Our dinner of noodle dishes, tempura, and oyakodon refreshed us sufficiently to venture back out onto the streets of Dotonbori. The last post described the center of Dotonbori as resembling New York's Time Square, with a river, although it would be more accurate to say with river traffic instead of automotive traffic. The crowds thinned out due to nightfall and being at a slight remove from the main strip.
We meandered through more pedestrian malls and onto side streets with a variety of interesting traditional and modern architecture, including several pubs, one of which was designed to look like a train car. I doubt that the stone walkways or older buildings matched the age of similar paths in Kyoto, but nonetheless each new block and turn brought distinctive charms, from metallic wall art to sumo wrestler facades to a diorama depicting a drunken cat and two mice awaiting marriage.
As the night fell grew darker, we found ourselves drawn back to the river district, where everything from bridges to boats to billboards was lit with a variety of colors and shapes, creating a festival atmosphere that carried throughout the entire city.
The displays were more ostentatious to be sure, full of bright lights, no small number of mechanical elements, and buildings a few stories taller than those just a block or two away. Looking back, though, the levels don't quite seem to achieve the same heights as the skyscrapers in neighboring districts.
With one last visit to the district's most famous bridge and ad wall, we headed back to the station. The sites were less densely packed, with wide boulevards and highways playing a more prominent role. Even so, there were fascinating mixes of wood and stone-fronted buildings at a larger scale than in the side streets. I also don't think I'll ever forget seeing a sky scraper with a climbing wall part way up. The train station itself was calming by comparison, with classical artwork hung on the walls. A train came quickly to carry us to Shin-Osaka station, so quickly that its rush of wind startled a nearby family. The journey back to Kyoto went by quickly and despite the cramped accommodations we were glad to have a room by the station.