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No dancing in the club, please

Castles, clubbing and mayo

We’ve had our last three days of Japan here in Osaka and whilst it is a great city the days have been tinged with melancholy. Our first day there was also our last full day with the tour group. We spent it going to Osaka castle which was a really nice place to go and see and definitely the most impressive castle we’ve seen - although like all castles in Japan it has been burnt down several times! The gardens were definitely the best feature as they were teeming with life and people but unlike the rest of Japan no-one was rushing or getting in each other’s way, it just seemed like a lazy day in the park for most.


As the sun set we made our way back to the hotel, picking up a thank-you card along the way for our tour guide, Keiko. This task was made a little harder by all the cards being in Japanese (and why would they not be?) but we eventually got one and got togged up to go out for our last meal together as a group. We had a lovely meal where both of us had cuttlefish with soy noodles that was presented to us on a hot plate, almost like a bbq, in the middle of our tables. It tasted brilliant and was even better with the Japanese style mayo. And no this was not our British tendencies coming out, but a suggestion by Keiko. After this delicious meal had come all too soon to an end we went for a short stroll along the streets to a bridge that was so brightly lit by advertisements that it felt like daytime.

We were just saying goodbye when, showing an example of Japanese friendliness, we were accosted by a young Japanese woman who it turned out wanted to play a game of rock, paper, scissors. Slightly confused as to why, we obliged and she then said thank-you and left leaving us slightly stunned and the rest of our group laughing at our expression. It was a good note on which to leave some of our group as they headed back to the hotel for an early night before they travelled home the following day. The two of us, Steve, Daniel and Barbara decided that we’d go out with a bang and went off in search of a club. After a lengthy wander around we eventually found one with a decent entry price, although we did get a little lost in the process. Slightly more worrying was that outside of every club that we had looked at there was a sign saying “Dancing Prohibited”. Seeing the looks on our faces one bouncer told us that it was a law in the City of Osaka that there was to be no dancing in clubs. What?? He then went on to assure us that every single club completely ignored this rule and that we were free to shake it; his words, not ours.


So, after making our choice, we went on inside and shook it. It was a brilliant time and there wasn’t much difference between that and a club in the UK aside from the people being friendlier and talking to us. The boys went crazy when One Direction came on and danced like lunatics whilst Rach and Barbara were more excited by the bubble machines that poured endless amounts of bubbles on to us. We left the club at about two the following morning although we did find out the next day that Daniel had stuck it out until five.

Our last two days have sadly been not filled with much useful sightseeing, instead spent wandering the streets feeling a bit lost without Keiko to guide us, or sorting out things for our onward travel and doing a bit of window shopping (actual shopping being too expensive). It was however punctuated by some interesting events such as the stay in the capsule hotel. Our attitude to capsules is that we’ve done it once and now we never have to do it again. It wasn’t a terrible nights sleep but it wasn’t far off.


As a treat for our last night we decided to go out and stumbled across a gem; an all you can eat pizza/pasta/curry place. Absolute genius. The food was brilliant and the toppings done in Western and Japanese styles. There was even a pudding pizza with marshmallows and choc sauce that sounds disgusting but was actually lush. A better way to top off our time in Japan than this meeting of Western and Asian we couldn't think of. It has been a brilliant time and definitely very far from what we expected from the country. We're really glad we did the tour as we would not have done half the stuff we did without Keiko, and although it has been the most expensive of all our tours, we would definitely do it again.

Rex’s Rules of Road

  • Many clubs in Japan include free drinks with the entry price and entry for women is usually half the men’s price. Be aware though that due to the cost of a ground floor location in the city, many clubs are hidden away on the upper floors of city blocks, so keep an eager eye out.
  • Try a capsule hotel once if you can, just to say you’ve done it.
  • Tours are great way to do it if you’re short on time as it helps with language barriers, gives someone to answer questions, and as in our case can actually work out cheaper than doing it yourself.

Posted by rexontheroad 01:39 Archived in Japan

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