Osaka is one of the most important cities in Japan, the 3rd largest in terms of population and the center of business and economy in the Kansai region. Known as Naniwa during the older days of history, it was the first recorded capital of Japan before the Nara period. (Click HERE for more of Osaka).
After 5 hours of fun in Universal Studios Japan, my girls and I decided to go to the humongous Osaka Castle where we enjoyed the historical and cultural richness of the palace plus, the chance of wearing authentic samurai costumes. As much as I love the lavishness of the head pieces, I felt like I was carrying a baby elephant on my head. They were so heavy that I wondered how those samurais moved with so much agility and strength whenever they battled their enemies.
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I wanted to go to the men’s room but I had a BIG problem.
The view from the top of the Osaka Castle.
My girls and I had a unanimous decision that this is the most fun part of our Osaka Castle visit. The ¥300 we paid just to wear these costumes was all worth it.
When it got darker, we decided to go to Umeda to find a place to stay and to meet my grade school classmate, Cisco. He is in his last year of taking masters in Osaka University.
The next day, we had lunch at Namba where the famous modern pop icons of Osaka are located- the gigantic running Glico man, the huge crab and the flashiest Don Quixote store in all of Japan. We had a hard time finding this spot and it was all by chance that we were able to get there. I also left my sunglasses in a public restroom and asked the nearby police if they found anything. I was so surprised when he talked to me in Osakan dialect which, I think, is much faster and louder than how Tokyo people speak. Thank goodness I understood what he said and got my glasses back.
We decided to go directly to Nara (which I will blog about later) after enjoying Namba. Hence, there were a few Osaka attractions that we weren’t able to visit like the Osaka Aquarium, Shinsekai area, Tsutenkaku Tower and the Umeda Sky Building. We also missed the chance of eating Osaka’s famous takoyaki (octopus balls) and okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake composed mostly of vegetables, meat and other ingredients). Oh well, I guess those are enough reasons to go back to Osaka someday. YES!!!