Picturesque Osaka

There’s not a lot of green in Osaka, but we’ve got the market cornered on contrasty a greys, blacks, and used-to-be-whites. The parks in this city are few and far between, and are often confused for vacant lots or homeless shelters (because many, in fact, are). Osaka even loses out to Tokyo for Green-Per-Capita, or whatever statistic the Japanese Tree Lovers Association For A Greener Japan. I totally didn’t make that organization up either, its official name in Japanese is 完全捏造組織. There was a fair, recently, at Osaka Castle Park, premoting the greenerizing-up of Osaka. Though it had an entrance fee of some sorts, and if you have to charge people to sell them on an idea, you might as well give up from the start.

If you know where to look though, you can find some greenery tucked away, where no one will ever see it, like on the roof of the Sogo building in Shinsaibashi. If you can fight your way past 15 floors of old ladies on escalators, you might be able to make it to the roof, where legions of old men, brought unwillingly by their wives, wait and smoke and get in the frame of any picture you try to take. Or you can just come when its slightly overcast and all the old people stay home.

Though be dilligent. There is actual nature to be found in Osaka. And I’m not talking about the Tennoji zoo with its 13 animals, 8 of which are Koalas. No, real trees and dirt and even some bushes. The easiest way to get there is from the Nanba Kintetsu station. Hop on any train and don’t get off until you reach a place called “Nara.” Osaka, with its gorgeous Nara district, once again proves its better than all the other prefectures. Plus “Nara” sounds like the Japanese word for fart. Wicked radical.

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~ by foomfoom on April 14, 2006.

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