In the afternoon, I caught the limited express train from Tsu Station, and less than two hours later I was in Namba Station, one of Osaka's major train stations. It's nice because the Kintetsu line, which passes through Tsu, goes straight to Osaka. I never knew it was so easy to go there! Anyway, I had to take another train to Kongo, where the Woykes live and run a church. They'll actually be passing off the church to a new pastor this year, as they're retiring soon! So I wanted to visit while they're still around.
Anyway, I got to their house a little before dinner, so we chatted, ate, and then spent a quiet evening chatting some more, watching a little tv, and playing a game before heading to bed.
I went to church with the Woykes in the morning, of course. Their church, like most Japanese churches, is pretty small.
Outside. There's a cross on the roof, although it's a bit hard to see in this picture.
Waiting for the service to start. I really liked the desks, actually!
Giving my testimony, all missionary-like and stuff. I introduced myself in Japanese...
...and Doug Woyke translated the rest. Someday I'll be able to give my testimony all in Japanese!
After church, Shan, another missionary in Osaka who joined us, went to lunch with us. We ate at Bikkuri Donkey, which is basically mostly hamburgers. Japanese-style hamburgers, on a plate, which have shown up in my blog many times before. They're at so many restaurants here.
This one had a "cheese packet" inside. It was amazing.
I don't remember where I saw this, but I was amused.
After lunch, I went back with Shan to her place for a little while, and then we headed over to the Komyo church, where she works with the Ewing family.
And here it is!
Is that a guitar?! lol most of the JBC (Japan Baptist Conference, related to NAB) churches are very traditional. Paul Ewing is mixing things up.
Their cute tea time setup. Because, in Japan, there's always tea time.
I really like their setup.
So I gave my testimony here as well, with Paul translating. I didn't take any pictures this time though lol. Paul also led worship and preached. I found his message to be easy to understand, even in Japanese, so that was nice~ I really enjoyed both church visits. <3
Their church starts at 4pm, so by the time it's over, it's about dinnertime. So all of us- the whole Ewing family (including the three boys), Shan and I went to a katsu place.
Yummy~ <3 And they gave refills (?) on cabbage lol. Awesome.
And from there, we went to the Ewing's house for dessert, and we pretty much just hung out and talked and watched tv together all night. It was awesome. A personal highlight: helping Paul pick out which Arashi cd to buy for his oldest son. He and his friends apparently dance to Arashi's songs, and he's a bit of a fan. He's 11. I love it. <3
My day for tourism! I stayed with Shan, and we took our time in the morning. This is the view from her apartment's balcony.
So anyway, we took a train to Namba, and from there we started to walk. We passed through a pretty interesting shopping/market kind of area?
It just looked so...Japan to me.
No idea what these are.
There were fish hanging from the ceiling in some places. Consider yourself lucky I'm only posting one picture.
After a while, our wanderings took us to a little takoyaki shop. Takoyaki was one of my food goals for Osaka, because although you can get it other places, it's one of the foods Osaka is known for. We got cheese for a topping, which was pretty much the best idea of all time.
So from there we went to an area called Dotonbori. Apparently this is a necessary tourist destination, if for no other reason than to take a picture with the Glico man.
Yeah. This guy.
A highlight of my day: A bunch of guys, maybe university age, came up to Shan and I at this point and, very bravely, asked, in English, for Shan to take a picture for them. And then she asked a question about the camera in Japanese and they were like EHHHHH SHE SPEAKS JAPANESE. It was pretty great.
Heading towards the shopping area. We went this way later.
Huge Arashi ad~ <3
And another. I love Japan. This ad was everywhere in the shopping area too.
No Arashi over here. Psssssh.
And facing the other way again. Apparently this area looks pretty cool at night. Maybe next time~
Back a little ways, near the building where we ate lunch. That building on the left there was interesting. I don't think I've seen a building like that since coming to Japan.
The view from the restaurant we ate at. Lots of people!
They recommend the noddles.
So yeah, our lunch was okonomiyaki, which is often described as a kind of pancake. I wouldn't really compare the two; okonomiyaki is savory, with batter and cabbage as the base, and then whatever other ingredients mixed in. At some places you cook it yourself; this place did it for us.
End. She put...a LOT...of mayo on mine...
We underestimated how full we were from the takoyaki. We had to really try to leave this little lol.
So after that we did some shopping (there are cute, cheap clothes in Japan if you go to the right stores) and walked around the area before getting on a train to go to Umeda, another area of Osaka. Our goal here: to ride the giant Ferris wheel. I'd love to go at night sometime, but during the day is cool too: you can see what all the different buildings are. I took pictures until my camera died lol.
Shan told me they're building a train station here. It looks pretty cool from above!
The weather was AMAZING.
So many buildings!
You could kinda see the bay from way up at the top.
I really can't even wrap my mind around how big this city is.
Got kind of a different view on the way back down~
It was so, so pretty. I'm really glad Shan took me on the Ferris wheel. After that, we shopped a little more, and then we were going to go to Baskin-Robbins, but then we had a better idea: gelato!
All of my pictures from here on out were taken with my iPhone lol. I took this one myself. Yay front-facing camera!
And then we made our way back to Namba, where Shan was going to take me to dinner at a Hawaiian burger place. But it was closed! So we went to a bagel place instead.
Terikaki chicken on...I think it was a tomato and parmesan bagel?
With apple juice and pumpkin soup.
And then we went to Starbucks, where I got a super cute cherry blossom tumbler (apparently they have a different one every year). It was perfect for me to take my caramel macchiato (sp?) with me, because after this, I caught my train back to Tsu.
For interested parties, my haul from Osaka: two books, two sweaters, Starbucks tumbler, and...
...Ninja Hello Kitty. Has nothing to do with Osaka, but I needed it.
Anyway, I had a wonderful time and Shan and I were already talking about what we'll do next time I come. I wasn't there for long, but Osaka seems like a really great city. <3