On Thursday night I made the long train journey to Osaka for the monthly FEW Kansai meeting. I love getting together with such an interesting group of women every month and enjoying a swish three course meal at the Osaka Hilton.
On Friday night, we met with our local Japanese friends who speak English. Hiro-san wanted to know how we celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia. Our answer was short; "we don't!" However, if you Google "Thanksgiving in Australia", the first result would suggest that we do. A group called the Australian Prayer Network has created the National Day of Thanksgiving. According to the website, "The National Day of Thanksgiving is a unique opportunity for Australians to celebrate and give thanks for our God given heritage as a nation and to demonstrate the God given values of honour, respect, thankfulness and gratitude towards our fellow man that have made us the great nation we are." It's a clever piece of propaganda. It suggests to anyone wondering if Australia celebrates Thanksgiving that our nation celebrates Thanksgiving as a religious holiday, which we most certainly do not. It's almost as preposterous as the Urban Dictionary definition for Australian Thanksgiving.
Saturday was definitely a kotatsu-day, cold and rainy. We only ventured outside once for curry rice and to visit my favourite local bakery.
|Chestnut tart at Fleurir Boulangerie, Momoyama|
The Modern Transportation Museum was... ok. I hadn't realised that shinkansen (bullet trains) had been around since as far back as 1964. If you really like trains, and kids, you will like this museum. Lots of trains; lots and lots of kids. If you only moderately like trains, or children, I wouldn't bother.
|Shinkansen ticket from 1964, Modern Transportation Museum, Osaka|
|Andrew at the Osaka Museum of Housing and Living|
If you're visiting Osaka, I'd also recommend the Hep Five Ferris Wheel, which is perched on top of a big shopping and entertainment building. We went at twilight and the city looks very pretty from the top.
|Hep Five Ferris Wheel|
|On the Hep Five Ferris Wheel, Osaka|
|The band at A day at the SWING!|
|Dancers at A day at the SWING! Closing party|