Osaka

Today I made a side trip to Osaka. It is less than one hour from Kyoto on a local train. Osaka is a very modern city with many interesting buildings. There are lots of people on the streets and especially in the shopping areas. One shopping area is a covered and air conditioned street about two miles long with endless shops and places to eat. This leads me to the weather.

It is incredibly hot and humid here. Women are using umbrellas to protect from the sun even when riding bicycles. Men are using white towels to wipe out the sweat.
Also in Osaka they have a very nice castle. It actually looks like a fortress with the Japanese style very tall palace inside. In the morning instead of a buffet type breakfast I tried something different - a Japanese breakfast on the second floor. There were just a family of three and myself there. It costs more than a buffet and you get... you guess it... miso soup, rice, green tea and micro amounts of pickled stuff.

By the way I got pretty good with my chopsticks. I even find it more convenient to eat my salad with the chopsticks instead of a fork.

Osaka - Judo School I bought my train tickets today to Hiroshima (tomorrow morning) and then back to Tokyo (the morning after tomorrow) and paid with my credit card. This is an exception. Japan is still a cash society. I found only two places where I could get cash from an ATM using my debit card: City Bank in Tokyo and in the Seven-Eleven convenience stores which I used in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. By the way they don’t sell gas like in the US.