Last Sleep in Sembayashi-omiya, Next Up Umeda

One more sleep in our Sembayashi-omiya apartment before moving to Umeda for a week stay at hotel Ill Grande Umeda. We would have been staying in Tokyo for the next three weeks however our plans have changed and we will now be sailing with our friends on their yacht from Osaka to Nagasaki during Golden Week.

Day 46 – April 18th, 2014

Our penultimate day in Sembayashi-omiya and this morning we had our first Skype Birdy party. Daniel used his iPhone to Skype with us so that we could catch up with the munchkins, the great thing is they are all happy and healthy, the sad thing is we miss them so very much.

Birdy Skype party

Birdy Skype party


Then after catching up with work from the past few days that we were exploring it’s time to go out for lunch. Today we chose the sushi train.

The sushi was great as usual and an Asahi goes down well. After lunch we do a bit of shopping for dinner, we find some packs of nori rolls that are great value and that’s dinner, nothing wrong with sushi for lunch and dinner is there?

“hospitality and generosity is second to none in Japan”

Walking back through the arcade I notice an optical shop, lucky for me I have my broken pair with me so we go in.

The lady at the counter stops what she’s doing and listens to me explain that I need a small screw to replace the missing one, next minute she is looking in her tray of screws and fitting one to match. How much I ask wallet and Yen in hand, oh nothing that’s fine she said in a Japanese way (waving her hands). That is once again the hospitality and generosity that is second to none in Japan.

Fixing my glasses for FREE

Getting my glasses repaired for FREE


“Our friends Meiko & Nishimori who have the sushi shop”

On the way back home we stop by the flower shop which is almost opposite Meiko & Nishimori’s sushi shop and have a bunch of flowers made up by the lady there, we tell her it’s for Meiko and she is smiles, a close nit comunity where most people know each other.

With flowers in hand and a six pack of Asahi we enter Mieko & Nishimori’s shop, they are very happy to see us and accept the flowers and beer with wonderful smiles and deep respect. How can I tell, believe me that when you spend some time with genuine people you can tell how they feel.

Flowers for Mieko

Flowers for Mieko, beer for Nishimori


About an hour goes by before we head back to our apartment and finish packing up the bags ready for our departure tomorrow. We don’t need to clean the place either as we pay an AirBnB fee that covers that.

Packing the bags ready for our departure in the morning

Packing the bags ready for our departure in the morning, that’s our sofa bed


With all packed and wanting to scout out the next weeks hotel, we take the subway but you wouldn’t believe how difficult it was to find this place. Neither google maps or asking a few people got us anywhere near.

“Trying to find the Hotel ill Grande was a nightmare”

Then as we were walking back to the subway station I see a green light that reads Ill Grande, after walking around for an hour following the google map which took us all over the place but not where we needed to go I find it by just looking up.

It certainly pays to follow the signs and your nose rather than the GPS, as the hotel is only 400 metres from the Minami-morimachi Station and we had already walked past it!! All good though, I’m just glad we did this without any luggage.

At the hotel ill Grande we enquire as to the best exit from the subway to get here with our luggage, exit number two, would be closest but this has no lift, only exit 6 has a lift and once up at street level we will need to cross the main road.

With that recognisance done which took much longer than anticipated we were rather peeved and hungry, not a good combination so we took off back to Sembayashi-omiya and home to eat our sushi and relax.

Sushi from the supermarket, check out the wonderful packing they use and so cheap

Sushi from the supermarket, check out the wonderful packing they use and so cheap


All of that sushi for 1314 Yen including tax that’s about $14 depending on exchange, with a couple of beers you really can eat cheaply in Japan.

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