We ♥ Kansai : What's It All About!?

Welcome Welcome いらっしゃいませ!(●´-`●)

January 09, 2014
Time for another update! Three years later, no less (weird phrasing there). It's been fun! So let's keep the good times rolling.

We ♥ Kansai is my small portion of cyberspace where I try to share as much information (remembered) about my life and time here in the Kansai area of Japan. Whether it's food, attractions or the language, I do my best to share and to be as honest and sincere as I can. I won't recommend places that aren't worth the time or money, but I also definitely want everyone to make their own decisions about where they would like to visit. I'm just playing devil's advocate I suppose. :)


O-Hanami Spots in Osaka - Utsubo Park

 Utsubo Park is located in Osaka City, right off of the Chuo Line of the subway, and almost quite literally in the center of the city, south of Umeda, west of Osaka Castle, north of Nanba but still East of Shinsaibashi.

Utsubo Park is easily accessible from the Midosuji, Yotsubashi and Chuo Lines of the subway. All of these lines will take you to Honmachi Station. Exit from exit number 28 (near the Yotsubashi Line). After leaving exit 28, you'll see a Family Mart to the left. Walk past the Family Mart, to the next light, then make a left. You'll walk for about 5 minutes before you see a playground to your right, and that's Utsubo Park! Other nearby stations include Awaza Staion and Higobashi Station (the furthest of the three).

Utsubo Park features a large picnic space surrounded by Sakura trees, but most of these spaces are usually called for (i.e. nearby companies put down a blue tarp and leave it there with their names on it so whenever they're ready, they'll have a spot). If you don't make it in time to claim some space for your own blue tarp, you can always picnic like a normal person, on one of the many benches throughout the park. This park also features a playground, making it a popular space for families with young children (unlike Osaka Castle Park, where you tend to see more drunk adults).

The space directly in front is the picnic area surrounded by sakura.

The sakura in Osaka City tend to fade faster than sakura out in Nara or Kyoto, so it's best to get out and see them as early as possible (many of the blossoms have faded by early April)!


★Events★ Nipponbashi Street Festa 2014

Greetings everyone!! I hope your weekend went well because I have a pleasant treat for your Monday. :)

This past Friday, the 10th Nipponbashi Street Festa was held for 2014! I wrote about this event last year and well.. It hasn't changed much, but it's always nice to have a bit of constant in this busy place. If you want any event details, check out the old post as this post shall mostly consist of photos!

One bit that did change on my side was that I had a partner in crime, just as enthusiastic as myself. So we squealed and hunted down our favorite characters together while feeling a little less awkward than usual, and we were even able to chat with a few locals. An overall improvement from last year.

I will admit though, as my friend did too, that anime events in Japan seem... different. We were both invovled in a lot of the cons back in D.C., and I think a lot of people will agree that the atmosphere is very warm. It's so easy to walk around, and even when you're alone, and it's easy to find someone that you share a common interest in. In Japan, or at the very least at this street fest, it feels a little awkward sometimes. Like there are previously established groups that you have to know about beforehand (that applies in America, but less so to cons). And sometimes I felt like cosplayers were annoyed if I asked for a photo. I'm usually pretty good at reading people, and one would assume that going to event whose focus is for people to parade around in costumes means one desires to be photographed, so sometimes I was genuinely confused and just wanted to go up to them and say 'Why are you even hear?!'

But despite all that, we had a great time and took a lot of photo AND video. And since we like to be a little different that all those other sites about cosplaying in Japan, we should have quite the number of male cosplayers (and there were so many more we didn't photograph too!!).

The video will come a bit later but there should be a steady stream of photos on the tumblr to tide you over until then. ;)

Update: The video can be found at the bottom of this post! 


