a The Transit Lounge: Um...What's That?

Back in the Day: I had a quarter life crisis, headed to Osaka, Japan for the unknown–only to discover that a passport plane ride are not necessarily a ticket to escape. Some Years Later: Settled back in Oz, the man of my dreams ended up in Tokyo for work–which is how a passport and plane ride showed me home is where the heart is. And Now: Well as luck would have it, we are about to embark on Japan Mark 3, with a baby in tow and another on the way...

Wednesday, July 8

Um...What's That?

Who doesn't love a good white elephant story.

So take the Namba HIPS building at right. This building was under construction when I first left Osaka at the end of '06. When I went back to visit in August of last year, it had not long being unveiled.

The big structure down them middle was a ride. Yes WAS. Apparently not too long after it opened, someone was injured on the ride and was shut down immediately with no plans to fix it.

This building, with prime real-estate (pretty much on the corner of Sennichimae and Midosuji, as well as being VERY close to the start of the Dotonbori) would have cost trillions of yen.
I can imagine Mr Yamamoto is drowning his sorrows somewhere at one of the many hostess clubs in the surrounding area.


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Blogger Danyk said...

Yeah, Osaka's majestic white elephants are like museums of consumer history. Within its cool confines we walk passed a litany of shops selling nothing but the blandest of everyday items and clothing stores catering to the ever aging and soon to be fading Bubble Boomer generation.

The Passing of time marked by the passing of pachinko halls is an archaic pleasure much like gambling on which way a sundial turns. It reminds us how the act of shopping during the gilded years, now two decades forgotten, was a pleasure unto itself. But how time makes fools of us all! Namba Hips is just Festival Gate twenty years her junior but not hiding behind a veneer of good intentions. This place already reeks of pachinko breath and even looks like an albino pachyderm. If any one does talk about the elephant in the room they do so knowing full well that this elephant is pretty pleased with itself.

10:30 am

Blogger Miss Riz said...

Well put Danyk...I especially love your last sentence in all of this.

4:04 pm


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