※ This article discusses Saturday, 26th of November 2016.
For our trip to Rokko meets Art last week, we bought tickets by Hankyu Line. Four of those tickets were for any travel by train (2 people, 2 directions) and we didn’t use them. They expire after this weekend. So it is time to save some money and go to Osaka this weekend. Additionally, because next week mid-term examinations take place, we preferred to have event day on Saturday (instead of Sunday) after our club sessions. This way Sunday is left for our studies.
Martina started with her club activities in the morning. At 09:00 she went to Sumiyoshi (south-east of our university, 30min by foot). Because she hurt her back in a previous training session, she didn’t train with her colleagues. But she wanted to watch the training anyways. She was finished at lunch time, went for lunch and did some shopping in Sannomiya. Whereas on Saturday I have Aikido training at 13:00 regularly. It was the first time I participated in the Saturday training. So I went there by 12:30 and a colleague of mine informed me right before arrival that training today starts at 14:00. So I waited one more hour at university. We practiced some Aiki-jō outside, before continuing on the tatami. The weather was very beautiful on this day.
On 17th of November 2016, I injured my knees at Aikido because we trained a lot in Suwariwaza (kneeing position). The top layer of my skin was ripped off and on the first 3 days afterwards this burned like hell. So I did not participate in Aikido practice last Saturday and last Wednesday because of this. I was back in the dojou this Saturday and hoped my band-aid will soften the burn. Yes, it did, but we started right off in suwariwaza again and the guys trained recognizably serious. They were very fast, very focused and many sensei were watching our backs. As it turns out they are practicing the last time before the next examination the day after. After 3 hours I felt exhausted and texted Martina where/whether she wants to go.
Martina was still motivated and we met in Sannomiya. We used our Hankyu tickets and took a train to Osaka. We arrived at about 18:20 in Osaka and initially I suggested 3 options:
At this hour the castle and the shrines will be uninteresting. The sun set at about 17:30. In the dark those points of interests are not very attractive. We go for the only remaining option: Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. Okay, but it will also close its doors sometime, right? We looked it up and recognized the last visitors will get a ticket at 19:00. So it was really necessary to hurry up. Using the subway, it took us about 35 minutes to go from Osaka Umeda to Osaka Chikko where the Aquarium is located. But it is followed by a ~10 minute walk to the Aquarium itself. We ended up to reach the ticket booths of the Aquarium at 19:10 and we didn’t get tickets any more.
Osaka Chikko is one of Osaka’s islands in the Bay. It had many small restaurants and a shopping center was close to the Aquarium. We decided to look for one shop with vegetarian food and get some dinner. The restaurant - we picked - looked traditional Japanese, but it was the first time we got an English menu. I got some Yasai itame (fried vegetable) as part of a set menu. Martina took some set menu too. The dish was not astonishing, but good. We went back to the Aquarium, because next to the Aquarium was a huge Ferris Wheel. Tempozan Ferris Wheel holds up to 480 passengers and provides a ride for a quarter of an hour. It started to rain (therefore no good photos), but we enjoyed it. Remember the article, where I mentioned a Ferris Wheel? I think this one was fancier and Martina wanted to go to the other Ferris Wheel this day before we knew about Tempozan Ferris Wheel.
So in the end, it was a disappointing day where we could not make it in time to the Aquarium. But the dinner and Ferris Wheel were romantic. When I got home, I got sick. Due to the long Aikido training, I dehydrated and my body was dried out. After a night and day with drinking lots of water, I was fine again. Lucky me, I was fine for the mid-term examinations the upcoming week!