Live fish and burning legs

Written by Gialesi & Renate

Today was our last day in Osaka, and the ReisCo let us all loose in the street markets of the Shinsekai area this morning. Some took the chance to visit the kitchenware stores, while others adventured to a restaurant that served live fish! Well, you had to catch them out of the water basins yourselves, hand them over to the staff, and tell them how you wanted them to be prepared. It was quite the experience to catch a fish with a fishing pole, then try to catch it again with your hands because it escaped and is now flopping around on the floor, and finally see it nicely prepared on your plate a few minutes later.

For the afternoon: exit Osaka, enter Nara, a small village in the area with a Buddhist temple in the hills nearby, where we will stay for the night. During our climb into the hills, we enjoyed a beautiful view of the forest and the temple and surrounding buildings. Sadly, many of us now regret skipping leg day, since our suitcases had to be brought with us on this climb as well. Once settled, we were given very comfy Yukutas (a kind of bathrobe/kimono) to walk around in all evening and enjoy dinner, and got to relax in the large hot baths in the shower areas.

It is a pity the doors to our stay will close at 22:00, since the surrounding area is richly decorated with Torii and shrines along the many paths across the hill, and there is much to see while exploring the area. However, going to bed this early might be for the better, since we have been invited to join two ceremonies tomorrow starting at 5:00 in the morning, only 20 minutes after sunrise.