Sunday, May 18, 2008

Tripping around

Chris was visiting Japan for the last couple of weeks so we had a few days to ride around together and check out Osaka. This was the first time I've had a chance to show anyone around the Osaka I know, and by seeing the city through her eyes, I got to trip out again on a lot of things that I've somehow gotten used to.

We rode all around the one day. Down in Shinsekai (新世界) we saw this game called The Marine Catcher. All over Osaka there are these game shops that are full of all manner of games - video games, gambling games, and tons of these so-called catcher games. This, however, is the weirdest one I've seen yet. You use two buttons to position the catcher device for a single grab at the live shrimp in the basin. The prize you get for winning the game is the live shrimp that you caught. I guess you could take it to a nearby shop and ask the chef to make it into sushi. The sign with the sexy girl says ebi, which as anyone who's ever eaten sushi knows, means shrimp.

Later that day we went up to Nipponbashi (日本橋), which is were the otaku hang out in Osaka. It was a Sunday, so it was pretty crowded. Chris was looking for an anime figurine for a friend of hers, but I convinced her to come with me into a manga shop that only carries manga for girls. I forget the name of the shop but the subtitle was in English and read, "For the Ladies."

I had heard about a new trend in girl's manga featuring boy-on-boy love, but this in no way prepared me for what we saw in the store. Although there was other stuff, the place was basically packed with gay loves stories. In a strange twist on the gay love story scene, I was the only guy in the crowded shop and from the looks I was getting from the customers, I clearly did not belong. Below, you see some of the staff picks.

Eventually, we found a figurine shop for anime fans, but since the prices started at around 5,000, Chris decided not to get one for her friend after all.

That evening, I took this shot of my bike on one of the bike bridges in the northing part of the city.

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