Japan Day 10 & 11: Mostly food & Nostalgia, and GIRLS’ LIPS =0

On August 1st, I rolled my butt out of the fold out bed, tried to make my face not look like a melting mess, and set out for my full day of Osaka adventure by myself. Nicole had to work until the afternoon so I was on my own to visit my old haunts and be a creepy lady on the streets of Osaka until evening.

I hit up Namba and the Minami Osaka area first and worked my way north through all of the shops that I used to like to frequent.

Can't start the day without a proper breakfast. To the Chococro! The most delicious chocolate croissants ever! And of course, some sort of mystery mayonaise corn pizza kinda thing.
When I saw this, I first thought, oh my god it's THAT damn hot here that they'd want a -2 degrees celcius bar to hang out in?? WTF! Then, later, I found out that they meant the BEER was super cold. Not the room. HURR HURR.
This is super messed up, but I regret not getting these. FIRST OF ALL: ZIMA is still a thing in Japan. It has been sicne it came out, unlike its debut in the US where it came out, flopped, and was tagged the drink of losers. SECOND OF ALL: This is part of a new promotion, where each bottle comes with a set of lips. ACTUAL MOLDS OF MODELS' LIPS. They're rubber, and you put them around the mouth of the zima bottle. When you drink from it, it's as if YOU ARE KISSING THAT MODEL'S LIPS. How. Messed. Up. Is That. But I love it.

More insanity after the jump:

The SPINNS store in Shinsaibashi/Namba. Check out Kyaari Pamyupamyu's huge face on the store front. The shop was PACKED in there, and it was super hard ot move around, hence I did not buy anything even though I LOVED everything.

I didn’t take a ton of photos while shopping, but I did manage to snag a bunch of cute shirts for my boyfriend, and some cute odds and ends for myself. Around 8pm, I met up with Nicole and we hopped over to Suntory Old Bar, the bar I used to work at when I lived in Osaka. I LOVE it there. It is SUCH an old man’s bar. The owner of the bar (in Japan, you call the owner of bars “Master”) was like a father to me and always looked after me, since he knew I was sort of alone when I lived in there. I started frequenting Old Bar about 2 months after I moved to Japan, and ended up working there part time about a year later. Anywhoo, we stopped by for a leasiurely drink and to chat about all manner of things.

Blurry photo of myself and Master ❀
We noticed he had a bottle shaped like a book on an upper cabinet and asked him what it was. Master said a client gave it to him and it was worth like over $500 or something! But it's already empty, haha. There was a cute alpaca phone strap hanging off the top, which Master then proceeded to gift to me because I said I liked it. ;.;
Master has all these awesome PHOTO ALBUMS (physical books of physical photos, guys!) fthat he keeps at the bar. Check out these pretty mofos. Thats Michelle K and I back in 2006. We rule.

This part of the story gets a little bit sad, so hang in there if you can, or just skip this paragraph. When we asked Master how business was going, he mentioned that because they’re remodeling this part of the neighborhood, the building that the bar is in was going to be torn down next year. So, that means Old Bar would disappear 😦 We asked Master if he wouldn’t just try to open up a new bar, but he said even if he did, he wouldn’t be able to keep the “Suntory Old Bar” name because Suntory was no longer licensing their name for any new bars. But, he said he was considering if he would open another bar, or go to work at a friend’s bar for a while. This legit made me cry, because I’ve had so so many memories in this bar, and as of next year, the place wouldn’t even exist anymore! This was the first place that I was able to make any Japanese friends in, and my friends all still work there, with the exception of 1 of them who ended up moving to Tokyo. Basically, there would be no easy spot to come and find them all again. I really hope he’s able to open another bar somewhere near by and hopefully bring the staff with him. I’m going to be so sad to see it go. I’m going to make a strong effort to go back to Japan again before next spring, which is when it’s due to be torn down, to see it one more time before it goes away.

Ah, sorry about the sad story, but it needs to be told! Stupid “rejuvenating of a city by tearing down all the old parts!” Japan is pretty good at that 😦

Aaaanywhoo! Nicole and I went out to grab some dinner after that along with her fiance Takashi who met up with us later. We ended up going to this kickass izakaya that overlooks the Dotonbori river and was “chicken-themed.”

We asked the waiter what this was supposed to be. I thought it was a horse. Apparently it is a chicken. Uhmmm yeah!
This is a ground chicken course, which was delicious. I don't know how to describe each thing but uhm. It was hella good.

So, Nicole can’t eat meat. I’m not sure if I mentioned that before. So! We went to the chicken place because it had a nice view and they wanted to show it to me, but Nicole was only able to eat like, a tray of rolled egg there, so we ended up going to ANOTHER izakaya after that because we are awesome fatties like that. We went to this place called Yumehachi, which is a chain of “300 yen” bars around Osaka. It’s prettyghetto and you can tell the people there hate their lives/jobs, but we had fun, and Nicole was able to actually eat something haha.

Nicole and Takashi contemplating their food fate.
Can I just say, after being a bartender in Japan for a few years this crapshould not phase me, but EW GROSS. Red bull and cassis liquer. DO NOT WANT.

After Yumehachi madness, which I barely even remember because I think we ordered 3 things then got the fuck out of there, we ended up going BACK to Old bar to hang out some more, haha.

The three of us are awesome.
This is Nobu, who was always paired with me for our bartending shifts. Maybe he's the only one who could deal with how terrible of a bartender I was, haha. Anyway we are homies. You can tell by this photo. I missed him so much 😦

We weren’t able to stay for more than 2 drinks because we had to hitch the last train home. It was bittersweet! We managed to make it in time for the train and have a nice leisurely walk back to Nicole’s house. We stayed up and drank a bunch of weird juice I got from the convenience store (mango milk?) and then hit the hay. Nicole had to go to work early the next day so she poked me in the face until I woke up so that I could give her a hug goodbye.

I roused myself from sleep for realsies around 10am, showered and headed out to go back to Tokyo for my last full day in Japan.

Quick shot of Nicole's house that she shares with her awesome roommates (and their many bicycles). My yellow suitcase stands out a lot haha.

On the bullet train platform, I quickly bought a bunch of snacks to eat. One box, with a picture of an octopus and “Takomusu” written on it sort of intrigued me so I got that.

REVEALED! It's Takoyaki on top of rice, wrapped in a seaweed wrap! It came with some mayo to dab on top, too! This was super good but OH MY GOD HEAVY AS HELL.
It was a beautifully clear, sunny day on the train ride back up to Tokyo.
No trip is complete without some purin! (aka "Pudding" but it's more like flan than pudding, and it is DELICIOUS)
And some Moomin-themed cheese bread to round out the snack pile. The bread was kinda weird, but it could have just been because I was pretty hungover this day.

Alright, I will continue with Day 11 of Japan at a later date! Day 11 & 12 ewwill be the last of my Japan trip posts, so you guys can stop rolling your eyes at all of my excessive photos πŸ™‚ HOORAY! The last post is going to be pretty epic, as it stars Tavuchi and her making me fall even more in love with Koeni, her awesomely cool neighborhood!

As always, check out my Flickin the sidebar for more pics!

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