Osaka – on the right

To reach Osaka from Nagoya we had a deluxe ride on the Nozomi (fastest) Shinkansen in a ‘Green Car’ (first class). Sadly, it was also the shortest train journey (at around 45 minutes) we’re likely to have during our first visit to Japan. But having experienced both Green Car and Regular now, I have to say that although Green Car had more space, the difference between the two services did not seem great. Although it was beautifully quiet.

Green Car example (looking very brown)

On arrival, our location (near subway stations Nishinagahori and Nishiohashi) turned out to be in a fab spot for local craft beer bars. Which of course in the name of research we checked out thoroughly. More about that later.

The cherry blossom around Osaka Castle was fabulous. We decided not to go into the castle itself, as the it’s-close-to-lunchtime lineup was astounding. So we decided to get some bento boxes to enjoy under the trees and then check out Dotombori, Shinsaibashi and Kurumon Market instead.

Still working on the ‘castle tastefully framed by cherry blossoms’ shot, obviously.
Don’t admire castles and text at the same time!
Kuromon Market Fugu. The market would be a great place to have lunch – we had just bento-boxed.
Kamen Joshi pop/heavy metal darlings, performing at Shinsaibashi
Some of their adoring fans (who knew all the words and actions)

As for standing on the right – apparently it’s only in Osaka where you stand on the right on escalators. Osakans are different.