Nipponbashi Street Festa 2014

Last year, I got a shot of Skull Kidd so I was so stoked to see Link hovering by the main stage..!
 So yeah.. this is a Pedobear I guess since it's holding a pillowcase that has a very young looking girl with her vajayjay out. Can't say I've seen that at con in the States, and I consider myself lucky. Stay classy loli-con.
I thought this shot was a really bizarre yet accurate portrait of anime culture in Japan. This young girl, I guess it's a character, I wouldn't know, is surrounded completely by mostly older male and on-lookers and photographers, some kneeling for what we can only hope is dramatic perspective. (The blur was added for dramatic effect, but the look of disconcertment, intentional or no, which is worrying, was included in the original.)
 Enough social commentary, because MGS cosplay is the BEST cosplay.
 A ridiculously adorable and sweet SnK cosplayer..!
 Tiger & Bunny? HIS SPIKES ROTATE. Ferociously.
 So many SnK cosplayers. And so well done..
 Luluuu!! Y u so cute...
 RE Cosplay. Leon wanted my Sailor Jupiter sweatshirt and I was like "..Ok." I'm very easy.. Lol
 Sheeeeik. Y u not real guy...
 Awesome bar with a Zaku. Just hanging out. The owner speaks English, go say Hello! :)
 Haruka with a FAB wig and always melancholy Michiru.
 I've never seen this series, but he was super cute. And he was like BAM pose.
 THIIIIS cosplay. Similar to last year, cosplays that involve military gear (MGS, RE) are super popular and they seem to feature a lot of great looking older gents.
 Creepy enough for you? Don't worry, there's a man in uniform behind the Joker lol.
 I wasn't expecting to see Silent Hill cosplay (I think it tends to be more popular stateside), and in that almost freezing weather (it snowed a bit later on). Mad brownie points Pyramid Head. And maybe a hot chocolate.
 Shingeki no peek-a-boo.
 I was sooo happy to see Di-gi-Charat cosplyers! I adored that show back in the day :) Check it out!! It's hilarious~
 No cosplay event is complete without a fantastic Zoro.
 And a great Jack Sparrow!!
 Or a photo-bombing Reno. So spot-on. And I wasn't even trying to take the photo of him! He literally came out of nowhere.
 Mario Bros., winners of the easiest, bestest, most awesome sibling cosplay.
 Another cosplay that stirred all the elementary school anime feels. I just wish there was a Julian around somewhere..
 The FF cosplayers were out in full force! But Squall was the only one I saw from FFVIII...
 I don't know this cosplay.. But I have a cosplay crush on the chap with the purple hair.
 And there was a Space Dandy!! We met him in front of the bar, of course. Too bad there was no BOOBIES nearby..
 I got about half of the FFX members, though I figured Kimahri might be hard to find..
 And finally! A Jo-Jo's Bizarre Adventure cosplay!! ...At least, I think it is. I've been meaning to watch that series, I swear...

The rest of the photos will be on the tumblr, including, so feel free to reblog and share your favorites! Hopefully I'll have the video together this week..! :)


Here is the video I mentioned before :) Enjoy!


♪♫Kansai-ben Music♫♪ - Kanjani ∞'s Takoyaki In My Heart

I should probably be more embarrassed about not mentioning Kanjani∞ before, but then, they're so poplar, I figured everyone should know about them by now. They even have an English Wikipedia page, which says something.

I should also probably admit, I'm not much of a Johnny's follower, and I only get as deep as Arashi and Kanjani, and when I say deep, I mean I know one song for each group, but I do enjoy their faces, so there's that. And Kanjani∞ does get the upper hand for their use of comedy and kansai-ben, with that being the focus if this post and all (plus they're pretty funny). We're going to go through some of the kansai dialect used in the Kanjani song 'Takoyaki In My Heart.' Yay! :)

Now we all know hard it is to find any Johnny's stuff on the Youtubes, but, even though this video isn't the actual video, you can hear the entire song. Check out this site for the Japanese lyrics and this site for Romaji and an English translation.

I've broken the explanations down by lines in the song, since some lines have one bit, while others might have a couple. Also, since I'm due for work in a few, I won't be able to go through the entire song, but if there are some parts you're especially curious about, just let me know in the comments beloooow~~!

At there beginning of the song, there is this line:
とりあえず まあ 笑っとけ

っとけ is used a lot in Kansai dialect (I'm going to use Kd from now) to tell people what to do. A more aggressive form of こー which is the Kd form of ましょう which means 'let's (do/eat/go).'

So, for example: (Kd → Jpn → Eng)
行こー!(iko-) → 行きましょう!(ikimasho) → Let's go!

やっとけ!(yattoke) → やりなさい! (yarinasai) → Do it!

 っとけ is often used for comedic effect when playful telling someone what to do, but it should definitely only be used with your in-group.

In this phrase, we get to learn two bits:
大阪人なら 明るくてナンボ

-なら is often used as a preposition that means if or in that case. I think in standard Japanese, you would use だったら, but the なら form is acceptable when speaking in out-group and in-group situations in Kansai. However, if you're writing a missive of some kind, you might want to stick to the standard Japanese version.

