November 18, 2012

Turning Japanese

Aside from a quick run to the convenience store for some late night chocolate, Kurumi and my's Saturday was spent in her house, avoiding the torrential downpour (add torrential to the list of adjectives that really only precedes one noun).

Also wait, hold on, would it be:
   Kurumi and my...
   Kurumi and mine...
   Kurumi's and I's...
   Kurumi's and my's...
Or should I just go with:
   my Saturday with Kurumi...

I would appreciate a comment with the correct version.

So today, Sunday, we decided it would be best to take advantage of the dry weather and get out. And obviously get out means going to the mall. So off we set for Umeda and Namba where we spent the day shopping and checking out the peculiarities of Japanese malls.
Symmetrical Mickey
Not sure if this samurai model is there to help sell the fake  telescope, or if the  fake telescope is there to sell the fake samurai sword...
This company makes pillows and couches designed to look like old synthesizers. 
Why was there an inflatable horse and what did he have to do with the 100kg boxes of potatoes that were being sold?
One of many hats with cat ears attached
One of the advantages to not having killed a bunch of Native Americans is that Christmas can start much earlier in this country without the guilt of crushing Thanksgiving. I learned that this upcoming Friday is Japanese Thanksgiving, but it sounds like an excuse to take off work and just say you're thankful for things, such as not having to work. But they don't have turkey, so maybe the genocide of the indigenous American people did have an upside.

So as we made our way through miles of malls,
we were treated to a whole slew of Christmas music, pepper with Beatles songs and the occasional J-pop track. It seems that, just overnight, Osaka has strung up the lights in preparation for the holiday season:


After some purchases were made and many a floor ascended and then descended, our appetites began to grow. Kurumi had made dinner plans for us and her parents, so what we really needed was a snack. And thankfully, I knew just the thing:
The BK Pumpkin Burger: I have returned for seconds!
Seconds before diving into 500% more pumpkin than my previous BK Pumpkin Burger
I did not think that simply adding 500% more pumpkin would greatly improve the quality of this already delicious treat. Boy, was I na├»ve! Ladies and gentleman, boys and gluttons, please heed this warning: under no circumstance should you ever order the normal pumpkin burger. You're wasting your time. The BK Pumpkin Burger with 500% more pumpkin is truly God's gift to your mouth.

Post pumpkin pleasure, we set back out for window shopping. We ended up in the most famous part of Namba/Osaka, which is this bridge, nicknamed "pick-up bridge" and perhaps most famous for that giant neon (though not lit up) runner:

We were also treated to these heartthrobs singing to a sea of melting girls. 

Right before hopping back on the trail to head to dinner, Kurumi and I ducked into a UFO arcade. UFO games are those claw/crane games where the player attempts to win a stuffed toy. They're everywhere in Japan, but tucked into the backs of many are the most elaborate photo booths. I've witnessed hoards of dolled up girls trek to arcades to spend hours getting their photos taken. And when I say dolled up, I mean literally, they appeared to be dressed as dolls. And given the eye-enhancement feature (which you'll see below), these girls truly do tun out looking like dolls. I tried my best to recreate the magic and assimilate into the culture. Below are my results:

After posing in a brightly lit, 4x6 room, we moved to a separate area to customize our photos













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