Osaka: Tempozan and Baseball

Tired tired tired! But we had another great day.

We got a bit of a late start this morning (much-needed). Our first stop was Tempozan, near Osaka’s port. And our first first stop after getting out there was an early lunch at a kushikatsu joint in the kitschy restaurant area inside Tempozan Marketplace.

Kushikatsu is super neat. It’s a style of food that is entirely made up of food threaded on skewers and fried. You pay by the skewer. We had tiny fish, and pork, and chicken, and yam wrapped in shiso, and lotus root stuffed with minced meat, and purple sweet potato croquettes, and shrimp, and asparagus. In front of your seat is a bucket of communal sauce, into which you dip your skewer ONLY ONCE (there are signs everywhere).

After lunch it was time to pose for some goofy pictures

And then head to the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. This aquarium is amazing. It’s easily one of the best in the world. Parts were super crowded, so be prepared to go up-up on dada’s shoulders if you want to see the river otters being fed.

They have some of the biggest aquarium tanks I’ve ever seen, which you can view from multiple levels as you follow the spiral-shaped path through the building. The theme is the Ring of Fire, so there are tanks for each of several regions along the Ring of Fire, including the Aleutians, the coast of Chile, Monterrey Bay, and the Great Barrier Reef.

They also have a section of smaller tanks with some truly amazing jellyfish as well as these ridiculous spider crabs. I have never, never, seen crabs this big. 

They also had penguins, and capybaras, and dolphins, and all sorts of wonderful animals. Ami loved it.

She even got to pet a ray.

After our odyssey though the aquarium, we had a much needed ice cream cone. I ordered my cone Country Ma’am style, which apparently means with a cookie jammed into it. Ami chose strawberry (who is surprised?).

Then, Logan, Ami and I hopped onto the giant Ferris wheel, which is apparently one of the biggest in the world. It is HUGE. And I somehow didn’t get a picture of the whole thing.

But here are Logan and Ami in it.

And here is Ami teaching her new stuffed river otter proper etiquette for getting in and out of the Ferris wheel cabins

And here is a view out of the window. It’s incredibly high! It is possible to wait a bit to ride a mostly transparent gondola with a see-through floor, but we went with a nice, solid-feeling green guy with an opaque floor. Even then my stomach lurched a bit!

Then, it was off to the Osaka Dome to see if we might be able to catch a pre-season baseball game! AND WE DID IT!

Go go Orix Buffaloes! 

This was Ami’s first major league type baseball game, and she was SO into it.

I was so excited to get to see a baseball game in Japan! They take baseball very seriously here. There ar drum and horn corps for the home and away teams! Today, the Buffaloes were playing the Hiroshima Carp. The game was pretty sparsely attended, which was honestly fine with a toddler. Ami really got into cheering and clapping and asked me a lot of questions about the rules of baseball. (“Why people clap? Why man hit ball?”)

Also, we got to eat neat Japanese baseball snacks, including grilled beef tongue and chicken fries, and we ordered beer from young women with kegs strapped to their backs.

I got some sort of crazy alco-pop with grape flavored ice cubes in it. In retrospect, I should NOT have ordered a drink with purple ice in it, because keeping Ami away from it was almost impossible.

Video! I promise, even though it looks like it at the beginning of this clip, Ami was not drinking Logan’s beer.

We left in the top of the 6th, because even though the game was being played with incredible efficiency, it was getting a bit late for the toddler. Thus, off in search of okonomiyaki, Osaka’s famed savory pancake! Found good ones, too.

Then back to our apartment! The subway seemed super crowded to me for 10:30 on a Wednesday evening.

Tomorrow: One more day in Osaka! 

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