And now for something completely different…
I was invited by a local Tai Chi/Karate teacher who lives in Kobe, but is from France, who also studies Kyudo, to a French restaurant for dinner last night.
It was not that far from our current home in Suita-shi. LZ got me directions and off I went. I took along my iPad just case. Reason being it has a GPS tracker. So I could mark where or at least close to where I wanted to go in advance and check if I was close by or way off.
I made it to the exit station with no problem. After that things changed. Going by the map LZ made i was to go left when leaving the station. I did. I walked and walked, not feeling sure I checked the Pad. It was not on target bt i seemed to be in the general direction. I walked more. I looked at LZ’s map when I came to a large intersection. It seemed right so onward I went. I saw more marked that looked like they were what was on her map. I walked and walked. Feeling the Zen sense tingling. I checked the iPad. ehhhhhhhhhh! I was going the opposite way! Ok, I turned around. I walked back. I stopped in a local shop to show them the map. The guy was helpful. He came outside with me and turned the map the correct way and showed me i was on the wrong street.! I needed to go back to the station. I walked back to the train station to start over. I looked at the map and the station, it seemed I figured out what was wrong. The exit had two sets of steps. Use one and go left you are on a big street, which I did. Use the other and go left puts you on a small street. I asked a guy walking by. Yup he said and pointed down the small street. These small streets are more like what we would call in the states alleys. Not streets. Differently not a street a post office would be on, which was one of my landmarks.
On I walked…again. Things matched up better on the map and what I was seeing. Still I was not sure. I stopped in a local shop and spoked with a woman there. She tried to help. She got out a local map and showed me where we were. I took out the iPad, she says. Soka, then turned it the correct direction and showed me where we were in relation to where I wanted to go. Not far away just down the block a ways then turn. I thanked her and left the shop. As I was putting the Pad away I by mistake lost my marker. So now I had no reference to where to go. Grrrrr, ok. Not panicking I walked in the direction I was shown. I understood I only had a short ways to go then turn.
I walked a couple of blocked , then stopped. Hmmmm not I could make out from what I was told. Again I stopped in a shop and asked. The woman there I showed the Map LZ had made. She did not know the marker, but she knew the name of the restaurant. She went outside with me and point down the street at a building. Yokatta. It was nearby. After a couple of minutes walk I was there. Yatta!
I met my acquaintance and his friend/student there. The meal was pleasant I had a mixed cheese salad and some cold pumpkin soup. The soup had a good flavor, after I got over the shock of it being cold not hot. We had pleasant chat about martial arts, Japan, Japanese, France, America. Etc. We share the same rank in Kyudo currently. He is testing again in Sept, I am planning Nov…ganbarimasho…Yosh!
On the way by to the station, I stopped by a local shrine to look around. It was quite nice by evening light. I also stopped in a little recycled clothing shop on a side street. I ended up on the wrong street from what I thought after crossing a large street and not going back far enough. It was not a big deal I was headed in the right direction. After asking a local guy I got back to the main drag where I found the train station and hopped the train home.
It was good mini adventure. I saw another part of Osaka with some interesting shops. Also got to speak with a few locals all of which were helpful. No one had an attitude and all were kind in dealing with me.