Wednesday, July 4, 2007

July 1, 2007 Shopping Horrors in Osaka

"Intense" is the only word I can think of right now to describe today afternoon's shopping experience in Osaka, which coincidently coincided with the first day of summer sales...

I like to think of myself as having a fairly good general sense of orientation, but today I was lost within 2 minutes! I had had two options when seeing the giant crowd entering EST, one of the main shopping complexes around Osaka Station - fleeing or diving in.

Obviously I took the dive, and I'm still not entirely sure whether that was the right choice. Hundreds or thousands of Japanese tiny girls crammed into a giant labyrinth of shops, interconnected by crooked alleys that have never even heard of the word "rectangular". From each shop, an army of other Japanese working girls scream the latest offers into the ears of everyone who doesn't want to hear them. They're using little plastic trumpets to create the right ringing sound to be left with your maltreated hearing.

The ones that don't shout offers instead scream "sumimaseeeeeeeeeeeeen" in 10-second intervals to make sure that people know they are actually working there and are not part of the deco. When I - being twice as wide as the average Japanese - tried to enter a shop, there was no way of getting inside without rubbing against everyone around you. Once you finally entered the shop, got used to the rubbing and ignored the screaming, I found myself totally flabberghasted by all the shiny, pearly, plasticky, glittering mini-skirt fashion that seems so very Japanese...

I could continue for a fair amount of time with descriptions like these, but I guess you get the point.
Nevertheless, I took some pictures, although they are not very exciting:

Yodobashi Kamera, where I bought my camera:

Quite a normal thing here - ferris wheels on top of houses...

I'll have to repeat tours to Osaka to get over the shock. Maybe I'll hire a guide to direct me in the general walkable direction...?

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