Category Archives: osaka

Space Station Osaka: A Gaming Bar

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A while ago I stayed in Osaka for New Year’s and was unsure where to spend the evening. So I decided to check out Space Station Osaka, a video game bar in the Americamura neighborhood of Osaka. You can get drunk while playing Atari, Nintendo and Sony games.

The free magazine which mentioned the bar didn’t include a map or a good photo of the place, so I was wandering around trying to find it. There is a small sign in front of the stairs which leads to the bar.

Inside is a row of flat screens and classic consoles. The bar has both the NES and the Famicom, Super NES and Super Famicom, Mega Drive, Dreamcast and more recent consoles such as the Wii and PlayStation 3. There was even an Atari VCS in a corner, although I can’t imagine someone playing it.

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I picked the Dreamcast first because mine is broken and Jet Set Radio is one of my favorite games. The bar doesn’t have a great selection of Dreamcast games yet. Unsurprisingly, many games were for Nintendo 8-bit: Retro game shops are full of Famicom games. Read the rest of this entry

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Kansai Vegan Meet-up at Genmai Cafe

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Among meet-up groups in Japan, the Tokyo Vegan Meet-up is one of the biggest with over 1000 member. The Kansai one is much smaller and has an irregular schedule. During my stay in Osaka I attended one of their meet-ups at the Genmai Cafe Honmachi.

Genmai Cafe is in a shopping street just three minutes away from Honmachi Station. On the first floor is the Genki Shop for healthy food products. The cafe on the second floor is nice and clean. Every food item is vegetarian, some items contain animal products (eggs) or fish and are marked as such.

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They have various set menus, soups, desserts and organic drinks on their menu. I didn’t go for the curry as it’s relatively easy to find vegetarian curry in Japan. The one Indian restaurant near the place where I stayed (Yotsubashi Station) was even all-vegetarian. I picked their regular set and could select two rice balls (onigiri) and one soup from their menu. Read the rest of this entry

Osaka Expo Park

Tower of the sun
Expo 1970 was held in Osaka. At that time, Japan’s economic growth skyrocketed. That was twenty years before the “bubble” burst. The expo held the record of the most visited one until the Shanghai World Expo in 2010. Most of the pavilions have been removed of course, leaving only a park with the famous statue Tower of the Sun, a time capsule and a museum in the Expo Commemoration Park.

Back then the Expo was still relevant and various future technologies such as networking and maglevs were shown. There is a playground in the park and other attractions making it a nice weekend getaway during Summer. It’s not so exciting in September and during rainy season:

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Interestingly, the Expoland, an amusement zone near the commemoration park, is still standing. It has been closed since December 2007 after a fatal accident in May.