Black Tokyo in Osaka

Back in the day when LZ and I got married we had no Blasian couple friends. Some 11 yrs later we only have two but that is what it is. I was on-line with a website called Black Tokyo, which is still around, although has evolved into a different format and on to FB. Anyway the owner was from Detroit, but was living in Tokyo. One day I contacted him and found out he was in the states, in California, in a town near us that we had planned on visiting, that week. We arranged to meet. LZ and I figured we met chat a bit then go our separate ways for the rest of the day. As it turned out, we spend the day with him and his wife and part of the evening. We were all comfortable with each other, it was fun.

We stayed in touch, visited some time, sailed together sometimes, etc etc. we last saw them on our way to Mexico. Spent the day or two days there with them and their now two children.
They, well him, Afro Eric as he is known in Tokyo, from his career as an entertainer there, had a vacation time from his government job. He took the family to Tokyo to visit, his wife’s family. He arranged for a rail pass to travel wherever. One of the wherevers was here to Osaka to visit us for the day. He had lived in Osaka before Tokyo so was interested in seeing his old grounds. His wife had only been here one other time and that was for work. 
Yesterday they came with the two young boys to spend the day with us. That was pretty adventurous. Two boys ages 2 and 5 on the bullet train long trip, no sleep!
We arranged to meet them at a famous shopping area, Tenloku Sshotenguy, in Downtown Osaka. I took care of the oldest boy he most times when allowed by the youngest took him. The wifes got to shop and talk. We walked around, looking, eating, talking.
It was fun catching up. There were times we got some attention because of having the boys in tow. A couple of Obaachans were really taken with the boys. How cute they would say! The only bummer of the day was one restaurant we went to, my friend ordered some fried fish, twice and it never came. We left. Not sure what was the reasoning was behind the non-service. The rest of the service and food was good. Weird about the fish. Not saying it was a racial thing, but it was weird, very weird.
Anyway, we talked, and walked, stopped for food, drinks, snacks, ice-cream, pictures. It was a good day and good weather.
The day before was rainy on and off. Today is a full day of rain, but yesterday was sunny and fairly warm, perfect! We got to see some of the fading Sakuras along the river. LZ reminded me the place we were at the river was one of the places we went on my first trip to Osaka and went on the boat ride.
It was good to hang with our homies. They plan on moving back to Japan when able.
Tokyo is a ways from Osaka, but a lot closer than California. I am not really a fan of the Tokyo area but a short visit is ok. Maybe on the way to Hokkaido a stop would be good. On the other hand, the visit to Hokkaido will be, should be, probably be before they move back.

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