Saturday, December 7, 2013

Osaka: Part 1

An early commute

We woke up and got ourselves ready for the commute to Osaka from Kyoto.
Basically, its a short train ride between two cities. One historical and the other, Japan's commercial hub which is also known as a party capital.
I came to know about the good street food of Osaka from Ryota Hazishume, a friend a fellow squid-jigging buddy.
"Samo-san, if you come to Osaka, you will experience its street food!," he said.

The weekend crowd to Osaka
Boarding the commuter

Oh, the crowd!

We walked over to the Kyoto Central station and boarded a commuter train to Osaka City station.
And the crowd was just immense! 
It felt as if we were swept away by the wave of people and as we reached the platform, I asked an elderly Japanese man if the train was headed the right way.
He said: "Yes" and we were on our way to Osaka.
To my surprise, this city is only about 25-minutes away from Kyoto. I was expecting a longer trip and when we got there, the task was to look for Hotel Granvia in Osaka City station.
This place is so huge, its literally surrounded by hotels and shopping malls.
You've probably heard of Daimaru, Takashimaya and Hankyu department stores, and here in Osaka, these are the giants in terms of retail.
After a brief search, we found the hotel and was told that we could only check-in after 2pm.

Pedestrian traffic: the crowd at Osaka City station

Skyscrapers dot the skyline in Osaka

Another view of the weekend traffic

A panoramic capture of downtown Osaka
We have one night to spare in Osaka and I'd pretty much summed up an idea of where to go and what to do.
First we had our luggage in the hold room.
I brought my Canon EOS5DmkIII with a 50mm F1.2L lens as my walkabout gear and left my Canon EOS7D behind with a selection of lenses on my Clik Elite Venture 35 photo backpack.
It was a risk, and I'm just too beat to lug my 15kg gear and pack.

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