My earlier train from Tokyo arrived at Shin-Osaka with enough time for me to drop my luggage off at the hotel and race back to catch my original train to Kansai International Airport. Once I meet B and Alex there we’ll head back. 

Speaking of greys earlier, Osaka is a very grey city. The Haruka’s path to the airport takes you past a sea of concrete apartment blocks, stained houses and a disturbing sameness. One might think it a very ugly city. 

But I find that it allows the little things to shine through. I love the neon signs, the izakaya lanterns, the pedestrians strolling home that suddenly appear in that monotony. 

Then there is the sunset backdrop, the pastel shades somehow different from home. There’s a lot of beauty in ugliness. 

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