most lit up building & signs. Very very much like the Las Vegas strip. Dotonbori was packed with all sorts of crazy people and tourists. So much to look at! As it got darker we headed for the Nipponbashi Bridge which is a viewing point. It was so much fun to just stand on the bridge & people watch.
I ducked away to get some pics when a girl raced up to Mick & started singing into her megaphone some little ditty encouraging people to join in. She was totally mad..and as cute as a button!
The decided to go for a stroll along the when suddenly on the otherside, a Japanese BlueGrass band started playing (as part of a festival that is happening in Osaka). They were excellent.
Mick's shoes had started to blow out so we went on the search for Crocs... yes Crocs... the crocs over here are amazing and do not look like crocs at all. I thought it was time to try Takoyaki (like a pancake ball with squid in the middle). I thought they were yummy as.
We walked for AGES to no avail. We walked for ages & my feet were killing me so ducked into a sushi train place. Fantastic fresh delicious sushi for only 130 YEN a plate (about $1.90AUS) Needless to say we totally pigged out!
It was quite late so we headed back to the hotel. Osaka subway system needs to get some escalators. OMG so many stairs.
We stopped for a drink at a bar just up the road from our hotel that had earlier caught our eye.
It was filled with fantastic collectables from the 40s & 50s. Incredible. The lady who ran it was so lovely. One of the patrons opened up her big handbag & pulled out a dashund dog! It was a really cool bar.
We eventually got back to the hotel & had to put on some washing. When I went to get undressed I looked at the inside of my calves & noticed that I had a really angry looking red rash. It did not look good at all. My ankles & calves were super swollen. I had a cold shower and then looked up DBT on the net. Wow. I had most of the symptons of DBT & celutitis.
I got a bit upset so Mick rang Hiro in Mie and organised for me to see a doctor the next day.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Osaka- Day One

We got into Osaka to find that it's subway train system & exit from the station system involves a hell of a lot of stuffing around, swearing and stairs that go on forever.
We finally found our way out & got a cab to our hotel MyStays. Our hotel is very modern & our room is bigger than any we have had so far. Bliss.!
We got our stuff settled in and decided to go and have some early dinner & to go to the Giant Ferris Wheel. Said to be the largest ferris wheel in the world at 112metres high.
OK.. in Osaka (unlike Tokyo and Hiroshima) there is very little English on signage or anybody who speaks it. We found a big poster with the train lines (of which there are friggin hundreds) and found a random lady. We pointed to the only symbol of a ferris wheel & tried to ask for directions. She pointed us in the right direction.
After about 5 minutes of heading out into the boonies we started to get worried. We finally reached our stop out in the middle of nowhere. Yes there was a ferris wheel (in an amusement park).. a small ferris wheel. We realised we were in the wrong place. Mick used his best Engrish on a couple of trendy looking young girlies who could speak bugger-all english. They told us to follow them. They acted like they were headed for the BIG ferris wheel too! What Luck!
The took us to the next station & ushered for us to follow them to the connecting train. OK we thought. Then at the next stop they hurried us to a train & instructed us to get on quickly. We did. The girls then waved good-bye and called "last station last station!"as the doors closed!!!
We got off at the last station having NO idea where we were. We went upstairs and wandered around looking for this mystery ferris wheel. I mean how hard can it be to spot the biggest frigging ferris wheel in the world. No luck. By this time it was dark and we popped into a hawaiin bar for a drink. We asked the romanian bar chick if she knew where the ferris wheel was.
She drew us a picture of a ferris wheel with the Japanese word for ferris wheel and gave us the name of the suburb and told us 10 minutes by cab.
We flagged a cab & pointed to the pic. He finally got the gist.
After about 15 minutes & 2000 yen there it was.... THE FERRIS WHEEL.
We paid our 700Yen each & jumped aboard. It was very very high & I got a bit of vertigo.
But after all of that it was... well MEH. It did have a great view of Osaka city by night. Though I think by this time we were a bit over it.
Next to the wheel was a bit of a mall with weird shops... including THE NINJA SHOP. Thankfully Mick had bought his wrestling mask for such a photo opportunity.
We wandered around the various stores and then decided to get back to the hotel.
We got the train and then a cab back to the hotel totally knackered,chapped & swollen.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hiroshima Day Two - PM

Hiroshima Pics - Day Two AM

Hiroshima - Day two

We had a bit of a sleep in and then caught the tram up to the Peace Memorial Park again, this time to go to the Peace Memorial Park Museum.

We paid our Yen and got a headset to do the tour with English commentary. The tour took us about 1 1/2 hours and was one of the most interesting, confronting, emotional, sad, surreal, amazing experiences. Very very hard going in some places. Lots of salvaged items of clothing, watches, fused together glass, photos of the hideously disfigured and burned victims and photos of the deceased made it a very emotional tour. There were a number of times that I thought I was going to just break down and start crying. We didn't take any photos in the museum.

The end message of the tour & the Park though is a message of world-wide peace & hope.
We left feeling very heavy and found it a bit hard to talk for a while.
We then took the tram up to where we could walk to the Hiroshima Castle.
It had started to get very hot and so I was ducking for shade wherever I could. We eventually found the entrance to the Castle grounds. We stopped at the river to look at all the turtles & carp.
We finally got to the castle which was really really impressive. We could have paid and gone up to the top but it was way to hot to climb all of the stairs.
Too hot to walk we decided to cab it to wear the inside/outside shopping malls are. They are outside but have a big sunroof dome covering it. There are also shopping malls under the ground!
We naturally were drawn to the photo booth thingy again & the toy stores. I started to get a bit depressed because there was SO much fantastic retro, 1950s and kawaii stuff that I wanted to buy.
It was around 3.00 so we decided to get some Okonomiaki (which is like a pancake omlette with noodles and cabbage). We were now quite full so we waddled back to the hostel to have a rest and a shower.
At about 8.00 we decided to hire a couple of pushbikes from the hostel. Mick had the ingenius idea of attaching the video camera to the front of the bike. For an hour we peddled around the fantastically flat streets, wooping & waving at all the locals. Lots of fun. We have decided that we will definately be buying some bikes when we get home.
We had seen a noodle place just up the road from the hostel but when we got there it was closed so we wandered around before sticking our nose into a small eatery. It was unreal! It was filled and covered in Carps (the Hiroshima baseball team) memorabilia. Including signed bats & balls & posters. The boss was knocking back Lemon Sours & we had so much fun 'talking' to him & the cook (who had been to Brisbane for his honeymoon). We had some karage and some lemon sour & apple sour (so refreshing). Much to there delight we took photos with them. The cook took our photos and then vanished for 10 minutes only to come back with 2 copies of the actual photos. He had ridden up the rode to some photo printing place and had them developed! They then gave us a gift of an actual baseball from a Carps game & a plastic Carps baseball cap!!
We then thought we would try the big sardine. Sadly for Mick I got the back end of the sardine and he got the head & guts. He tried to pick up the good meat but the (now pretty drunk & very very funny) boss INSISTED that Mick eat the whole thing guts and all. Poor Mick held his nose and swallowed. YUCKY. We stayed until about 11.00 and had such a great time. We got there address so we will send them something when we get home. They seemed so honoured and a bit flaggergasted that on our honeymoon we chose 'their' place to eat in the whole of Hiroshima and we also wanted to stay & drink with them. The Japanese really are the most friendly, hospitable, polite, kind and hilariously funny people.
We hit the common room again to upload pics & check facebook. I hit the hay (oh wonderful bed) around 12.00 and Mick stayed up until around 1.00am chatting & drinking Chu-hi.