Articles on Japan / Travel / Uncategorized

A November Christmas in Umeda – a photo blog

While I’m not sure I’d recommend this trip for your actual Christmas over other options that abound around the Osaka/Kyoto area, it definitely makes for a great date and gets you in the holiday spirit!

DSCN7663

My first ‘real’ date (by that I mean a date that felt special – I don’t really count Matsuya and Sukiya) with my boyfriend was two years ago at the German Christmas in Osaka. So naturally when I came back two years later, I thought it’d be romantic to return with him this time around too.

Us two years ago.

Us two years ago.

Both fortunately and unfortunately, not much had changed!

I also saw advertisements for a snowman festival. Knowing the German Christmas looked best at night, we first headed to the Umeda station to see if we could find all these alleged snowmen.

DSCN7552

Unfortunately, upon asking the lady at the information desk, it turned out the snowmen was pretty much a strategy much like the Snoopy’s back in St. Paul – they weren’t at the station, they were scattered around the city at different businesses. You could get a stamp for each one you found and ultimately receive…nothing.

Nothing?! After coming all the way here?!?!

No snowmen?! After coming all the way here?!?!

 

But it wasn’t a pure loss. First there were beautiful decorations on the ceiling of the main part of the station…

DSCN7534

And then it turned out there was a little illumination within the actual station. We were a little early, so along with most of the people waiting, we (read: I) began taking pictures of the beautiful sunset.

DSCN7571As well as together.

DSCN7576

The only way to conquer Yuuki’s inability to take a picture with a genuine smile, is to look pissed off in every picture.

Then the illumination started, and it was pretty cute!

DSCN7606

DSCN7590

DSCN7594

DSCN7589

DSCN7600

DSCN7608

DSCN7612

I also got a video of it, and Yuuki decided to weave through the crowd, so have fun trying to spot him! Here’s the vid-ee-o:

After that we headed up the escalator into what I nearly thought was a spaceship.

DSCN7613

I was a little afraid I would be the unwilling participant in a reenactment of the Twilight Zone’s “To Serve Man” episode.

At the top of the station I was surprised to find a lot of pretty scenery (and not aliens- I checked (well, besides Yuuki)).

DSCN7652

DSCN7620

DSCN7630

DSCN7633

Blurry picture (my camera’s great at close-ups, not very good at night/half-light photos), but the big building on the left is where the German Christmas is held.

DSCN7642

They never found the Invisible Cloak Bandit.

DSCN7646

After that, we walked to the German Christmas at the Umeda Sky Building. It was a cold walk, but worth it!

DSCN7662

Seriously, what a beautiful design!

I was hoping the Christmas would have a couple new additions, but for the most part it was unchanged. It was still really cute, with lots of merchandise from Germany and surprisingly Lithuania as well (pretty cool for me since I’m part Lithuanian!)

DSCN7666

DSCN7669

DSCN7673

DSCN7674

Probably the cutest design of all the stalls.

DSCN7678

Quite a nice touch, actually being able to watch them make the food!

DSCN7679

DSCN7680

DSCN7681

DSCN7684

DSCN7686

DSCN7687

DSCN7688

A cute little train for the kiddies.

DSCN7689

I’m not sure how a lot of people would feel about tossing coins at baby Jesus…

DSCN7691

DSCN7692

DSCN7694

DSCN7696

DSCN7697

Where I got my sammich (pictured below)! Delicious and you got to watch him carve the meat right there.

DSCN7698

DSCN7699

DSCN7700

DSCN7701

Probably the biggest collection of foreigners I’ve seen here, other than the university I attended.

DSCN7702

DSCN7711

There was a neat live performance going on too.

DSCN7713

DSCN7714

Another picture of the Baily’s Beads I reference in my poem about this area.

DSCN7715

DSCN7716

This looked rather like an upside down Christmas tree to me.

DSCN7717

DSCN7718

At two of the booths seen above, they offer mugs you get to keep with your order of either hot chocolate, (red or white) wine, or tea. I was delighted to find out they change each year. Here were our cups two years ago (both years we got one red wine, and one hot chocolate – both absolutely delicious).

394429_442694239958_687919226_n

And this year’s:

DSCN7708

Both adorable!! I think I like the stockings idea the best (but it’s a heck of a lot harder to clean).

The food, as expected for a festival was way overpriced but delicious.

DSCN7707

My sammich – loved it, and am hungry just looking at it now. I believe it was about 700 yen though.

DSCN7703

Yuuki chose the authentic German sausage. It was also about 700 yen, but also delicious.

After we finished the rounds, Yuuki and I weren’t quite ready to go home, but also didn’t have anywhere else to explore. As if he read our minds, a juggler set up right in front of us.

DSCN7719

He had quite a few interesting tricks with the kendama! He dropped it a lot too, but always recovered quickly and kept it entertaining. A pretty good performer, and I was very glad we stopped to watch him.

Well that was it for our great date night! If you end up going, tell me what you thought!

DSCN7710

Merry Christmas from us!

If you’re interested n the German Christmas, here’s a link in English for more information. http://www.osaka-info.jp/en/search/detail/event_6863.html

 

 

Advertisements

One thought on “A November Christmas in Umeda – a photo blog

  1. Pingback: Inktober + Japanese Mythology : Week 3 | An Inkling

Share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s