As per regulations, Japan blogs are now filled with pictures of cherry blossom (or sakura). Now Moore Than This gets in on the action, following a hanami (flower-viewing trip) to Osaka castle yesterday with some friends. Before setting off from Hirakata on the train, we grabbed some sushi from a supermarket and I bought some beer and sake at a liquor store (with the splendid name “Liquor Mountain”). When we all met up in Osaka, one guy got a load of food from Wendy’s as his contribution to the picnic – East met West in a delicious fashion.
Looking through the photos of our day out, it seems like the weather was horrible and overcast, when really it was very nice, milder than it has been for a long time. It only started getting overcast towards the end of the afternoon, when we decided to leave. I was slightly the worse for wear, but hey, I was engaging in Japanese culture – everyone gets plastered on sake at hanami. Not sure if that engagement extends to standing on a crowded platform on the Osaka Loop Line swigging from a bottle of sake. Oh well. You’re only young and stupid once.
We took the train to Shinsaibashi, central Osaka’s shopping district, and wandered down the big covered arcade there. We saw some pretty odd things, like a pick-up game in an arcade where the prize was a load of creepy pod-babies. We finished off in an izakaya in Namba, the main nightlife place of Osaka, which is dominated by huge neon displays.
From viewing cherry blossom in the grounds of a castle to this in one day. After a rough week or so, getting out with some friends and enjoying myself has really given me a boost. My first sakura season has been brilliant. Here’s to spending many more of them in Japan.