Sunday 2 June 2013

Oktoberfest Already?

I got my hair cut on Saturday, and I would call it a success.  Everyone in the salon spoke English, no one freaked out when the foreigner walked in, and I didn't even have to ask the stylist not to use the thinning sheers...he didn't bring them anywhere near my head!  I was so impressed that I am going to give highlights a try next week.  They assure me they will not be yellow, like the past Japanese highlights I have gotten have been.  I'll let you know how that goes!

Anyways, after my haircut I walked to a fancy mall that I knew sold the hair product I wanted to get (it's rainy season which means the humidity is picking up...gonna try and fight my frizzy hair!!!)  As I was leaving the mall (I left through the opposite side to explore a new area I have yet to visit) I noticed lots of green tents and tables set up in this sort of court yard area that has just been re-opened.  Since I was in no hurry to do anything, I decided to explore.

When I got to the bottom of the escalator I saw this sign:

Yes, it says "Oktoberfest 2013".  Really?  Oktoberfest?  In June?  Japan, I hate to break it to you, but Oktoberfest is supposed to be in September!  

There was no admission fee and it wasn't packed, so I decided to go look around.

There were about 5 different German breweries selling their different beers and a food tent that had some German-esque offerings (currywürst, sauerkraut, pretzels, nachos (?!) and big combination plates to share).  

Now, normal Liz would have looked around and though, "neat, but I am all by myself, so too bad."  But new Liz thought, "man, I'm all by myself.  Oh well, which beer should I buy?"

I decided on Hofbräuhaus Weisbier because (1) none of the beer was cheap and (2) I knew I liked it so it wouldn't be a waste.  It was an excellent choice because the girl who served me spoke perfect English!  Even the regular half liter was huge, so I decided I really should eat something with it and picked up a pretzel (the thought of currywürst just made me feel a little bit ill). 

I found myself a spot at one of the long tables and sat down to enjoy my pretzel, beer and take in the "atmosphere" which was the usual ever-confused Japanese people, but this time paired with German beer hall music.

It was a little surreal to sit amongst the huge, modern buildings drinking good German beer and listening to traditional German music.

That's Osaka Station.

That's Osaka's newest, most gigantic mall, Grand Front Osaka.

As I finished my beer I thought to myself, goodness, I sure picked the day NOT to bring the camera.  My iPhone does take pretty excellent photos though!

I must have looked like such an idiot sitting all by myself, taking loads of pictures with my phone, haha.

After my "lunch" (it was around noon so I called beer and a pretzel lunch), I went down another level to pop into the new Dean and Deluca.  I have been looking everywhere for herbes de Provence and decided it was worth a try (they had them).  

The beer must have gone to my head because I am pretty sure you are not allowed to take pictures in the shop, but I took lots :)

At least I still had the sense not to buy anything but my herbes de Provence...that store is expensive and everything looks so good!

Today was the sort of day I love being in the city.  It was fun to stumble across something as random as a German beer garden and stop for a drink. The Oktoberfest in Umeda finishes today, but I wish it were hanging around until Bryn gets here!  Oh well, I am sure there will be something equally as random and entertaining taking its place.

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