November 2018 – Getting Old in Osaka

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The month marking my 50th year on the planet was one of my busiest and featured my first visit to Osaka.


Farewell New Friend

“Your Warehouse” in Kawasaki is, or should I say “was,” an amazing video game arcade. Spanning four floors of a large building, the first two floors were themed after a cyberpunk version of Kowloon. The front of the building was a two-story facade of apartments and businesses with an amazing attention to detail. Unfortunately, I did not hear about this place until it announced that it was closing. Still, my one visit was really impressive.

川崎のは凄いゲームセンターでした。大きい四階建ての建物の最初の二つの階はサイバーパンクの 九龍のテーマになっていました。建物の前は二階だてアパートとビジネス見たかったです。詳しい正面がありました。残念なことに「もうすぐ閉鎖」という広告を見るまでこの場所について聞いたことがありませんでした。でも行ってみてとても印象的でした。

Tokyo Design Festa Fall 2019

Although the last few editions of my favorite art event felt a bit tepid, I decided to spring for a two-day ticket this season as I did not have other plans that weekend. I am glad I did, because the show used some temporary Olympic Games space to effectively double it’s size and become, reportedly, the largest art event in Asia.

ここ最近の私の大好きな二、三のアートイベントはちょっとつまらなそうだったけ れど、
その週は他に予定がなかったから、二日間のチケットを 今回買いました。 そうして正解でした。なぜなら、臨時のオリンピック競技の場所を使って大きさが二倍になって、アジア中の一番大きい展覧会だと伝えられたからです。

I had an excellent time watching some goofy performances and my schedule had plenty of room to just stroll around and see all the live painting. Nothing in particular stood out. Rather, there was just a lot of fun stuff going on everywhere.

面白いパフォーマンスを見て素晴らしい時間を過ごしたし、ちょっとぶらぶらする時間もあったのでライブペインティングを見 ました。特別に目立つ物はありませんでした。でも、ところどころに面白い物がありました。

Osaka 2019

One of my biggest regrets from the first time I live in Japan was that I spent all my money on Japanese lessons and did very little traveling. So, for my 50th birthday, I went to Osaka for the first time.

前に日本に住んでいた時の一番大きな後悔は、 日本語のレッスンにお金を全部掛けたので、ほとんど旅行に行けなかった事です。 だから五十歳の誕生日に初めて大阪へ行きました。

I did all of the predictable touristy stuff one does in Osaka. The Umeda Sky Building is home to the world’s highest escalator and an amazing outdoor “cloud walk” on top of it’s 40th floor that is scary despite being completely safe.

大阪で観光客がする典型的な事をしました。 梅田スカイビルは世界で一番高いエスカレーターがあっ て、四十階にとても安全でも怖くてすごい「雲の道」が外にあります。

I visited the “Tower of the Sun,” the most famous work by Japan’s answer to Salvador Dali, Taro Okamoto.Outside, it is a beautiful, white four-story tower with three faces of the sun. Inside is a fourth face and a tree displaying all the stages of human evolution. It is a remarkable engineering and artistic achievement as was one of the highlights of 2019 for me.

岡本太郎(日本のダリ)の「太陽の塔」という一番有名な 芸術作品を訪ねました。外には美しくて四階 の塔で太陽の面が三つあります。中に四つ目の面があって人類の進化を表している木があります。すごくて 、工学と芸術の力作で2019年のみどころです。

Osaka Castle is another famous landmark. Although, as beautiful as the building is, I was more impressed by the giant stone walls that made up the entire castle area. Building this place must have been an unimaginable amount of work.


On my last of three days there, I checked out Den Den Town, which is Osaka’s answer to the Tokyo nerd paradise, Akihabara. Although smaller and not as visually impressive, it had its own charm and I wish I had left more time to explore it. Finally, I visited the very touristy but fun Dotonbori area, which is filled with restaurants featuring giant sculptures of their food.

三日目に、大阪の「オタク天国の秋葉原」と言われているでんでんタウンを訪ねました。 でんでんタウンは、秋葉原より小さくてはでだけど魅力的でもっと探索する時間があればよかったです。最後に観光客で混んでいて楽しい道頓堀を訪ねました。大きい食べ物の彫刻がたくさんあるレストランでいっぱいでした。

Osaka is called “Japan’s Kitchen” and I tried its most famous foods, okonomiyaki and kushikatsu, deep fried vegetables. Although I think the California-born Umami Burger might have been my favorite meal.

大阪は「日本のキッチン」というから、一番有名な食べ物、お好み焼きと串カツを食べました。 でもカリフォルニアの Umami Burgerが一番好きかもしれません。

End of the Month Rush

Near the end of the month I hit a bunch of events for which I do not have photos to share. The Tokyo Game Market was fun as always and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger. My acquaintance, Kumi Fukazawa, (whom you might remember from last month) had another, larger photo exhibition. And Cometia, my favorite comic book event, had an excellent showing, although it has far outgrown its short duration and I can no longer walk the entire show.

Brad’s Gaming Gamut

As ridiculously busy as this month was, I still fit in some gaming.In Okusawa I played Tapestry, an interesting but over-long euro, and the very popular, and very boring, Terraforming Mars. At work I played a few light card games including Piece of Cake, where you try to divide pies and take the most advantageous cuts, For Sale, the classic auction game, and Coyote, in which you can see everyone’s card but your own and have to guess the total points shown.

今月はありえないほど忙しかったけれどゲームもできました。 奥沢に「Tapestry」という面白くても長すぎるユーロをして、人気があってつまらない「Terraforming Mars」をしました。 会社で簡単な他のゲームをしました。 「Piece of Cake」はパイをわけて一番いいひと切れを取るゲームです。「For Sale」はクラシック競売カードゲームです。 「Coyote」はほかの人のカードが見えるけど自分のは見えなくて全額を想像をしなくちゃいけません。