January 11th 2019:


Onsen to start the day, then checked out and dropped my gear in a locker at Nara station. Took a very long walk out into Nara park, my they do have a lot of deer here. Strolled back down through the temple complex, and to LBK one mo’ time for a light lunch, gyoza and edamame just the ticket.


Express train to Shin-imamiya station then changed to a local tram service – very cute old tram, sadly probably won’t get to ride more of this one this trip. Realised that I was very close to Tsutenkaku tower, another one of the one on the Towers association list – so of course had to tick that one off!


It was located in another shopping and eating district called Shinsekai, a little like Dotonburi. The tower is a famous landmark round here (large illuminated ‘Hitachi’ sign down the sides), so was much busier than Beppu. Great views from the outdoor observation deck at the very top. There was a shrine and a whole load of items related to Billiken, the good luck god – or as his many statues state on their base, “The-God-Of-Things-As-They-Ought-To-Be”. Apparently you tickle his feet to make him smile and bring you good luck.

Turns out the area I’m staying is known as Den Den Town – bit like Akihabara, lots of electronics and DVD/games store. Seemed to be a much higher percentage of ‘adult’ stuff advertised though…

Yet another long walk – was heading to a little brewpub called ‘Beer Belly’ to try a few locally brewed beers.

Minoh Beer: Makiochi Bright, seasonal. Very fresh, Kolsch style
Minoh Beer: Cabernet Ale. Belgian fruit ale in style, nicely balanced, cherry notes
Beer Belly: Winter Ale. Heavily spiced, so much clove! First taste too much, after that better. Chef/brewer thought he’d overdone it compared to last year!

The Umeda Sky Building observatory really does look like a UFO.

Metro back down to Namba, decided I’d try and find one of the izakayas – Uranamba Torameyokocho – that we’d visited with Yaeko.

After wandering around aimlessly trying to figure out where it was, I’d obviously wandered into ‘that’ part of the neighbourhood, as I was offered massage service several times in the space of 5 minutes. Finally got there, and decided to settle at the counter doing kushikatsu.

Started off with deep fried Avocado wrapped with bacon – OMG. Then followed with:

Quail eggs
Fry all the things!

No pickles though.

Dark Side of the Moo

Did I mention I love this place?