Monday, February 21, 2011

Dog Mind Cafe. Osaka Castle.

Osaka is different from Kyoto.

I'm not just talking about the fashion. (Osaka fashion can be c-r-a-z-y). (If I were more brave, I would have taken a photo of the man in Timberland construction boots, tight jeans, and the fuzzy white fur hoodie.)

The people are more laid back than Kyoto people, who tend to be a bit on the formal, traditional, "that's not funny" side. But my friend told me today that if you are talking to an Osaka person, when you finish your sentence, the person is likely to ask you, " what's the punchline?"

Osaka's also a bit on the urban side.

Our first destination was Dog Mind Cafe.
We didn't go there for the special Hokkaido dog snacks, though.

Or for the $700 dog leash.
We went because for 500 yen, you can play with dogs that live there. It's one of those "only in Japan" kind of things.

Here's the Bull Terrier, "Ten Ten" giving Darrin a big lean and a snore.

Later, the same dog climbed into Max's lap, on top of another dog who was already sleeping there.

Mostly the dogs did this:

Evidence of past shenanigans.

I had a nice conversation with this standard poodle. Hugo is consulting the "dog menu" which is a description of the different dogs and their names.

This poodle had a pink rabbit shape groomed into her side fur. Nevertheless, she maintained an air of sophistication.

Overall, this was a fun experience, but it felt a little weird to have these dogs just come up and fall asleep in our laps. Like they had indiscriminant attachment issues. They seemed healthy, but it wasn't clear how much they get to play outside.

After lunch, we walked to nearby Osaka castle.

There are two layers of moats, and one of the biggest stone walls in Japan.

We went up to the top floor for the view.

Our boys were jaded. After climbing the original wood ladders of Hikone castle, they are spoiled. Max said, "This is lame--there's an elevator in here, and the railings are metal and plastic!" (The original castle burned down a couple of times, was rebuilt, and then bombed in the war, so this is a recent reproduction with a modern museum inside.) Oh well. Not everything is as authentic as Kyoto, ne?
In the museum they had a cool series of hologram movies about Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who built the original.
You can pay to put on a samurai helmet and coat. This was really entertaining....
The boys couldn't stand too close together or they'd clash horns.

So, another interesting day.

To cap it off, as we rode on the train home Max kept saying, "what is that noise? what is that noise?" It was this baby, snoring like a truck driver:


  1. The dog photos make me happy and sad at the same time, especially since you brought up the attachment issues.

    The helmets are priceless. Will those fit in a carry on?

  2. I think your 2011 Halloween costume ideas are already complete! And clearly, boys and dogs belong together! Love, Gramma

  3. Ditto Tiffany's comment about feeling mixed about the dogs. If they could speak, I am sure that they would report that they LOVE all the attention. Where do they all go potty? My favorite puppy is the one tiny one that Alex is holding...