Monday, April 13, 2009


My most recent adventure (which I suppose is now about a month ago, oops, sorry for the late update!) was off to Osaka with a friend I hadn't seen in a long time! I had kept in touch with my roommate from Tokyo orientation for months, but didn't see her for a long time! So we decided to meet up in Osaka since neither of us had been there before. Osaka is one of the larger cities in Japan, but at first glance, doesn't really have a lot of exciting things besides your regular big city places. So, since I live so close to Tokyo, often I opt for going there rather than Osaka which is about twice as far away! It was a good opportunity to see a new place, and we discovered quite a few fun things!

Day One:

We visited Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium in the morning, apparently not early enough to avoid the big crowds! There were lots of kids running around and we had to push our way through the crowds to get up to some of the tanks. It's kinda cool, you start by going up to the 7th floor by escalator and then you spiral down around the tanks that are so deep you can see the sea animals at different levels of the "ocean". The aquarium is one of the biggest public aquariums in the world and they had a whale shark, hammerhead sharks, tons of stingrays and manta rays, dolphins, octopuses, oversized crab things, and so much more, that honestly, I don't know that much about :) But still really fun to see! Above is me and Danielle posing with the whale shark - they take one professional picture and one with your camera, and they had the professional one on display when we went to go pick it up - we were famous foreigners that morning haha!

Next, we ventured off to Osaka Castle. The castle was originally built in the late 1500s, but has since been reconstructed several times due to fires and such...and I would assume just general falling apart, because 400 years is a long time! We walked around the grounds and I caught my first glimpses of cherry blossoms.

There is a park with about 400 cherry trees, but most of them weren't blooming yet. There were about 10 of them blooming though, and each of those trees had a group of people enjoying Hanami parties. Here's me stopping to smell the sakura :)

Also, inside the castle you could try on warrior costumes from way back when, and some random Japanese guy saw that I was going to do it, so he waited for me to get my armor on so he could take a picture with me. Fun times :)

After the castle, we headed off to Tsutenkaku Tower. It apparently used to be the tallest building in Osaka or something amazing, but it's appeal has faded through the years. It was still kinda fun and we went up into the top to get some good night city views.

Last, but not least, we went on the Temposzan Harbor Village Ferris Wheel. It's 112.5 meters high and has a diameter of 100 meters, so really big! Above is me in the ferris wheel high above the city!

Day Two:

Since we had to get home on Sunday, there wasn't a whole lot of time for sightseeing. We started our day off at Spa World, a big building full of public baths. I do this pretty frequently as you know, but the kicker on this one was that it's got a European floor and and Asian themed floor, so the baths are quite impressive. This month the women's floor was the Europe, so there was a big mock Trevi fountain for Rome, and lots more for Spain, the Mediteranean, Greece, Finland, and Italy. You can see pictures of the different baths here.

After a relaxing morning, we were off to Tennoji Park, complete with Japanese style gardens, one of the things I love about Japan!

That concluded our Sunday, and I trekked it home by Shinkansen bullet train. I hope you enjoyed the picture tour recap. If you want to see more pictures, check them out here.

No comments: