8-bit Trip

I can no longer deny that my lengthened tenure in Osaka is becoming slightly boring. I have a very limited amount of acquaintances in the area, no money to spend on extravangances and a constant doubt concerning my future in the country. Nevertheless, today was a day well spent reminiscing and visiting places of old.

Maantie on kiva kävellä

The day began as usual, going to the front desk before check out time to inquire about the possibility of keeping the same room for one additional day. I wonder if they are getting tired of my living strategy. They first moved me from the second and fifth floor to the eighth, and the amount of money I have to pay daily seems completely arbitrary. The first two days were ¥2300 each, the third and fourth were ¥2200, the fifth was ¥2400 because it was “high season” and the sixth was ¥2250. I am eager to find out what it will cost tomorrow. I eventually managed to keep the same room, grabbed a free coffee and went back to the eighth to plan my Hirakata itinerary properly. With no bike available and a couple of legendary spots deserving a visit, the trip would end up totaling about 10kms on foot.

Just getting to Kyobashi and jumping on the Keihan line after two years sent a tingling feeling to my nostalgia sensors. In Hirakata, seemingly nothing had changed. Toriki and Ring were at their respective spots, and so was the Gaidai itself. In retrospect, trying to visit the university on a Sunday may have been a bad idea. What made it worse is that the goddamn graduation ceremony and huge event with free food had been the day before but I hadn’t done my research beforehand and instead had to leave the premises baffled by my own stupidity.

What do your elf-eyes see?

White Horse

The first location having ended as a major failure, I needed something to lift my spirits. In addition, I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet, and it was past noon. If any members of the honorable Stamina Ramen Alliance are reading this, they should know where I was heading by now. It had to be the longest walk I’ve ever done for a bowl of noodles but there was no way I was passing on the opportunity. Due to the uniqueness of the event and the fact that I was starved by the point I arrived, I had to go all in. Watch and weep.

Unfortunately I couldn't bring myself to order both the Shiawase and the Stamina

Main course with extra toppings

Saido menyuu

Proof of Deed


The moseying from Hakuba Douji Ramen to the Kansai Gaidai International Seminar Houses was, although inevitable, also a very needed half-hour to descend back to earth. I was relatively confident that the Seminar Houses would be “open” even on a Sunday, and if the Otoo-san or Okaa-san at number 3 remembered be, I would have a slight (1% at most) chance to actually get in. I stopped on the way at Sanko supermarket because it was within the scope of the day’s mission and also to get a drink after finishing a notorious bowl of spices, salt and fat. Surprisingly, all previously mentioned variables were in my favor. SH 3 was open, Otoo-san was at the counter, remembered my face and agreed to let me see our good old lounge again. As per the Sacred Seminar House Rules of Inconvenience the whole first floor, the place with the best access, had been emptied of tenants. We also briefly discussed the exodus of foreign students caused by the general media panic as well as the ambient barometric pressure.

Penitentiary entrance

I later bumped into Prof. Tracy in the park but he was busy chatting about shaving cream on the phone and rushing to the bus so I eventually gave up talking to him and resumed my walk back towards the station. Few things are more depressing than walking past all the entertainment venues you frequented for a whole year and having nobody left to enjoy them with; karaoke is of limited fun alone no matter how many times you play Moskau.


  1. I am feeling vicariously nostalgic, if that is possible. I hope there was kimchi involved in that ramen feast.

    Not that you haven’t likely considered your options, but if Osaka is getting boring, what about a few days in Kyoto? I stayed at a really cozy guesthouse called Sandalwood, and the woman that runs it is rather incredible. She is gorgeous, and lives to serve her guests with the sort of angelic disposition that will make you feel a deep and guilty shame for the erection she will inevitably elicit. Alternatively, if you are bored/lonely/interested, I could put you in touch with a really friendly girl I know in Osaka. I don’t mean that with any sort of connotation – I’m rather certain it would be an encounter of the innocent sort. She works for Sharp, went to Gaidai, and would make a good companion for dinner, sight-seeing, etc.

  2. Hey I was a student at KGU last semester. I was supposed to stay in KGU for a year but my home institution in my home country was being difficult with the transfer of credits and whatnot. At KGU more than 50 students have permanently left, and another 50+ have temporarily left. Don’t understand why since Osaka is far from the nuclear plant…

    Hirakata City is a great place. Nothing great about it, but the pseudo-inakaness makes Hirakata interesting. Plus Fushimi Inari Shrine is pretty close.

    If you have not made made gaijin friends yet, heads up on the places they would take you in Hirakata: Ring (Karaoke/Billiard/Darts/Ping Pong/Net Cafe), Doma Doma (Nomihoudai), The popular gyoza place near the station, and the popular 3:00 am junk food restaurant, McDonalds.

    I look forward to your posts.

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