Mild Seven Cigarettes and crappy Japanese coffee

This is the street that I live on. It's teensy. All the houses look very traditionally Japanese down to the landscaping and the tile roofs. And, as you can see from the picture above, it's been raining all week. But I don't mind. I love rain.

This is the place in Harajuku that I wrote about in my last entry called "Condomania" I didn't go in, but now I'm tempted to do so just so I can see the difference between "big boy" and "smart boy". Apparently, you can't be both. Now the suspense is killing me. I must go when I get back to Eastern Honshu! On the Toyo line train coming back from one of my schools last week. Note the girl with the sick mask on. I think people should wear these in the States to keep their damn sneezy germs away from me. Although they do look a little creepy...like serial killer/surgeon combo creepy.

From Kiddy Land! Lookit all the Totoros!

The Gyoza restaurant in Harajuku. They only serve two main dishes: boiled gyoza and pan-fried gyoza. Hence the small kitchen smack dab in the middle of the restaurant.

This was in Akihabara. I think it was some kind of virtual reality thing where you can put your head in various backdrops or something. Whatever it was, I kind of want steps in my house to look just like this. Just kidding. Kind of.

Also Akihabara. Bright lights, big city! Such a fantastic area.

Me, looking very sweaty/tired whilst waiting for the night bus last night in Shinjuku. (I finally figured out the timer function on my camera so you guys can see my face!)

A random shrine/temple on an Osaka side street. Not sure if I was allowed to take this picture, actually. I will be more mindful in the future out of respect, even though there was no one around. I don't wanna to piss off any Shinto gods (or locals)!

So that's where I am now, in Osaka. At 1 pm I'm going to check into my hotel and then head to the aquarium and then possibly the Umeda Sky Building. And I'm definitely going to go into Dotombori for some street food (okinomiyaki say whaaaat?) and booze with the locals. Osaka is definitely rougher around the edges than Tokyo, but the people do seem much friendlier.

With that said, I did get giggled at when I went into a little restaurant for breakfast. I said "iie, kekko desu" (no thanks) when offered a salad...maybe it was too polite? Or not polite enough? So so so many different levels of politeness in the Japanese language, and I'm still getting the hang of it. Luckily, I look very Western, so I get a lot of slack when it comes to messing up.

Yesterday it took me a million years to find the exact exit in Shinjuku station where my bus left from. Thank god I had the foresight to get there way way early. Luckily, I had my ticket for the bus in hand, so I was just able to keep asking JR employees "Sumimasen, doko desu ka?" (meaning "excuse me, where is this?") and I eventually got to where I needed to go. But fuck it was a hassle. I predict getting lost in Osaka tonight at some point as well, but we'll see!

Possibly going to Kyoto tomorrow! More pics to come!

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