Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tennoji, Tako, and MC Hammer

This past weekend I biked 30 minutes or so to an area called Tennoji just south of my neighborhood.  Tennoji is known for a pair of temples, Shitennooji and Isshinji.  Shitennooji is one of the first Budhist temples founded in Japan.  It’s very large, open, and quite spread out.  I wouldn’t exactly call it attractive, but there were some interesting features including a five story pagoda and a turtle pond with tons of turtles.  The temple contains a few cemeteries which feel a little out of place surrounded by Osaka’s urban offices and apartments.  Shitennooji ‘s garden is supposed to be beautiful, but it is under renovation so I didn’t get to see anything.  While Shitennooji felt nearly empty, the smaller grounds of Isshinji felt very crowded and the air was heavy with incense.  It was a much livelier atmosphere.

I think Teenage Mutant Turtles have forever burned turtles into my brain as one of my favorite animals.


There’s an area near Tennoji known as Shin-Sekai.  It’s filled with street food and pachinko parlors giving it kind of a carnival feeling.  It’s also home to the Tsuutenkaku tower which used to be Osaka’s tallest building.  Now it’s famous because it’s the setting of some Japanese TV drama.

 You're supposed to rub his feet for good luck.

 Shin-Sekai with Tsuutenkaku tower in the background.

Sometimes it's better not to ask.

I bought a stuffed Octopus in Shin-Sekai and I named him Taco (Octopus is Tako in Japanese).  He sits on my unused TV.

The local shopping arcade started playing “Halloween music” over the past week.  “Halloween music” seems to be an infinite loop of the theme from the Halloween movies, The Adams Family Groove, the Ghostbusters Theme, and The Time Warp.


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