After a long day yesterday that involved very little sleep I crashed pretty good last night.

After falling asleep around midnight I didn’t wake up til 11am this morning.

Ben had gone out to teach a class in the morning and Yuka had gone to work as well.

At 11:30 Ben came back from his class and we both headed out for a full day.

In fact we wouldn’t return home til 9pm at night.

First we went to City Bakery.   Not for their baked goods but for their amazing¬†burgers instead.   I had seen a photo of Ben’s a few weeks ago of him eating one and I told him I needed to go there too when I got into town.

I got the burger with everything on it – cheese, bacon, onion, avocado.   And not just like a few slices of avocado like you get on a burger back home but the whole¬†frickin’ avocado.

Yeah, this burger made a huge mess and it was awesome.

After burger mania we walked over to where they have community bikes available for the public.   For 400 yen ($4) we each rented a bike for 3 hours.

It was the perfect day to go cycling as the sun was out and shining but, unlike the last few cities, it wasn’t God awful humid out.

We biked over to Osaka castle – a castle in town surrounded by two moats and some beautiful greenery.

It’s such a contrast to the roads and buildings nearby and a really beautiful place to spend the afternoon.

We rode around the moat and outer wall and then went inside the walls and up the castle.   The castle is actually pretty small by castle standards but it did give some great views of the city around us.

By 4:30 we had cycled back to the center of the city to drop off the bikes.   We went to pay and found out we had been charged for 3 bikes each instead of one bike.

Luckily there was a man who worked with the company there and he fixed it for us.   He spent time on the phone calling the company and then told us there was no charge for us.

It wasn’t until after that we realized it was actually our mistake.   We re-enacted what we had done on the machine for him and discovered when we had pressed the button “3” for 3 hours it was actually for 3 bikes.

Oops, our bad!

I bought some pants because walking around in shorts in the evenings here is kinda cold.   They actually will hem the pants for you right away in the store free of charge.

Gotta like that!

After a nice, long search for an ATM that actually takes foreign cards, we met up with Yuka and her friend Waka for dinner at 6:30.

We went to a restaurant and sat in seats around the chef as he cooked up different dishes on his grill in front of us.

We just kept ordering item after item from him and in the end our bill was 10,000 yen ($100) which is actually pretty good considering there were 4 of us and we each had 2 drinks as well.

Sashmi plate

Hoke fish

Bacon wrapped asparagus


Shitake mushrooms and a cucumber salad

Crab and cheese croquettes

Rice cakes

Grilled onion

At 8:30 we left the restaurant and Waka headed back home as she had a long hour and a half trip to get there.

We stopped by a little gyoza place afterwards and ordered an order of gyoza to finish off our dinner.   No seats inside so we just ordered takeout and ate it on the bench outside the restaurant.

By now it was close to 9pm and it was time to head home.

The subway here is crazy busy – even at 9 at night.   Considering there are 12 cars on the train and the train runs every 2 minutes, the fact that it was so packed is amazing.

We arrived back home soon after and watched some tv to unwind.

And had some cheesecake and a smiley face cream puff.

Always a great way to end the day…

Asia Trip 2014, Trip Journal

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