Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Suburban Living

We've moved to Osaka. Actually, technically, we're in Osaka-fu (大阪府) and not in Osaka city (大阪市). The city we live in is called Ibaraki-shi (茨木市); don't confuse it with Ibaraki-ken (茨城県). Can you tell the importance of each place just by checking the quality of each website? You make the call.

Since the majority of people work in Osaka city, where we live and our neighboring cities are considered the suburbs. But it's not the American image of suburbs. Don't think cul-de-sacs and rows upon rows of houses that all look the same. We may be in the suburbs, but it feels bustling and crowded, just the same.

Our new home: third floor, fourth window from the right. We have a six-tatami room that serves as our bedroom. The place is already filled up with stuff and we're still waiting on our boxes (a lucky 13 of them) from San Francisco. Where will everything go?

How do you feel about city logos? Here's ours:

It looks like a bird with a diaper. Maybe it's a sumo pigeon. Perhaps the best thing about the city is its central location. We're north of Osaka city, right between Kyoto and Kobe. It's possible bike to Kyoto from where we live, if you feel like taking the scenic route:

By scenic route, I mean strip malls and factories. For instance, one of the major factories for Panasonic is about 10 minutes by bicycle from the spot my ass is taking up. I think they make the hi-def TVs here:

I've never lived near an industrial zone before. It's weird bicycling on the sidewalk with trucks whizzing by. Even weirder if you look past the factory and see a rice field about a quarter of a mile away.

The location is most important to Yuki, whose U. is also a bike ride away. We paid a visit to one of the two campuses she'll be studying at come April:

Her main campus has all the medical and science departments. The part of the school I like best are the busts of two old dudes guarding the department of medicine's building. Here's the more fun-loving of the two:

The most impressive element is the university hospital. It is huge:

And a 10-minute bike ride from her U. is Expo Park and Taro Okamoto's Tower of the Sun, which reminds me of a pissed-off Ultraman Jr.:

There are many things you can't do at this park:

...including, don't give piggy-back rides to campfires, don't picket, don't try to catch mid-sized fish with a mid-sized fish as bait, and don't make the water fountain cry. Sir, yes sir!

One (or two) more images of Osaka:

We had some really tasty takoyaki (たこ焼き) tonight from Ahoya (あほや). What's tako (蛸)?

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