With the official tour finishing yesterday after the return from Himeji, today was basically a free day. The basic plan for today was to go out and wander around the local business district or maybe catch a train to the Dotonbori Markets about 3.5 klms away. With Typhoon Trami approaching so soon after Typhoon Jebi, everyone is on high alert. While it was expected to hit Osaka around lunch time, even from early this morning most businesses in this part of the city were closed. We thought that there may not be too much effect on the underground business area the runs between our hotel and the railway station, but of course, people have to get to and from work and again, most of the businesses were closed. The most amazing thing was, and as I look out our 8th floor window still is, the distinct absence of motor vehicles and people out and about. Almost eerily quiet.
With some train services closed early this morning and warnings that others would stop as required from about 11:00an, attempting to travel was a bit risky as safe return was not guaranteed. As it has turned out, it is now 5:00pm and the light cloud covering and breeze of this morning has been replaced by heavier cover, light rain and still very little wind. Trami is now expected to hit around 6:00pm, about the time we are going to dinner. We've booked a table in the hotel restaurant knowing that most of the few open little restaurants and food shops outside were closing when we we our getting lunch. With so many unable to go out for dinner creating a high demand in the restaurant, they rang us earlier and said that due to the numbers, there would be a limited fixed menu.
It's now 8:30pm and we've had a delicious meal at the restaurant. The typhoon has obviously moved closer but must be travelling slower than predicted. It seems difficult to get up to date information on exactly where it is as everything just refers to it in relation to the Japanese main island. By the rain radar, it appears to be about half way between Hiroshima and Osaka. Wind is still steady and I don't expect the real action to start for an hour or so.
Tomorrow we have to check-out of the hotel, walk with our luggage, through the underground route if raining, board a local train for a short ride to the Shinkansen station to go to Hiroshima for our optional tour of that area, so we are hoping the trains are running again by around midday.