Happy New Year! Akemashite Omedeto Gozaimasu!
A lot has happened this past week. We went to Osaka last weekend to pick up Shay and to celebrate New Year's. I really enjoy visiting the big city of Osaka. Each time I go to Osaka it's mostly consisted of eating, drinking and shopping.
Unfortunately, Shay's flight was delayed and he missed his connecting flight in San Fran. He had to fly in the next day and somehow he missed New Year's in both countries - poor Shay. I'm so glad he's here. As soon as he arrived I got all choked up and the tears started flowing. I love it here, but I really miss all of our friends and family. I'm so grateful and lucky and privileged to be in Japan and to have an amazing amount of support and love from our family and friends!
New Year's Eve happened quickly. Our plans were a bit uncertain, so it came and went quickly. After eating some pizza for dinner, I remember looking up at the clock and it was already 10:30 at night. Gwynne, Mac, me and Julian headed for a night club called the Underlounge. Our friends, Koki, Hanako, Allison and Lexi met us there and we drank and danced for hours. I haven't gone dancing in ages. Luckily it was really crowded, so no one could tell that I have no rhythm. It's a relatively big club by Japanese standards. I'm not sure what to compare it to. The clubs in Himeji are small. The DJ was good and there were lots of go-go dancers. Here are some pics from my cell phone.
I left my camera in a restaurant in Osaka, so unfortunately I don't have any pictures for the following events right now. The restaurant is holding the camera for me. I'm really frustrated without a camera - ugh. We've been traveling and I really need one. I've been using Gwynne's camera and her pics.
Early on New Year's Day, Julian and I met up with our friend, Nao and her family. We went to a temple and lit candles and incense and watched some of the prayer services in the temple. Her family took us to "Landmark Tower". A tower that was built in 1912 and rebuilt in 1969. We could see all of Osaka from the top. Aterwards, we went to a restaurant that specializes in fried food. Nao took us to a shrine and I bought a fortune for the year. My fortune was "good", not excellent and not bad but "good".
When Shay arrived, we went to the Umeda Sky Building, which is a modern and huge sky scraper (173 meters or 567 feet tall). We went up to the 39th floor in a glass elevator and then up a cool glass escalator to the "Floating Garden Observatory". We were able to go to the very top and outside to see the city. Shay pointed out that at night the building looks like the starship enterprise. And afterwards we went to an okonomiyaki restaurant, where I accidentally left my camera. I was really upset that I left the camera, because we were leaving for Atami Onsen (hot springs) the next morning. Unfortunately, the restaurant had closed, so the hotel helped me to call them and I need to go back and get it. Luckily Gwynne took some pictures at Atami. I'll try to post them soon and a blog about the rest of our trip. Here's the Umeda Sky Building.