Osaka would be my last stop before heading back to Toronto via Tokyo. Originally I had planned to spend my last week in Tokyo – not to sight see, but to shop, eat, and visit familiar territory. With Fukushima still somewhat unresolved, and my plans changed as a result, I decided to push Osaka to the end of my trip and do any shopping I needed/wanted to then. Osaka, while certainly not as large as Tokyo, has its share to offer both near Osaka station and Namba station, the later being where I decided to get a hotel (the area known as Minami).
The area around Namba has its share of nightlife and restaurants, as well as Den Den Town, which is similar to Akihabara only smaller / less developed. The hotel I had picked described its location as over Namba JR station, and after arriving at Shin Osaka (the Shinkansen Osaka station from Nagoya), I made the mistake of trying to take JR the whole way there rather than use the subway system. The route required a couple of transfers, a lot of delay, and probably cost me an hour at a couple of dollar savings. Lesson learned.
Arriving early afternoon, I checked into the hotel early and decided to crash for a while. Almost six weeks have passed since I arrived in Japan, and this would be my final leg of the trip. While Osaka has several sights worth seeing, my focus for the next few days was set on camera shops, comic stores, restaurants, and sleeping in.
Late afternoon arrived and I headed out to get my bearings and eventually take in some dinner and nightlife. I headed up and down Namba Walk, an underground shopping path that connected several subway/rail stations, checking out the various shops and restaurants on offer before emptying onto the street at Sennichi-mae Arcade and walking towards Dōtombori and Dōtombori-gawa, where most of the restaurants could be found.
As I happened to be in the area, I located the Apple Store and decided to see if I could get my iPhone screen replaced (which I had dropped and shattered in Kobe). No such luck. Apparently, in Apples infinite wisdom they decided to essentially glue the screen onto the main assembly board, which meant pretty much the whole phone needed to be replaced just to change the front glass – and since my phone is locked to a carrier in North America, they couldn’t provide me with an ‘unlocked’ replacement. Even if I was going to pay for it. My iPhone repairs would have to wait until returning to Canada.
I wandered around exploring for a bit, before deciding to grab some dinner (Yakiniku), and finishing up for the night.