I'm still posting from internet cafes, so I'll keep this brief. I now have a couple of regular conversation partners for practicing Japanese. They both have very limited English and this is a great help. Most of the people I met for conversation in the first month were so much better in English than I was in Japanese, that we just stayed in English the whole time. If my conversation partner has very limited English, I am forced to try to make myself understood in Japanese. This means that I often have to try to say the same thing many different ways.
As some of you know, I love overpasses and fly-aways, which is weird now that I rarely drive on them. Nevertheless, Osaka has some spectacular ones. This picture is a bit of a patchwork, but it gives a good sense of the shear scale of the thing. Here, you see an intersection near my house where two large city streets meet underneath the merging ramps of two major highways.
Check out the way this freeway dives between the two buildings. The photo was taken from a low bridge over one of the northern canals.