Osaka’s greatest landmark, the snare-drumming clown Taro, has left for a warmer clime. He had a steady gig playing in front of Kuidaore, an eating institution. Or so I’m told; the one time I had a decent tempura there, the place was deserted. Of other customers. I guess the perpetual hordes of photogenic tourists posing with Taro never stopped for a bite.
Anyway, he’s retired to Beppu, famed for its “Nine Hells” of blood-red hot springs. At least he’ll have naked people all around. Meanwhile, Osaka’s left with what? Every time I go back it seems like it’s lost something, even if it’s just been a few days. Of course, when most of your precious memories are tied to advertising brands, what can you expect?