Also, you may hear the phrase ほんなら often:
ほんなら、また5分後で戻ります。→ If that's the case, I'll return again in 5 min.

Mastering the use of ほんなら will have you one step closing to speaking like a real 関西人 (Kansai person).

Next is ナンボ, which I do believe I've covered before. It simply means 'how much?'

これってナンボですか。→ How much is this?

This phrase actually made me giggle:
とにかくボケて《ツッコめ ツッコめ》

This comes from a comedic style known as manzai that involves a Boke (an air-head) and Tsukkomi (a smart-ass) that trade gags quickly. One manzai gag is usually under 5 minutes, and I have to admit, sometimes I completely miss the punchline, or don't find it funny at all. But then I grew up with George Carlin and Dave Chappelle, so I'm coming from a completely different school of comedy. A lot of my friends who live in kansai LOVE manzai though, specifically acts from Yoshimoto.

Anyway, in this phrase, it's basically saying "anyway, I'll be an airhead (boke) <<so correct me (tsukkonde)>>"

And you might be thinking, what a strange thing to say, but Kansai people LOVE it! I can't tell you how many times a day Shota says 'つっこんでくれへんから!' ('it's because you don't correct me!' He loves being 'boke.' My strange little boke.

ケチやないで 節約ですやん

やない seems like it's being used here as じゃない which means 'not,' but it most cases, I think ちゃう で is used in place of やないで. Similarly, やん is being used as よ, but I think やんか or or just やん (without です) is used (this could be a dated form of Kd, which is used a lot in songs).

《やっぱり あいつ あっち系ちゃうか?

あいつ is used a lot in in-group. I often refer to Shota as あいつ when I'm both happy when I'm angry (it's so multi-functional), but sadly, it's a word that has to stay in-group. Can't walk around your office calling your co-workers あいつ (or you could, it just wouldn't end well).

ちゃうか is the Kd form of じゃないか which can be translated as 'isn't it (or in this case, he)?'

なんやねん 食べもん ゆってる だけやんけ

なんやねん, I have no idea what the standard Japanese phrase is, but it means 'what the hell?,' 'wtf??' or other such remarks. I would say it's the quintessential Kd phrase.

もん is the shortened form of もの which means things (or persons). This is used pretty often as 食べもん (food), 飲みもん (drinks), or anything that ends with もの.

ゆってる is the Kd of 言ってる, although, when ever the word 言う is spoken, it sounds like 'ゆう' and not 'いう.' In Kd, I would say the pronunciation of '言う' is elongated so it sounds like 'ゆー'
何ゆーてんの。(nani yu-tenno) → 'What are you saying??

やんけ is another way to say じゃない but in this case, I would translate it as 'right??'
so the whole sentence would be 'What the hell, you're just naming food, right??'

Whooo, that took all my frees time, and now I'm off to work. ;o; If you want the rest of the song broken now, or some other parts broken down from the first section that I skipped, just let me know in the comments! :)

And don't forget to try out some of this Kansai dialect with your friends! And only your friends! :)



♥Happy Girls' Day! おひな祭り♥

Hope everyone is doing well. I'm still stuck between time at the office then working at the home office, so I don't have anytime to type up anything decent. There are quite of few more helpful things I want to write about (plus a video to edit) but in the meantime, I thought I'd share some Girls' Day photos from a trip back to Shota's mum's house. Lots of cake and sushi was eaten.

We went to a small mom and pop sushi place in Nabari called Kotobuki. It was delicious but I wasn't able to eat much due to a stomach ache. Dangit.

So I started teaching my niece about selfies. Never too young to learn.

You can see the children surrounding the cake eagerly. All hands on deck. But first..

Photos of the only girl from the youngest generation! She's such a smartie too.

 It had been a while since we had the family together too, so we all decided to get in on the photos, even the non-hina's. :) I don't know if we'll be getting together for Boy's/Children's Day in May, but I do hope we get together again soon.

This time all the hinas, though the mums are missing. I believe they were fussing over... something.

And the cakes! I can't say they were very sweet (are they ever??) but the kids enjoyed getting the icing all over their faces. Some of it might have made it into their mouths.

Then we hopped back on the train to Osaka. Care package in tow of course, full of goodies like senbei and green tea. This was only our 2nd trip to Nabari this year, which is unfortunate because I miss hanging out with his family. I think we'll try to make a bit more of an effort to see them for the rest of the year though. :)

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