After the relaxed and fun day I had getting to know Rori’s people in Kyotanabe, it was time for us to do some serious exploring in Kansai. We decided to start with Osaka, which was the furthest city away from Kizugawa that I wanted to explore. Osaka is the 2nd largest city in Japan, and once was its capital. It has an interesting mix of modern and traditional. It has a large variety interesting attractions, restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. If you like Tokyo, but are overwhelmed by the density of people, Osaka is a great alternative.
Osaka Castle was our first stop. We checked out the Martial Arts grading workshop first at the Osakajo Hall to cool off from the heat before queuing for the castle. We eventually got into the castle, and experienced 400 years of Japanese history and a spectacular collection of artifacts. The Castle park is also a lovely green space to relax and have matcha ice cream.
The next attraction was Shitennoji Temple, located in Tennoji, which is one of the oldest in Japan. It is made up of a cluster of shrines and grave sites. The main temple is considered to be the Buddhist altar of Osaka. Luck was on our side that day, because there happened to be the Shitenoji Flea Market, which is held only one weekend of each month. You can find a variety of things, from traditional kimonos, artifacts, bargain buys and good street food like okonomiyaki and taiyaki. This is where you can get a lot of souvenirs for a good price. The atmosphere of Shitennoji is in such a way that people can enjoy the bounties of the market while others have space to say their prayers for good fortune.
In the evening, Rori took me to a surprise location for our dinner exploits, Dotonbori & Shinsaibashi in Namba, Osaka. Shinsaibashi is a popular shopping, nightlife and entertainment, and I got myself a lot of socks and we went to explore the arcade. Dontobori on the other hand, is an open area filled with loads of lights, signs and tourists, not to mention a seemingly endless number of restaurants. Of course we dinned our hearts out, before heading home close to midnight.
Here are some highlights of my day in Osaka Through My Lens.
Through My Lens series is a project that aims to look at some of my favourite adventures through a series of simple images.
Shitennoji Temple & Flea Market.
Dotonbori, Namba, Osaka.
If I were to live in Japan, Osaka would be my city of choice. I also had a brief encounter with Simon and Martina in Namba, I was a bit starstruck!!