All hail HEP 5!
Kyoto speaks of mystical temples, Kobe has its quaint finesse…while Osaka is just, well, no-bones Osaka, really. Never really been a city to write home about the tourist attractions, you’d be hard pushed to find any bona fide ones….buuut if you look hard enough there is of course the glorious HEP 5 big wheel thingy. Or is it a ferris wheel per chance? I guess it depends on which side of the Atlantic you’re from. But anyway…
Go into the HEP 5 complex, and prepare to brave it through the maddening crowds (weekends equals OUCH!) and up to the seventh floor in true Charlie and the Glass Elevator stylee…and be greeted by the ubiquitous but affable ‘Hep Boy’ (yet more bonkers job titles for the ole C.V.)…who guides you to the ticket machine. You purchase your lovely red ticket for a bargainous 500 yen, and Bob’s yer uncle, off you march into your own little 4-person sky-gondola and up you go. Weeeee!
Oh, the view! I love Osaka, yey! See it in all its glory from a bird’s eye view and be your own espionage as you watch people minding their business while the world turns into dinky size. Guaranteed to eeek out a few sugoi’s of impressed-ness, even from the most cynical of people. And if they remain unimpressed they are just plain miserable and need a heavy dose of Hello Kitty-ness to lighten themselves up!
Oooh, that cunning little business ploy gets me every time, though. They try to con you into buying what’s known as a ‘memorial photo’ (who died?!) of a mug shot that you are unassumingly suckered into posing for before you get on and whirly-gig it. A snip at 1,000 yen (yeah right, twice the price of the ticket itself!), you can boast to your loved ones about how your latest wrinkles and laughter lines are coming on a treat. Up to you, of course.
On yer way down, you can of course get lost in the restaurant plaza (illuminous ice cream sundaes, anyone? …with a creme caramel on top? I’m serious!), or (yey oh yey) participate in some printclub action! Mama mia! How can I resist you?!
HEP 5 awaits you yo!