An awesome visit to Osaka Castle by day, followed by the evening spent eating and drinking in the Dotonbori area of Osaka.
Unfortunately I was having a rough day yesterday with no energy to do anything so I spent the day in bed and hence not much of a post.
Day 25 – March 28th, 2014.
We woke up late after a good nights sleep felling somewhat better than yesterday, I think that the tablets I took helped.
On checking through the emails we read one from our new Japanese friends that we met on the QE. The email was asking if we could come to their work place today or tomorrow, so we decided to go today as tomorrow we hope to visit Miyajima.
Breakfast was quick and simple, some rice that Moni had got yesterday from the sushi lady which we had not managed the night before.
We tried using google maps to find out our route to the destination, but the results were not showing the right area, at first we used the complete address but google was confused so we tried a few shorter variations and eventually find the place, sometimes too much information can be distracting for google.
“Google eventually got it right”
After checking at the station for the right train, we board an unfamiliar line for our journey to Dekijima. At the destination station stop we consult google and it appears that we are just around the corner. On recognising the building from the google street view, we cross the road and Yumi san greets us at the door.
Just fantastic how technology performs and all on a smartphone.
We spent a little chatting then we went next door for lunch, even though it’s about 2pm we orderd and receive our huge meals in quick time. Toshi had some great news for us, which we will share in a future post, sorry for the tease, not. Moni tries an iced coffee to which she adds four sugar pots as Toshi & Yumi look and laugh.
It was now time for Toshi and Yumi to return to work. Toshi has his own Dental Clinic. We arranged to meet up tonight at the Takashimaya department store main entrance at 7pm for dinner.
“In the meantime we visited Osaka castle”
The subway train got us there in quick time and it’s about a fifteen minute walk from the station. You can see the castle which is not far away and the walk is pleasant, past a baseball field, the convention hall and you are almost there.
A huge moat surrounds the entrance to the castle and the bridge leads to the next area before you can actually get in. Tickets cost 600 Yen and you buy them from the machine, only discount tickets from the window, for people with certain passes.
“Views over Osaka from the top of Osaka Castle”
This castle has 8 levels and you can take the elevator to level 5 then you must walk up. Today was beautiful weather and the views at the top were awesome, we could see clearly all over Osaka. Gradually we made our way down each level looking around at the displays, many with English translations.
The history goes back many centuries in Japan and I think it is very complex and interesting.
After some time we reach the bottom and make our way out. The sun is setting and adds its glow on the castle. A walk back to the station to make our way to Namba.
“downtown OSAKA known as Minami (Namba)”
The shopping centre looms in front of us and wait at the main entrance for Toshi san.
It’s not long before he arrives and we walk to downtown OSAKA known as Minami (Namba).
Toshi is taking us to his favourite eatery. It’s a stand up bar come restaurant and it’s packed with people waiting outside to get in. About a ten minute wait we for us before space comes available. Yumi joins us and Toshi ordered beers and saki…
“We have no idea what to order so we leave it up to Toshi”
The foods start to arrive, first is sashimi… then more raw fish, squid etc, then more, then more, then and even more, we taste many different things all new to us. I think that we are very fortunate as we probably would never have gone in to this place and had this sort of Japanese experience.
Walking through this busy area a mix of young and old, trendy and traditional all together. Restaurants, flashing lights, tourists and locals moving in all directions.
“Huge mechanised signs hang from restaurant fronts”
the crab, octopus and blowfish are popular each one showing the speciality that they offer.
Next up we enter another place for dinner… I guess what we had eaten before was the just the entrees, lol, again we let Toshi order.
Siting at a table that is like a bar with stools, where the chefs are cooking right in front of you. It’s a great atmosphere and the food is awesome too.
Next we head out to another place.
“A walk around the Epitome of Osaka in Namba called Dotonbori”
past many restaurants and shops.
Turning a corner into another street we come across a group of men at a shrine saying prayers and reading from papers that they eventually put into the fire.
“The famous Running Man neon sign in Dotonbori”
Then we cross the famous Ebisu Bridge, stop for photos of the Glico Running Man neon sign amongst many others here.
Finally we make it to a small bar, within a bar, sort of thing, down some stairs and into the bar which has about 15 stools at which we sit and drink whisky for a hour or more chatting.
“Toshi’s favourite bar in Osaka”
It is a nautical bar with pictures of yachts and sailing paraphernalia.
This is a clue as to what we will be revealing later on…
After a great evening we said goodnight to make our way home. Down in the subway I realise that I didn’t have my black bag. We run up and phone Yumi who said she had gone back to get it after receiving a call from the bar owner. Lucky for me it was a place they frequent often and have close contact with the owner.
A restless nights sleep was had.