Vagabond Tim
Having completed numerous circuits of the station the very first businesses began opening. I was as a Canadian incredibly thankful that they served coffee and donuts, until of course I attempted to consume them.

This coffee was the blandest weakest cup of hot brownish something that I have ever had the displeasure of putting in my mouth, I scarcely imagined anything could ever again be called unpleasant having had the bar raised to such extremes. Then I took a bite of the donut.  I invented an entirely new pantheon of gods to curse for the existence of such a vile thing, it was both dry and soggy in a way that no words in any language ever invented can properly explain.  The ‘chocolate’ coating was some sort of barely congealed paste with a not unnoticeable resemblance to chalk, not the fancy kind of chalk used in schools and the like but the cheap chalk given to children to draw upon sidewalks.  Also visible in the photo is the receipt indicating that I actually paid to subject myself to the horrors of this, and I use the term very very loosely, food.

Having an unreasonable amount of time to kill and being somewhat deprived of food I decided to stop at the Japanese version of a german sausagefest…

Hilarity aside the bratwurst was fairly edible and the fries were unusual in a way I have come to realize is endemic of fried foods in Japan, it must have to do with the oil used to deep fry them.

Having finally eaten something and killed some time I began playing around with my phone for a few moments until it occured to me that it was my only camera and until I reached my destination I had no way to charge it.  This left me no choice but to head to the platform hours early and take as many photos of trains as was possible before my batteries died.

The ride to Takeno was absolutely gorgeous but sadly my phone had died a horrible angry birds related death and I was unable to record any of it. Ideally I will be somewhat less of an idiot on the return trip and remember to charge my phone.

Of note when discussing Osaka, the city and the station, is the fact that there are in fact no garbage cans anywhere in the country apart from those found on train platforms. There is a hilariously Japanese reason for this though, in 1995 there was a horrible attack with Sarin Gas upon the Tokyo subway system. The important detail being that the available garbage cans in these enclosed spaces were used to conceal the sources of the gas. In response Japan removed garbage cans from literally every well ventilated location while simultaneously doing absolutely nothing productive with the ones located in enclosed high traffic areas.

While it may seem a harsh criticism I completely sympathize with the need to do SOMETHING as well as the absolutely essential nature of garbages in train stations, the last thing one wants is folks littering the tracks with soda cans and the like.

One unfortunate reality of a nation that largely does not speak any of the languages I do is that I was unable to find anything of interest to read while waiting for my train.

As I sat contemplating the fact that I was now unable to take photos the most incredible train I have ever seen flew by at speeds I had thought reserved for airplanes. Many thanks to whoever uploaded this montage of hot train action. Behold the 683 series in all its glory.

“It is hard to nurse a coffee and donut when they are this bad” – The Vagabond

This conversely was indeed worthy of being called food, and even eaten.

One of many incredibly badass bullet trains

Slightly less badass, this is one of the Osaka local trains

This is one of the local trains one might see in northern Hyogo province, not a clue what it was doing here.

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