Very early up for the trip to Osaka, I left the hotel at 4am as I had to walk to Shinjuku station in order to get a series of connecting trains to Shin-Yokohama where my Shinkansen departed from as it was the first Hikari service of the day to arrive from Tokyo in Osaka.
After a nice quiet trip as the train was next to dead for the whole trip, I arrived at Shin-Osaka where I arrived in the middle of rush hour and had to get a train from there to Osaka proper.
Needless to say I let the commuters get on with their daily lives and held off until the trains quietened down enough so that I could stand with my backpack in one if not manage to find a seat since it was only one stop, standing for that trip wouldn’t be too bad.
On arrival at Osaka station I found the tourist information offices after walking around the area outside the station for a while, and found a really nice statute down one of the side roads.
After talking to the people in the information office I got on the Loop Line and headed for Osaka castle – the primary reason for my trip to Osaka, though not the only one if I had time after the castle to visit other places before heading back on the train to Tokyo.
Osaka castle though a modern rebuild is very nice, and the views from the top of it are spectacular across the city, though the weather was pretty horrible so standing outside on the veranda was restricted to 2 people at a time so taking a walk out there took a while to do.
working my way down through the exhibits from the 8th floor was hard work, not so much because of the amount of walking just the amount of non Japanese tourists pushing and shoving their way through the castle and taking photos where you were expressly forbidden to take them. There are times when I truly hate being a European tourist when there are French people around as it makes me feel that I’m being judged with the same level of contempt as they are.
Anyway rant over. The use of interactive displays to tell the story of the castles beginning and history of a place of importance in war.
As all of the displays are understandably shown in Japanese I got myself a copy of the guide book – a theme to be repeated throughout the holiday.
Visiting the castle and the buildings in its grounds actually took me longer than expected so it was the only thing that I’d managed to see in Osaka, but was worth the trip just for the day.