WELCOME TO OSAKA!!
The next stop on the great Japanese adventure! This was the view from our Airbnb, it was very small, but felt very Japanese. Once again I was sleeping on a futon, futons are so bloody comfortable! I loved it, my back has never felt better, of course whilst travelling to Hiroshima I pulled my back so badly that I had to buy some interesting Japanese creams for it and visit a physio once I was back in the UK, but that’s a story for another time!
Osaka is quite a beautiful city! It’s friendlier than Tokyo, not that Tokyo wasn’t friendly, but in Osaka we were stopped in the street a few times by people asking if we were okay, or just wanting to chat to us about where we are from and where we are visiting!
I don’t know what these trees are called, but I’m going to call them ‘giant bonsai’
I believe we were just getting on the grounds to Osaka Castle!
FOOD STALLS!! Straight away, I was in heaven. Osaka street food is world famous.
A classic Japanese moat surrounds the castle grounds themselves.
Very reminiscent of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo!
Osaka Castle! Osaka is very famous for samurais and samurai clans! I don’t know too much about this, but if you’re a fan of Sengoku Basara, you will probably recognise some of the clans!
Even more food stalls!
The Osaka Castle we see today is actually a reconstruction, over the years wars, explosions and neglect caused it to fall into disrepair. It’s hard to believe that in World War II it was so heavily bombed when you look at it today, shining in it’s white, mint and gold glory!
The higher you got, the closer you got to the castle, and with that came a more impressive view of Osaka’s city centre.
This is a time capsule to be opened in 6970! 5,000 years after it was buried in 1970. So that means we’re 46 years down, only 4,954 to go. We’re practically halfway there!
You can throw shurikens (ninja stars) for something like 300 yen! Yes, it’s a complete tourist trap, but does that mean it’s any less cool to be handed a pile of actual metal shurikens and be told to launch them at targets? Hell no. I had the best time.
Turns out using a shuriken is quite hard, but I still hit enough targets to win a prize! A little rubber shuriken! I also beat the group of Aussie men in front of me, so that helped my ego just a little bit.
A rather interesting mix of old and new can be seen due to the installation of a lift! You can often tell that parts of the walls here are not very old due to the brilliant condition they’re in. One thing I kept wondering was how they manage to keep the building so white?!
We then decided to venture further back down into the castle grounds to the food stalls!
This huge chunk of pineapple on a stick was 100 yen, that’s an absolute bargain to me. I wish you could buy fruit like this in the UK, I absolutely loved pineapple but you can either buy: A) an impractical full pineapple B) pre cut chunks in bags which come with no utensil to eat them with, and they’re strangely soggy and not fresh at all.
I also tried takoyaki for the first time. It is essentially grilled octopus dumplings! (Tako = Octopus, Yaki is derived from Yaku, which is a method of grilling/frying)
Takoyaki hails from Osaka, so it only felt appropriate to have some. It was topped with takoyaki sauce, which kinda tasted like Worcester sauce, mayo and shavings of bonito fish. I wasn’t too mad on the fish flakes…
That said, it was actually delicious, and also so hot that I burned my mouth. However, the taste lingered for HOURS afterwards. You don’t want to still be tasting fish flakes about 4 hours later. Nothing could mask that taste.
I thought this dog was cute, then it ran away and started humping the leg of a child, until the child screamed and cried.
And so we said farewell to Osaka Castle!
You can head up into the castle, but we had a schedule to keep, so we bid it adieu and moved on!
Osaka Castle grounds connect pretty much to this gorgeous park area, take note of how clean the pavement is, no one’s gum from 10 years ago is stuck there! The UK could take note of that!
Catch up on the rest of my Japan posts here:
Thanks for reading!