We got in town just in time to see some baseball: the (Osaka) Hanshin Tigers playing the Chunichi Dragons.
This was pretty much the only thing we (read: Adam) planned before we got here ("here," as in JAPAN, the country), and it was hilarious just attempting to get tickets from the Japanese-only website. Adam found a site dedicated just to navigating the ticket website for us non-Japanese speaking folks. We were mighty proud of succeeding at getting tickets, though we had zero idea where our seats were. When we got to the stadium, we saw our seats were in the visitor section (in Japan, they don't mix the fans, you have the home team seats and then a separate smaller section for visitors). The horror! We are obviously hardcore Hanshin fans!! We went rogue instead and grabbed some empty Hanshin seats.
Wanted to see baseball here because Adam had read about how crazy the Tigers fans get, andthey did not disappoint. Both teams' fans were way louder and more excited than probably any US baseball game (combined?) that I've seen. There are long specific cheers, giant flags... I mean, there was an organized HORN SECTION. Obviously, bringing your trumpet is a true sign of dedication. It really made the US baseball experience seem like a quiet day spa compared to them. And in the 7th inning everyone brings balloons they blow up and then all release at once. Very cool.
Also, you can buy beer from your seat from girls carrying kegs around. There was something unsettling and sexist about having cute women deliver beer from their backs (no guys in this job!), but there's no denying I was loving the convenience of freshly draught beer brought to my seat.
These chicas must have amazing glutes. Or perhaps just bad backs. And guess what? Even in expensive Japan, beer prices at a baseball game are cheaper than the US ($6 ish).
Sigh. Get it together, US.
Osaka is also known for their street food, they have a massive area called Dontonburi. One thing Osaka is known for is takoyaki (fried dough balls with octopus.)
We actually didn't get any in town (ironically) but we got some at the game and a couple other places throughout Japan. And it was delicious every time. How they make them is ridiculously impressive as well. They somehow make perfectly ball-shaped snacks out of batter, a griddle, and chopsticks. I didn't capture these videos but check them out to see the mastery:
Just walking around the madness of Dotonbori (big area of street vendors) was worth the trip to Osaka. And, this is where we met our Rolling Stones hippy bar owner friend mentioned in a previous post. Rock on!
Next up.....Hiroshima, Miyojima, Yoshino!