For day 2 we needed to go to Dotonbori. But a food place at 9 am sounded sort of lame, so we decided instead to go to our favourite place in the whole wide world wherever we are: open air museums!
In just about every country with a long-ish history they have an outdoor museum of how life was, and Japan, having history as it does, had just such a museum, in the form of the Old Japanese Farm Houses Museum (not to be confused with the New Japanese Farm Houses Museum, which is not a real thing because I just made it up).
We got a day-pass for the subway and headed off. Somehow we have come to adore these little places that serve French pastries. There are a lot of them, and you pick up a cafeteria tray and a pair of tongs and wander around the store picking up whatever you want. Could be a hot dog in a croissant with cheese, or something called “Freshness bread is make a happy day” which ended up tasting pretty good. So we did that before walking to the museum.
The museum is on the other side of a huge park, which is a common theme we’ve been told about Osaka: They like to have green space alongside the city (the previous day Kevin took us to a place he called Pokemon Park to watch zombies wandering around playing Pokemon Go by themselves). I had to stop and use the bathroom. And like a public bathroom in North America it was riddled with graffiti, broken toilets and faucets, stunk to high heaven and was basically a haven for crack fiends. By which I mean NONE of those things. The public bathrooms, again a common theme in Osaka, are pristine. Clean, bright, fully functioning, and of a higher quality than the one you have at home (unless you live in that park of course, which is possible). Every public restroom we’ve been in could have been a cover picture for Awesome Nice Bathroom Monthly.
The museum itself is a set of 13 buildings from as far back as 200 years ago up until about the 1800’s (though some of the same time period are still being used today we were told) and from various regions of Japan. The ones from regions with a lot of snow had huge massive beams running across them for load, and had trusses that were not actually attached to the lower frame so that they could move and sway with the wind in a typhoon.
2 of the buildings had volunteers that spoke excellent English and could explain things much more in-depth for us. The only problem with this is that you must take off your shoes and put on slippers to enter the building, which turns out to be hilarious when you have size 13 shoes, a number not normally used by the Japanese for footwear.
One was the only building with a second floor, but it was not used for living space (I accidentally just wrote “loving space” there and then erased it and then thought, yup, it probably was that too) it was used to cultivate silk worms by the thousands. They would grow them from larval stage and then trade them with the cocoons intact to silk merchants to unwind (to answer your obviously burning question, they get around 1 Km [not a typo] of silk from a single pod)
Next was a house that had the farm animals living in the same space as the family (like some husbands, am I right ladies? High five.) It was built in an L-shape so that when it was very cold out the farmer could simply look at the adjacent space and make sure the animals were okay. The roof was built such that the fire in the house would also send heat over to the animal section to keep them toasty and warm.
The rest of the houses were interesting, but the souvenir we got was the best: our legs chewed to pieces by bugs so small we could neither feel nor see them but left our legs looking like we had had words with a weed whacker and lost quite badly.
Next we decided, since we’ve seen how farmers live, how about royalty? Maybe a castle? And then how about some overhyoped street food? Day two continued…..