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We were exhausted by the time we arrived so we didn't see as much of the city as we would have liked. We checked into the beautiful Rihga Royal Osaka Hotel and we very pleased with the room and the amenities. While we are used to finding a coffee pot in our room in Osaka we found an electric teapot, assortment of teas and the traditional Japanese tea cups. We also found Kimonos and slippers for our use .. and thank goodness, wireless internet.
We went found our way downstairs, with the help of one of the bell boys who took us directly to the front door of the restaurant that served tempura ( there were 6 different Japanese style restaurants as well as some Western style restaurants in the hotel) . Bill tried to tip him and he firmly refused. It was hard to get used to, but you just don't tip in Japan.
The kimono clad waitress brought us a menu and pictures of some of the dishes and we just made a stab in the dark. I still couldn't tell you all that we ate but I enjoyed it and Bill was pretty indifferent to most of it, outright disliking some of it. The next morning we had Western style eggs and bacon and some of the best coffee I have ever had at the hotel "Coffee Shop."
We transferred to the Sapphire Princess from the hotel and relaxed for awhile on the Lido deck (by the pool), with of course my first Mojito of the cruise. From the Lido deck ( well in fact from a lot of places in Osaka ) you could see the Tempozan Ferris Wheel towering 112.5 meters into the sky. It actually loomed over the ship. With a turning diameter of 100 m it is one of the largest in the world. It takes 15 minutes for one revolution.
This Ferris wheel also has a weather forecast system which causes it to display beautiful lighting radiation out from the center of a different color for each type of weather ( for instance fair is red, cloudy is green and rain is blue.) As we watched it go around we suddenly decided that we needed to ride the Ferris wheel and take pictures of the Sapphire from a different prospective. Click here for our ferris wheel ride.
The rest of the day we just enjoyed relaxing and getting re-acquainted with a favorite ship. Did a little work on our cruise review of the Sapphire. That night we joined our new tablemates from England, Canada and California ( hey it is almost as foreign as the others) and conversation flowed from the moment we sat down. We were pretty amused when the maitre de led us to the very same table that we ate at for a week last year on the Mexican Riviera Cruise but we have decided it is the best table in the dining room because again we have great tablemates. That makes it so much more fun!!!
We didn't do any nightlife that night ... we pretty much collapsed and got ready for a fun day at sea.