international travel adventures part 6 – port of osaka

Well today I had my morning free…!! Why? Because I signed up for a JCI official course called “JCI Networking” (trainer: Patrick Knight) – and it wasn’t till the afternoon!  There is tons of training to do at JCI World Congress but they offer 2 different types… 1) regular training that you can just show up for (usually a few hours long), and 2) JCI “official” training (register in advance, get JCI credit for, typically 4 hours to 3 days long).  As JCI Calgary is providing funding for me to attend this congress – that comes with the responsibility to bring back knowledge to the chapter.  I signed up for JCI Networking because I was truly interested in the course but also because the knowledge gained would benefit our local chapter!

So back to…. a free morning…! I decided I would get back on the Osaka subway for another try and head out to the Tempozan area of Osaka.  The Tempozan has Osaka’s aquarium, ferris wheel, and piers etc.  Because I am a water baby by nature, I thought a breathtaking, sunny day on the ocean would do me just fine!  It was a fairly simple journey, just a few subway stops away (and only one station switch).  Travel always seems much easier when you don’t have bags with you!

The Port of Osaka was absolutely gorgeous – a completely different side of Japan then I had seem thus far.


Tempozan area of Osaka

As soon as I set my eyes on the ferris wheel, I KNEW that I had to go on it! For 1000yen (and about 20 minutes trying to figure out how to use the machine), I was up up and on my way to seeing the sights of Osaka from the sky.

And the beauty of Osaka commences now… love love love.


Beautiful view of Osaka

It probably took 20 minutes or so to make the loop around the ferris wheel – and I have a bazillion pictures of Osaka, the water, and the sunshine!  From a top the ferris wheel, I spotted the aquarium!!  Osaka has a world renowned aquarium, so I thought why not check it out. I completely forgot that it was a statutory holiday in Japan and there were a lot of children that needed to be occupied.  What did that mean? A very busy aquarium!

The aquarium was gorgeous as well.  You take an escalator from the 2nd floor to the 7th floor and then begin.  You go around and around each floor and take a ramp to the floor below.  I saw penguins – for the first time ever, I saw penguins! They had exhibits for the Aleutian Islands, the Great Barrier Reef, the Japan Forest, and so much more!

A few of my favourites:




Jelly fish!

Me in a Mouth - Grrrr

From the aquarium, I went and visited the Tempozan shopping area, the piers, the pirate ship, and then back to the hotel I headed for an afternoon of training. I ended up covering a lot of ground in a few short hours – but that’s what happens when you’re motivated right?! ;)

I got back to the hotel for a quick change and then off to JCI Networking.  JCI Networking ran 2-6pm and went really well.  Marta and a few friends were in the class as well.  I was glad I registered for the class in advance because the waitlist was huge and the JCI trainers seemed all stressed trying to get everyone organized.  Like usual I offered up lots of examples and was an active participant.  In my opinion, four hours is way too long for this type of training – it could have easily been three hours.  The room was also 4000 degrees and yah it needs to be shorter!

JCI Networking is the JCI course on turning your personal contacts into lasting and productive connections and relationships. The course covers the principles and dynamics of networking, how to identify and use the opportunities when contacting people, what to do and say during any encounter with a potential connection and the follow up actions needed after meeting the person to keep adding value to the connection.

From JCI Networking, Marta and I headed straight to the TOYP Ceremony.  TOYP is the The Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World.  Each of the 10 nominees were selected from nations and then critiqued by headquarters.  We were here tonight to celebrate their achievements.


TOYP Ceremony

The 2010 nominees are: Emily Cummins (UK), Melanie Hennessy (Ireland), Dr. Gifty Immanuel (India), Maria Ingelsson (Sweden), Sabirul Islam (UK), Aki Nakaoka (Japan), Uyapo Ndadi (Botswana), Dr. Joseph Nkurunziza (Rwanda), Antti Pentikainen (Finland), and Dr. Mikko Wiren (Finland).

It is always a great ceremony.  Each person’s “story” was told through a video and then they came up to accept their award and give a speech.  Intermissions were filled with Japanese entertainment, dancing, etc.  After the TOYP ceremony ended, it was Asia-Pacific Nation Night at the Creative Centre.  We did a quick change into casual clothes and headed over to the buses to be shipped to our next location.  By the time I got there (a lot of people had skipped TOYP to get there early), the place was a down right disaster.  Messy messy and it seemed everyone had had quite the party.  Ended up spending a few hours chatting with Bridgette from Australia which was lovely.  JCI Australia and New Zealand had decided to head to a quaint Japanese bar they had found days earlier, so I headed there with them for the after after party.

A few hours and a lot of laughs with Peter and his new found friend, Yuki ;) … I was on my way back home for a night of good sleep before another big day tomorrow.