Sunday, December 18th
Unfortunately, check out time was 10am, so we had to leave our hotel way too early. We had planned to kick around Osaka that day and then I was heading back to Himeji because I had to work on Monday and Julian was staying another night to pick up Gwynne at the airport. One of Julian's dreams is/was to stay in a capsule hotel. So, I had booked him a room for Sunday night. We decided to find the capsule hotel because we knew it was nearby. It took us a while and we wandered around the "love hotel" district. Love hotels are also explained in great detail on the Quirky Japan website with pictures. Quickly, a love hotel is a hotel you can rent by the hour or stay overnight. It has theme rooms with cars, hello kitty, fairy tales, and bondage. Some of the hotels don't have clerks, so you can secretly check-in so no one knows who you are, and some will hide your car and cover your license plate as well. Most of their business is conducted in the daytime. Many people use them from the couple that wants to get away from the family, to young people who still live with their parents to the standard affair with another man or woman. Considering the discreet behavior with love hotels, their exterior is decorated quite garishly, bright yellow and green with happy cartoons all over them.
We finally found the capsule hotel. They are generally men only hotels, but this one allowed women also. It only costs $25 to stay there, so it's a good place to go if you are stuck at the train station or if you're drunk and you just need a place to crash until you can drive again. From the pictures I saw, it's like a small human kennel, but you can't stand up. There's a TV and a phone as well. Julian needs to write about it as well. He said it was pretty cool, but it looked really claustrophobic to me and like a medical lab. Ugh.
So, after we checked out the capsule hotel, we had decided we wanted to rent bikes. When we rented bikes in Kyoto for my birthday we realized that, bikes are the best mode of transportation. It's fast, easy, fun, inexpensive and a really good way to get to know a city. It's only $10 for the day to rent a bike. We decided to bike all over the area we had walked around the previous night. We immediately went out for coffee and I went back to my beloved yarn store and bought more yarn! We biked all over Namba and Shinsaibashi. We decided to save some of the things that I wanted to do for when we went back with Shay and Gwynne.
After biking and hanging out all day, Julian and I went to an Oyster Bar for dinner. We had a plate with Oysters from all over the world. Surprisingly all of the oysters tasted differently, some had stronger tastes and others were just a little saltier or lighter, it was really interesting that they would taste differently. We also shared a bowl of gumbo and garlic bread. It was fantastic and just fun.
We returned our bikes and parted ways.