Left Fukuoka Friday Sept 10th, afternoon – poor Midori probably thought she’d NEVER get rid of us! ‘C)
We had a great stay with the Niiyamas, and it was time to meet Manigeh in Osaka. We all arrived after 10 pm and Manigeh made it 1 minute before the desk closed for the night!
Of course, the weather turned cooler and less humid the day before we left Fukuoka, and since Osaka is by a bay, the weather is cooler, and we are cooled off by good bursts of cool wind. The hostel – Nagai Youth Hostel is located on the 3rd floor of the Nagai Stadium! It was established in 1970, closed sometime after that, and reopened again in 1997 for the FiFa World Cup tournaments. It is like a the luxury liner of hostels! It is run by the Osaka municipality, and may explain why the facilities are so pleasant, though it has a strange floor plan. It has air conditioning,
During our five-day stay, most other guests were from Japan, and were teams of students. We’ve met a few non-Japanese guests: Drew and Carston of Portland, Oregon;
Check out the dorm bunks!
A memory of Nagai Youth Hostel was of an older gentleman on staff trying to explain to a young Japanese man how to make the bed with the two flat sheets and the pillow case we were all given upon check-in. The young man just couldn’t figure out what to do with TWO sheets, and the gentleman was gesturing with his hands and body how to sleep between two sheets and not just right on the mattress!
The staff was most accomodating and gracious. Chica-san greeted us and spoke English very well, explaining quite a few things since we are so new to hostel life! Alas, I didn’t get a picture of her. To thank the staff, we gave them some yummy bakery items, and the manager a plant as he has a garden on the side patio.
One of the best amenities was the use of the bicycles! For less than an hour use, it was free. For 2 or more hours, it was Y200! Additional lockers to fit three carry-on luggage and backpacks was Y300 / day, and was useful for days we checked out late. The fact that the front desk stayed open until 11 pm was pretty cool, too.
The fantastically large kitchen apparently is used for the conference halls below, and the hostel sometimes lodges guests for those conferences. For example, in about a month, the Sumo basho will be in town, and several Sumo wrestlers will be guests! Man, I LOVE sumo, and to stand next to one of the wrestlers makes one feel … like a little rice kernel by a rice ball! Mentioning Sumo, as a good-bye present, the manager of the hostel gave us a Tokyo Sumo Basho list of sumo wrestlers, according to rank! Rank also is defined by the size of the name written on the list, apparently!