I know I haven’t written here for a while. For just under two months, I’ve been living in a little apartment in Osaka, working in a hostel three or four times a week and generally taking it easy. I’ve walked around the beautiful city, made friends and had a grand old time, but not done much that was worth writing about.
I did visit a couple of museums. The Osaka Museum of Housing is remarkable, a historically accurate market town recreated on the eighth floor of a big building. Walking around the stone streets and classical buildings, people milling around in kimonos and live musicians playing shows with traditional instruments, it was incredibly easy to forget that I wasn’t really at ground level.
I also visited the Osaka Museum of Human Rights, better known as Liberty Osaka. The exhibits were mostly in Japanese and skewed to a younger audience, but a free audio guide was provided and between that and the visual exhibits I got more than enough.
The Liberty Osaka gives a great little insight into issues like indigenous peoples and immigration, suicide rates, environmental abuse and LGBTQ+ rights, all issues which aren’t discussed nearly enough in Japan. The museum seems to be constantly struggling to find funding, but I hope it keeps its doors open and continues to highlight these issues for younger generations of Japanese citizens.
The last museum I’ve visited recently was the Osaka Natural History Museum, filled with fossils and models and preserved bugs and stuffed mammals. I’m a sucker for big dinosaur fossils and whale skeletons. So much so that after visiting once, I went again only a couple of weeks later with my girlfriend!
The museum is situated in the middle of the gorgeous Nagai Park, and the ticket included entry to the impressive botanical garden. It’s a really nice trip and only costs 300 yen, which is crazy cheap. Unfortunately, temperatures here are at around 30 degrees Celsius at midnight, never mind in the day, and the humidity is bonkers. Wondering around in the sun with no hat because you were only expecting an indoor, air-conditioned museum . . . not ideal.
Between all of that I’ve wondered around town, checking out comic books and model robots in den den town, stumbling across a Triceratops under Osaka Station, visiting the castle again and other impressive buildings, and generally enjoying Osaka. It’s pretty okay, you know?