In which Osaka ain't much to look at

We spent two days in Osaka that would have been better spent in Kyoto. We had plans for Osaka, but when we arrived there its meager sights just didnt seem worth the time and expense. We were staying with a contact named John. He’s lived in Osaka for ten years and doesn’t speak any Japanese. I’m not sure how he managed that. He’s an intelligent, agreeable guy, except when he gets going on the shortcomings of Japan. The rest of the time he was like the sad clown at the circus, an impression that was only heightened by the grotesque double-decker bike he rides - an ugly perversion of a bicycle I found nauseating to look at (Sheryl, not a bike purist, thought it was fun). It would have been fine staying with John - he’s a very relaxed host - but he was putting up three other people the first night we were there and six others the second, which made for pretty cramped quarters.

John lived in one of a forest of anonymous grey high-rise slabs. That part of Osaka - maybe all of it, I don’t know - is a bit seedy and run-down. It’s just a big city where a lot of people live. The city’s historical castle, even, is a concrete reconstruction from the Sixties. It was a bit of a let-down after all the amazing places we’d visited in Japan the last few weeks. But it was only for a day and a half before our ferry to Shanghai. We used the time to prepare ourselves and stock up on food for the trip.


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Chris Liberty - Dispatches from a Gentleman Adventurer
Being the internal dialog of a vagabond who chased his own tail across five continents for 4 years and 2 days from May 2008 to May 2012, in search of something that never really became clear.
This travelogue comprises 16,426 photographs and 402,515 words in 307 dispatches written from 335 places in 52 countries on 6 continents around the world.
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