Adventure Days · Japan

Osaka, Japan: Adventure Day 1

We had a nice relaxing morning. The kids and I got up about 7:30, and were trying to be so quiet, because L said Ty was still in bed. So we’re quietly trying to watch a show snuggled in my bunk bed, when Ty comes in from a run. Outside in the rain! Never trust a kid when they say they’ve looked for something 🙂

We bought some pancake mix and eggs at the market yesterday. So I went to work attempting to cook in two pots, with only two forks, two spoons, and lots of chopsticks. Didn’t turn out too badly according to the family.

We finally left the apartment around 10am. It was raining really hard, and we all have raincoats, but only two umbrellas. Logically, I suggested the kids share, while Ty and I share. Well this caused some drama, so R stormed off without an umbrella. Such is life lately…

Ty went back to work deciphering the train/subway system. I took a picture of this schedule board. I have no idea how you’re supposed to interpret this!

We made our way to Osaka Castle Park to see the largest castle in Japan. The bummer was it was closed today. But we knew we could walk around the park, and still view it. It was raining pretty hard still but the kids spied a play ground so we went for it. The only thing that was really fun was this giant roller slide!

Ty and I both gave it a turn as well. It was really fun. The only bummer was I didn’t have my camera ready when Ty came flying down on his first turn, hit the landing pad and went tumbling into the mud! Poor guy even scraped up his hand. L took a tumble going to fast as well, however he managed to land directly in a giant puddle. Soaked everything from the waist down.

Very thankful I happened to be prepared for the rain, and brought extra pants for him and R. But his socks, and shoes were soaked. So I fashioned some foot protection out of umbrella plastic bags, and then slide his wet socks and shoes on over. Whatever works when traveling!

We then hopped on this little train that drives you around the castle grounds, and by now the rain had stopped. It was really a mood lifter when that happened.

The moat wall was incredible! Reminded us of the Incas.
R is super into carrying L this trip.
Impressive and beautiful
This was a beautiful little temple we came across.

We then walked to the Shitenno-ji Temple which is one of the oldest temples in Japan.

These were tiny turtle cakes. So sweet, light, and fluffy! Turtles are apparently a symbol of longevity.
Walking up that temple, pictured above. Nothing great at the top, or to view. But it was a fun double staircase…
I carried this bag of trash around for at least an hour before we finally found a garbage can. This city is so clean but there are very few public trash cans!
Wishing well
Aren’t these beautiful manhole covers?
Back on the subway again!

We made it to Doutonbori Street. A famous street for food and shopping. Our destination was an Owl Cafe. Totally prepared ourselves for it to be a bit sad, but we were also very excited.

There were able 12 different owls there. All tied to their own perches. You weren’t supposed to pet their feathers or try and grab them. But you could go up and stroke their beaks. Seems totally bizarre to go straight for an owls beak, but the majority of them were totally fine with it. A few puffed up their feathers, so we left them alone. The shop owner said the smaller ones nipped, so we didn’t bother them either.

Like we thought, it was a bit sad seeing these beautiful animals all tied up, but the experience was definitely once in a lifetime. They were incredible to view up close, and to touch. We decided to go ahead and spend a bit more for the kids to be able to hold one one their arm.

L was fearless, and loved this grey one.
I couldn’t even see their beaks!
This one was safe for us to get close to photograph with.
Beautiful animals.
Stroking, not poking 🙂
L was thrilled!
R was so out of her comfort zone!
This was the quietest, and slowest I’ve ever seen L!
3 out of 4 Hampton’s are smiling 🙂

After the cafe, we walked the street for a bit till we came to an arcade. The claw games are HUGE around here. We watched a guy win one of these super expensive HP wands, so we got sucked into it. As expected, we didn’t win anything. The kids were heartbroken, but we all learned our lesson. Never trust a claw game!

Just call us SUCKERS!

We were right around the corner from the Osaka City Office which they decorate with lights for Christmas. So we checked it out. They also had this sidewalk arched with lights, and timed to music. It was beautiful!

My dancing girl!

After this we were in desperate need of food. We tried to find this Indian restaurant Ty had tea searched. But to no avail. So we scrapped the plan, and went back to the subway. At the last stop Ty had spied a Mo’s Burgers. We went with the easy convenience, and knew there would be no fussing. It was delicious! We even bought some donuts for after we made it home.

The subways here are so nice, and so quiet. My technique for keeping my loud active children, quiet and still, has been to plug them into an audiobook if we’re riding for more than one stop. Audiobooks literally save us so many times when we travel. This is why my kids have listened to the entire Harry Potter series at least 5 times, and the entire Narnia series at least 3 times. I also don’t feel guilty about this like I do electronic shows, and games.

So L got a Fitbit for Christmas and is super into checking how many steps he’s done, and comparing it to Ty and I. He’s crazy active, like we knew, but he was so close to hitting 30k steps, that Ty and him ran a few more blocks at the end of the night. Just so he could hit that goal! My feet were dog tired from all my walking and that kid was still doing wind sprints up the street. He’s impressive.

We got the kids in bed by 8:30 and It’ll be a reasonable night for Ty and I as well. We’re riding the train and off to Kyoto tomorrow. Let the positive adventures continue!

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