The "circus" area that we walked through was very daunting. Everything was either a restaurant or a gambling parlour. Everything was lit up, flashing, making noises. I've never been to Vegas, but I imagine it must be like that. We ended up eating our first meal in some kind of clown. We didn't understand anything they said, but many restaurants have picture-menus, and you may just point at what you want. "Kore o kudasai" means "I'd like this, please." That's a helpful phrase. It is also helpful that many restaurants have a display case out front with very realistic plastic replicas of their dishes. We were somewhat able to determine whether restaurants contained things we wanted to eat this way.
We didn't understand anything they said at the restaurant, but we kept thanking them, and they kept smiling, and everyone was fed, so I guess we did alright.
The karaoke place had only one staff member who spoke any English, and his was very limited. We eventually negotiated an hour in a private booth, and a round of drinks.
All in all Osaka was a positive experience. Very colourful and very exciting. But also very exhausting, especially after the long day's travel.
Next up we'll have stories from our first few days in Nagoya. We now have an internet connection in our apartment, so the posting won't stop any time soon!