The three hour flight from Hong Kong to Japan was lovely for being only three hours...it felt like a hop, a skip and a jump! This part of Japan is quieter than Hong Kong, Suita City, an area within Osaka between central Osaka and Kyoto to the north. You'll see in the back ground of the photo of us taking my grandson to nursery school this morning an enormous stadium. This is the Gamba Osaka football stadium, Gamba Osaka is one of the most important football teams in Japan. Last time we were here, Simon went with (son) George to watch a game. He said the Gamba chant would strike up amongst the fans...and then they'd quieten down for the opposition to strike up a chant. At the end of the game the fans cleared up the mess and then the rain came down. As the crowds left the stadium they were like a Roman legion with their shields up - a mass of umbrellas.
I wish every Govt. minister could come to Japan to see the nursery school my grandson goes to, costing just a small fraction of UK nursery schools, and (nursery places) being available to anyone who chooses to take one up. The school itself looked a happy, constructive, calm place full of cheerful children and lovely teachers. Of course it's subsidised by the govt., but it has given George the time and chance to set up his own school of English (Sarum English School) which we went to visit today!
George and Namiki live near a large park, Banpaku Park which was the site of 1970's world exposition. In it, The Tower of The Sun was built by artist Taro Okamoto, originally it had the story of life inside - right up to the top but was derelict for many years. Last time we were here it had been refurbished so we climbed up the inside through amazing light shows and sculptures showing the evolution of life from amoeba to us now.
The monorail runs very close to here - we'll be on it tomorrow to go and meet a friend for lunch.