After countless e-mails, phone calls and changes of planning, I decided to join Seth in Osaka, which was very reckless, given the slim chances to meet in such a big city. I rushed in the first shinkansen in sight whatsoever (well, the right one at least), and elbowed my way to Umeda station where we were to meet.
Talking about the shinkansen (yes, again!), it goes at full speed (which would be 250-280km/h) despite the short distance between Kyoto and Osaka. Anyway, I quickly realized that Osaka-Umeda was the biggest mess of a station you can ever imagine, and that we had not the slightest chance to find each other. I was stricken by despair, but one of those miracle that happen only in Japan, prevented my soul from shattering : I asked my way to a 店員(ten’in – shopkeeper) and he most kindly guided me all the way to Kinokuniya, despite the fact that he had a shop to look after. Thanks to his gentleness, the both of us pals were reunited together once more.
We set off for the fireworks but Seth randomly decided to enter the first 居酒屋 (izakaya – bar) with a cute waitress to show us the way in (ok, that’s not what you call random…). We discussed things on a small raw fish and (many) drinks. We spoke of the present, Dragon Quest IX, Japanese novels, Natsume Soseki, the past, Kyoto, the future, Final Fantasy, jobs etc.
We were halfway when the fireworks began to rise in the starless sky, but it didn’t matter that much since the performance was to last 50 minutes. It is really a LOT more impressive than the Tokyo one – if anyone didn’t know there were fireworks, he might easily think of bombings from the sound of them. The especially lavish Grand Finale produced to same effect as a earthquake level 3.
After having followed the kimono-wearing crowd, we parted ways once more…
Originally published in august 2009