That's a fairly long bow they're drawing
Trip Start Jul 06, 2011
20Trip End Jul 24, 2011
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Where I stayed
Hearton Hotel Nishi Umeda Osaka
Read my review - 5/5 stars
Read my review - 5/5 stars
The subway here in Osaka is fantastic and the Two Day Unlimited Card we've bought for today and tomorrow makes it even better.
After the misery that is travelling in the rain, today is a revelation. Sunny and HOT.
We're the first people at the Maritime Museum (free with pass) at just after 10.
Very odd experience wandering round a museum on your own. Access is via a tunnel under the bay out to an amazing glass dome. Lots of very interesting displays including a very odd movie thing that is all in Japanese and is customised after you choose a 'shadow' image of a ship
Back to the Santa Maria cruise (also free) that leaves from a pier next to the aquarium.
It's a very long bow to say the ship we go out on the bay is like the Santa Maria, but I suppose it's a boat and it floats. Actually lots of fun and the bay breeze is a respite from the heat.
One highlight here was the groups of tiny school kids - all in matching outfits, the only difference being the colour of their hats. They are all so gorgeous and so amazingly happy. Oh to be five or six again :)
I desperately need a hat but there's none to be had at the shops near the pier unless I want to be a homey (no, not a homo, that would be a tiara), so we press on back to the station.
Geez it's hot when we get off the train but off we go to the Castle.
The castle looks amazing but it's actually in it's third or fourth incarnation
Fantastic moat. Crazy huge rock wall construction.
First stop after walking across a bridge an apparently amazing garden that was (for us) a big lawn with lots of trees around it. Possibly we missed something?
Into the castle (free again). Up to the ?th floor and then you walk down from the top. Very difficult to understand the history of a place when you're getting the abbreviated English version but nevertheless an amazing place. Gee Japanese history is brutal - "You're annoying me, I'm gunna kill you, you're dead, I'm now emperor/shogun/ruler".
Hotter than hades, have beer in the grounds of the castle - you can get beer anywhere here, even from vending machines on station platforms!
Enough of the castle so onto next free destination - Osaka Museum of History.
Again, up to top and then work your way down. First gallery you enter is a recreation of an imperial meeting hall of original castle/palace. The window shades glide down and a terrific video begins.
Building itself is an architectural masterpiece. Angled glass corner of building faces the castle and mirrors ramparts of moat. Wow!!
Museum is bloody great. Oh, it shares it's lobby with the NHK building and when we get downstairs it's packed with young people, girls mainly, watching the live taping of crazy game show. Hilarious.
Back to Umeda and have dinner in another restaurant in Umesan Kouji, the arcade that runs through from Osaka Station to our hotel. Another picture menu available so no issue, although more fried food..... and we get charged for two beers we didn't buy but don't notice until later we're back in the room.
Ferris wheel at Hep 5 next. I'm not a huge ferris wheel lover but it's much easier in the dark. Hep 5 is the Myer Centre on steroids. So many Gen Y (and Z maybe?) with oodles of cash to spend. Oh, the ferris wheel was also free :) Can see down onto the rooftop of a couple of buildings that appear to be bars. Need to suss them out.
Our duty to purchase more beers at the supermarket on the way back to the hotel for room consumption, so we do!!!
Sayonara baby, hic