I've had a weekend to discover a little bit of Japan now and I feel comfy here.
For most people it is apparently a big shock when they first come here and it is indeed an entirely different world. However, I like it a lot. People are nice and friendly (although extremely, sometimes overly polite, but coming from Seattle that's not new ;-)). Everything is clean and very organized (yeah, that's coming from a German...)
Saturday, Iris took me to DenDen City, where tons of cheap electronics shops are and to the heart of Osaka, the most noisy and busy part of town.
In a little back alley we found a Kimono place and ended up in a shopping frenzy, which we rounded up by a meal of Onokamiyaki (?I'll have to check back on that), a Japanese style pancake.
For the night, we met up with some of her friends for Karaoke.
Karaoke in Japan means you and a bunch of friends rent a room with Karaoke machine and go crazy singing without worrying about annoying anyone - much more preferrably than the stage-in-a-bar-version popular in Germany and the US.
On Sunday, we took the train to Arashiyama (near Kyoto) for some beautiful landscape, bamboo forest, temples and shrines and concluded the day with a Japanese style BBQ. More detail and pictures on that will follow :-)