The other day I had work training, which on top of a free lunch, meant two things. Firstly, that I was not at my usual office, and secondly, that I finished significantly earlier than I normally would. So I took the opportunity to take a stroll through Umeda.
The evening was crystal clear, with the kind of sharp clarity that only ever accompanies those biting winds on which icicles can actually form. The wind whipped it's icy way around, but to no avail, I remained cosy in my thermals, relatively unaffected. I walked to the Umeda Sky Building, for the first time navigating without error, the Umeda/Osaka/Higashi-Umeda train station area, which, with it's perpetually changing construction walls, had previously caused me so much heartache. I was in search of a little Christmas cheer, for under the futuristic arc of the Sky-Building, there currently dwells, the German Christmas market.
So, with "Jack Frost nipping at my nose" I set about exploring the stalls. The first stall, just past the carousel was dedicated to caramel popcorn, the second to hand made Christmas decorations, the stalls went on and on, some for drinks, one for gingerbread, others for German sausages and glazed ham rolls. Another stall had honey roasted cashews that smelled so delicious, I was convinced, that Christmas would not be Christmas without them. The same went for the gingerbread, though the gingerbread on one hand did manage to make it home from the market, the cashews on the other, did not.
There were Christmas lights everywhere and a giant Christmas tree lit up like, well, a Christmas tree. There was even a chair designated for Santa photographs, however the big guy was off duty at the time. It was exactly the type of Christmas injection that I needed.
It was all just a little bit magical.