I met up with my new friend Machiko in Umeda to take a train to Universal City to check out the Universal City Walk that leads up to Universal Studios Japan (which we were not entering). We wanted to walk around a bit, check out the Takoyaki museum and have dinner at one of the Western restaurant chains. The Takoyaki museum wasn’t really a museum, though. It had five old-fashioned takoyaki grills on display, lots of takoyaki merchandise for sale and 4 or 5 takoyaki restaurants… But at least Mr. Takoyaki is cute.
Machiko came straight from work and was very hungry so we decided to go for dinner early, which was great to avoid those ever-present lines at Western restaurants around dinner time. We were immediately seated and were served quickly too. We chose Bubba Gump for dinner, because I’ve been wanting to eat their ribs for a while now, they’re the best you can get in Japan.
We had a hard time choosing between Hard Rock Café and Bubba Gump, so we decided to have dessert at Hard Rock Café after dinner at Bubba Gump. We chose apple cobbler for dessert, and even though the waitress warned that it was a ‘chotto oki’ (a little big) we thought we could handle it and ordered one apple cobbler each. Well, turned out the waitress was wrong, dessert wasn’t ‘chotto oki’ it was a lot ‘oki’! We hard a hard time finishing our desserts and were totally stuffed after that. It was good though, what wasn’t so good was the extremely loud volume of the music. I’ve been to several Hard Rock Café’s before and they always play rock music clearly audible, but people would always be able to have a conversation. In Hard Rock Café Osaka that’s impossible, it is so loud I felt I was screaming when I tried to say something and deaf when Machiko tried to say something. And they don’t have a Bon Jovi display! Needless to say I won’t be returning there.
Other things we did today was observe a lady getting off the train and dropping one of her too big heeled shoes in between the train and the platform, so it fell all the way down to the tracks. What’s up with Japanese women wearing shoes that are easily one or two sizes too big? Maybe next time this particular lady will choose a better fitting shoe. Then we got off at the wrong train station because we followed some foreigners who we knew were also going to Universal City. The foreigners had no idea what they were doing and we were so busy chatting on the train that we had no idea what we were doing following them! At the end of the night we met up with Yasu in Umeda after his seminar was done for drinks and dinner (just for Yasu, we were totally stuffed) at the English Pub.
It was a lot of fun hanging out with Machiko. We talked a lot and gossiped a lot (even when Yasu was there, because he’s good at that too!) and ate way too much! Oh and did I mention she wants to learn Dutch? Her sister is married to a Dutch farmer and they live in the Netherlands, so Machiko has actually been to my country several times.