I went to Osaka last weekend and stayed at a hostel in Kamagasaki called Cocoroom.
It is a fantastic place. It locates just less than 10 minutes by walk from Tennoji area, has good coffee, meals, and a nice garden, and 35 warm beds surrounded by paintings including the famous appropriation artist Morimura Yoshimasa and poems. Interesting thing is that this amazing complex is not made for attracting tourists but more for attracting the locals to learn new things and express what they have. The hostel and cafe businesses are their process and fruit of involving with the locals who may have been disconnected to his family, had no chance to get education, lost money, have alcohol problem etc which are typical in the town of day labors.
Their activity is called Kamagasaki University of Arts. It became a documentary film by NHK: ETV特集「ドヤ街と詩人とおっちゃんたち～釜ヶ崎芸術大学の日々～」. Check it if you have a chance. I am hoping to return there sometime soon and maybe take part in a poetry session. If you are nearby Shin-Osaka, Abeno, Tennoji, go to Cocoroom to take their delicious coffee, take a walk in the neighborhood, chat with the staffs and other guests, take a public bath, and sleep among the artworks:)
The colorful supermarket nearby Cocoroom.
Wills and hopes are blooming in Cocoroom. Not exaggerated.
“Video game from 50 yen” The Tennoji/Shinsekai shopping streets are about 10 min from Cocoroom.
It has been 10 years since Wataru and I graduated from the high school. We could not catch up everything this time but I was just happy to see him enjoying his life and work.
Found a reed ceiling in my delicious coffee.
“University for those who want to learn. Kamagasaki University.”