Nagoya Rain

Its been pouring all day today. After work, I needed to stop at the supermarket for dinner, so I went through the side streets to save some time. The rain made the city lights look especially pretty.

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Mr. Photogenic

When I went to the zoo this weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting this cool guy in the Big Cats enclosure. He or she was about as big as a large golden retriever and just as friendly. He walked back and forth between viewing stations, looking at and posing for visitors. He or she seemed to especially like those with cameras. For those kneeling or kids in strollers, he or she would come to the glass and sit down, making eye contact with the visitor, and sometimes tilting its head.

A Trip to the Zoo

Since the weather wasn’t too cold, I decided to go to the zoo after my weekly Japanese class. The zoo was only a few stops away from my school in Imaike. 

So, after I got my homework assignment from the teacher, I grabbed a snack, and hopped on the train bound for Higashiyama Park.

About fifteen minutes, I was buying my ticket, and entering the park-slash-zoo-slash-botanical garden. Because I got there later in the afternoon, I didn’t have the chance to see everything, but I did enjoy my time there.

I saw some animals, though some of the enclosures were pitifully small for some of the larger animals. I saw a lion, a tiger, elephants, birds, koalas, seals, and a polar bear.

I spent most of my time im the greenhouses, looking at plants, and enjoying the heat. 

All in all, it was worth the six hundred yen admission and I look forward to visiting again, when I have more time, and the weather is a bit warmer.

The zoo is only a two minute walk from the Higashiyama Koen station, which is on the Fujigaoka-bound Higashiyama subway line.

A Snow Falls in Aichi

Got our first significant amount of snowfall this evening. I was on assignment at my old school in Anjo when my friend told me that we were forecast to get a decent amount of snow this afternoon. It was supposed to star around three, but it started sometime around five or six. 

It delayed the trains so it took a while to get home. 

Purfect Portraits

Towards the end of my winter vacation, I took a quick visit to one of my favorite cat cafes in Yabacho. While there, I played with the kitties and tool some pictures.

It had been a while since I had ladt visited an animal cafe, though I did try to visit a reptile one while in Osaka. Unfortunately due to it being so close to the holidays, it was completely booked up.

Each time I do find myself at one of these cafes, I tend to find myself disappointed, since the cats never seem overly interested in us two legged folk. 

One downside to living in Japan is not being able to keep a pet. Besides the logistical bits, such as apartment size and my work schedule, I alway worry about my residence status. If I had to leave the country tomorrow, heaven forbid, what would become of my furry friend?

That’s the thought that kept me from springing for a pet friendly apartment after I moved back to Nagoya.

The Night View from the Tempozan Ferris Wheel

After taking a ride on the Santa Maria cruise and cheking out the Kaiyakan/Aquarium, I tries the Tempozan Ferris Wheel. 

It’s heralded as the biggest wheel im the world, at 150 meters (their words) and the ride is part tour, part Osaka marketing. Surprisingly, the ticket was only ¥800.
I wanted the best pictures possible, although you’re not technically supposed to take them, so I waited on line for maybe fourty minutes so I could get a transparent car.
Once onboard, I was mesmerized by the view, dispite my mild dislike of heights. I could see Universal Studios Japan, the aquarium, a famous red bridge, and a good portion of the city. The ride lasted fifteen minutes.
If you have a chance to try it, it’s worth doing. It’s really not expensive and each car can fit up to five people.

First Class Cabin, an interesting capsule hotel in Namba, Osaka

As I said in my last post, I decided to take a short trip to Osaka, now that the Winter Holidays are upon us. Part of my decision was based on having been to Osaka in the past and the passing familiarity with it from said visits. The bigger factor was price. The bus tickets (roundtrip) were a meer ¥5031, after applying the points gained from my last trip. That should be a little less that $50 USD, I think.

After I purchased the tickets, I googled hotels and hostels in the area I wanted to visit. Since it’s the holiday season, with many people returning to their hometowns, pices were of course inflated greatly, Lucky for me, I’m pretty flexible.

This time, I was saved from another stint in Joysound (karaoke) when I found First Cabin. Their cheaper options were booked solid, but they had some nice rooms for about ¥5700 a night. 

This fee was for a room with a lockbox (the partician has no lock, though women and men are seregated by floor, with electronic locks), a pair of PJs to borrow, free Wifi, a public bath (again one for women and another for men) with sauna, and many amenities. It might not be a good fit for people who are shy about their bodies. 

Also available were VOD services, food, laundry, and massage services. I did enjoy a light snack before bed (tea and chilled tofu with toppings), as well as the ¥800 breakfast buffet service. Both Japanese and Western foods were available, but I prefer Japanese foods.

For my money I did get a lot, but there were three things that were not quite to my liking, though that’s more to do with me personally, I think. First, the bed was much too stiff, though the provided body pillow helped a lot. 

Second, the room was a bit dry, dispite the supplied humidifier, and I woke up with a nosebleed. Thankfully, I didn’t bleed on any linnens. Though, nosebleeds also happen at home.

Last, this is more of a nitpick than anything else, the baths are way too hot. The presoak shower was absolutely fine, but the big tub was very hot. After entering it, I remembered suddenly that Osaka is known for their love of hot baths. I soaked for about ten minutes before getting dressed and heading back to my room.

All in all, it was very worth the price. The location wad great (around the corner from Namba Walk exit 22), the staff were very nice, and I recommend it to those traveling through Osaka and are a bit open-minded about where they stay.

https://first-cabin.jp/en/