We left the Sammy Ebisu Plaza and explored the shops in Dotonbori and the surrounding area. At one point, we took a break at the Starbucks/TSUTAYA (TSUTAYA is a book/music/DVD store) while we opened up a box of trading cards that Chuck had won earlier in Den Den Town.
Chuck had tried his luck at a sort of capsule machine - you put in your money, and it spits out a plastic ball that contains a key. The key opens one of the doors on the machine and you claim your prize. He was hoping for the DS, but of course it wasn’t to be, and he instead got a box of packs for this trading-card arcade game called World Club Champion Football (football as in soccer, of course). It’s actually pretty neat - each card represents a player, and the cards somehow contain electronic data to identify the card. The arcade machines have a flat surface representing the field, and you place your team (chosen from the cards you have) on it. The game detects which cards you have, and you can customize your formations just by moving your cards around. We had seen the game at several arcades in Akihabara, and tournaments seemed to be popular.
Unfortunately, we never got to use the cards during our trip, but maybe Chuck has had a chance since then to try it out.
We got some souvenir shopping done, but unfortunately it had begun to rain by late afternoon. It became dark not too long after, and we were able to get some pictures of the area at night:
Osaka at night
More Osaka at night, with a shot of Glico Man
There was a yakitoriya on Dotonbori that looked cheap, so we took in a pretty good meal there (I think fried/grilled food with Japanese beer will always be a good meal in my mind). The place itself was cozy, and the walls were covered with photos of celebrities who had eaten there (I think I only recognized one or two of them).
After that, we decided it was time to take the train back to Kyoto. When we got back to the ryokan, there was a big group of people there making a lot of noise - it looked like a group of high school students on a trip to Japan (presumably from the U.S.) for whatever reason. In any case, we avoided the crowd and went up to our room to unload.
I think we went to Shijo again that night, but I really can’t remember what happened. So meh.