Day #2 Outing in Osaka!

With knapsacks on our back, we whistled, giggled and hopped towards the Osaka castle, 1 km from Osaka Business Park station.

Our itinerary was packed, but we decided to go slow, play by ear, smell the sweet roses, breathe the clean air and follow where fate would bring us.

Dandelions are everywhere in Japan.

What a beautiful morning, what a wonderful feeling!

I like to imagine Eu wearing imperial robe looking every bit like a 16th century Japanese emperor

I must not miss the opportunity to take portraitures of Mr Eugene Okamoto.

We found out that 4000 sakura trees were planted on the spacious lawn near the castle to celebrate the Sakura season, which ended a few days ago. 

 Better late than never. Do a pose, sweetie! 

This is how the park would have looked about a few weeks ago

Sharon did manage to see a few late bloomers at the park.

My wife happily picked up a fallen sakura petal

A selfie of a selfie of a selfie

Visitors are encourage to rinse their hands using the ladle at the fountain near the castle’s entrance.

It is a self-purification ritual that most would skip nowadays. 

Osaka Castle is one of Japan’s most famous landmarks.

The main central tower is 55 meters high. It houses a museum and a viewing platform where you can enjoy a panoramic view of Osaka. 

One of the main characteristics of the castle is the use of gigantic stones in its stone walls.

That did not stop enemies from breaking in.

Do note the admission cost: ¥600 and a 15 min wait.

There are 2 ways to enter the building, either of which requires you to start from the top floor down:

1.Queue 30 mins for the lift, which most tourist did, or

2. Climb 8 floors up the stairs. 

The view from the top is a sight to behold

Since Eugene and I were here previously, and Sharon didn’t seem too keen to explore further, we decided to look for food and drink to stay alive.

As fate would have it, we spotted Eu’s identical twin. It was a touching reunion. There were tears of joy and excitement.

Eat first, talk later! Sharon’s advice for buying ice-cream: Forget other flavours. Macha still tastes the best. Period. 

With our bellies filled, we explored nearby places and arrived outside Tennoji zoo, which was regrettably closed on Monday.

Taking a break to check my pics

We soon reached Shinsekai or 新世界 a colorful area packed with household shops and eateries and best known for its iconic Tsutenkaku Tower.

See that tower behind Sharon?

The area was a flourishing amusement park with restaurants that drew enormous crowds in the 1900s.

LKY?

Today, little of the bustle remains, but many nostalgic restaurants, pubs and cafes can still be found.

My wife tried her luck on tikum tikum (capsule toy vending machine) costing ¥100 each

As we can’t decide where to have lunch, I suggested whacking the restaurant with the loudest, biggest and craziest signboards – effective only in Japan!

Sumo wrestlers everywhere. Food sure good.

This 24 hour restaurant (behind us) serves signature local dishes kushikatsu deep fried kebabs, doteyakibeef tendon with miso sauce, and chanko nabe hot pots.

The food here is cheap and good – about 30 percent cheaper compared to Dotonbori.

Mine

Shared

Eugene’s omelette rice, which he refused to finish! 🤣

Sharon’s Raindrop Jelly with syrup and peanut powder.

Come on Eu! Show the world the authentic way of eating the Raindrop Jelly.

We chanced upon arcade machines of the 90s that brought back many good old memories.

I used to play these games when i was in primary 5. Till today, my mother is still kept in the dark 😁👌🏻

My friends and I would meet early and regularly, sometimes 10am outside the game shop opposite our school.

We would play till 1130 or 12 before galloping like horses back to school.

The 3 of us spent 15 mins locating a secret coffee joint recommended by my Osakan friend, Daichi, whom i met on my earlier trip.

Check out my earlier post about Osaka:

http://www.georgefoo.com/osaka-in-late-spring/

This low-profile traditional coffee joint brews the best coffee in Shinsekai, but only the locals would know, not tourists, revealed Daichi

True enough, there were hardly any tourist inside. Everyone spoke Japanese.The place was quiet, warm and cozy.

Eugene orderd a wonderful cake and waited for half an hour for it was baked on demand; on the spot.

The fragrance that oozed out of this cake was out of the world!!!

The slightly bigger syrup cup on the left and the milk cup on the right.

You can see the dedication Japanese put into the little things to assure quality. We thoroughly enjoyed our milk coffee too!

My watch beeped 5pm. Loaded with caffeine and a full bar of adventure, we took a train to Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan-one of the world’s largest aquariums, and the most impressive in Japan.

Kaiyukan is located in Tempozan Harbor Village, near the Osaka Bay.

The aquarium is organized into 15 zones which represent different environments around the Pacific Rim.

It also houses 30,000 animals from 620 species.

You can see through a 9 x 34 meter long tank which houses a variety of fish, including the whale shark – the largest fish in the world. 

Entrance fees:

Adults (aged 16+): 2,300 yen
Senior citizens (aged 60+): 2,000 yen
Children (aged 7 – 15): 1,200 yen
Pre-school children (aged 4 – 6): 600 yen
Children (aged 3 or younger): Free

We stood in awe below the enormous Tempozan Ferris Wheel, after leaving the aquarium.

This structure is one of the world’s biggest at 112.5 meters high and 100 meters wide.

Each night, the wheel would illuminate in colors that forecast the next day’s weather. Red would mean sunny, green cloudy and blue rainy!

The wheel operates from 10am to 10pm, with last entry at 930pm. Each ticket costs ¥800.

Time to eat some Octopus Takoyaki, after seeing so many seafood at the aquarium!

We braved the chill, headed back to Dotonburi and ate to our hearts content.

More takoyaki, yakitori, piping hot gyoza and some crazy bites from 7-11.

It was our last night in Osaka. We would be heading to Kyoto the next morning! All right, let me have 1 more bite before saying good night! #EATmebaby1moretime

Good Night!! Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave a comment! Look out for my next post: Day #3 Beautiful Kyoto! Cheers! 🙂