That shopping street I mentioned? The one that is covered and had so many small lovely shops (not to mention a McDonald's AND a Burger King)? I learned last night that this is a very well known street called Shinsaibashi-suji. Who knew?
The two most important features we were looking for in apartment were proximity to spouse's place work and an environment conducive to creativity. Or, to put it differently, this is a space where I will be spending a lot of time writing and working alone and so I need a home that won't exacerbate the feelings of depression and isolation that often come with crossing cultures and living in a completely new place.
After two days of looking at different buildings and apartments, we decided that this one would do. It's on the 14th floor of a tower in the heart of Osaka so it has a lot of light and (be still my heart) a view of the city and the mountains around the city. It's not big by American standards, it's perfectly OK by French standards, it's positively spacious by Japanese standards. It's located in the Chuo Ward and it is within walking distance of the Osaka Castle. There is a lively district just one block away with places to shop for food or just to have a cup of coffee and it's about 2 minutes away from a metro station. Honestly, I don't think we could have done better.
Here are a few photos (yes, I am a terrible photographer but bear with me). The apartment is unfurnished and we will need to purchase a refrigerator, an oven, and a washer/dryer. I see a trip to Ikea in our future...
This is one of the two bedrooms. The other is a little bit bigger.
This is the living room. The balcony is L-shaped and there is a lot of light. I'm thinking two chairs here for reading and a small round table for writing.
This is a "Japanese room" which is right off the living room. Note the mats on the floor and the sliding doors. Just lovely.
And here is the view on one side. During the day you can see mountains (and for my stepfather who is interested in such things there is also a clear view of several transmitter sites). At night the city is all lit up and very beautiful.