Exploring Osaka

I thought I would be able to sleep in more today but Sammie came knocking at our door at 4:30 a.m. this morning.  So–up and at ’em again!  I woke up and prepared for the day. I went to the station to get some breakfast and decided on an ekiben meant to be a body healthy type of bento (there were so many to choose from!) and had it with a grapefruit collagen drink.

I don’t know if the collagen drink did anything for my skin’s appearance, but I had never had it before and wanted to see what it was like. The taste of the drink was fine. I don’t know if I believe that a collagen drink will make my skin appear healthier and more youthful, but collagen products sure are a trend in Japan.

Breakfast fueled us for a long day of shopping at Shinsaibashi. So many stores and so little time. We stopped at McDonald’s to get a taste of a limited time only Shaka Shaka Ume Fries and a Sakura Cherry McFizz.  It is fun to try things that are only in Japan and only for a limited time. The McFizz was a pretty color, but I’m not a huge soda drinker. It was a refreshing, sweet afternoon pick up me after walking and walking and walking. I enjoyed the salty ume flavored fries but didn’t love it so much that I went back to get more while still in Japan.  Sammie and I did a video review of our McDonald’s purchase. I’ll post a 15-second portion of the video clip on Instagram (@LivingHiloStyle) and Facebook (Living Hilo Style).   We made shopping stops at LUSH, Daiso, and Don Quijote. At Don Quijote, we found the white chocolate-filled, mini daifuku mochi that Aaron and I have been looking for since we tried it during a visit to Hokkaido around 15 years ago. We really liked it at that time but could never find it on subsequent trips. It was good but I think my memory of the mochi is better than what it tastes like to me today.  Aaron was happy to have found and eaten it again.We found a shop called Dr. Stretch where the employees are trained in stretching techniques. Steven has tight muscles and isn’t so great at stretching on his own. He has been running a lot at home and a little while we were in Japan so we signed him up for a 30-minute session of stretching. It looked amazing. I would rather do that once a week than have a massage. I don’t get massages regularly (or ever), but based on what I saw, I want to get stretched out!

Came back to the hotel for a short break, packed some bags to send to our final stop in Tokyo with a delivery service so we don’t have to drag it all over Japan with us. We went back to the station for dinner and found an izakaya (again). No English menu so I get to order what I want since no one else reads Japanese menus in my family. My family is lucky that I know what they like to eat and am willing to order it for them.

Nagaimo, bacon, grilled eggplant, chicken karaage, sashimi, shiitake, french fries, onigiri, ochazuke, and of course, sake and beer were some of the things we ordered. Aaron was trying to practice his Japanese language skills and tried reading the menu.  I had to break it to him gently that he was looking at the menu sideways. What a fun day in Osaka.

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