Osaka, Japan

Back in October, I spent two weeks in Japan, which was incredible. I spent one week in Tokyo and the second week in Kyoto before returning to the capital for my last weekend in Japan. On one of the days in my second week, I took a day trip to Osaka and met up with my friend Sam, who I’d met at my hostel in Tokyo.

The train took half an hour from Kyoto to Osaka, and I could use my JR rail pass for the journey. I noticed there were women-only carriages on some of the trains there. We’d decided to meet at the entrance to Osaka Castle, but, little did we know that there were (at least) two entrances! I waited at ‘my’ entrance whilst Sam patiently waited at his. I went into a ticket office to try and buy my entrance ticket there, but, thanks to a lack of language skills, I momentarily (and accidentally, I’d also like to stress) bought concert tickets to see the popular Jpop band ‘iKon’ who were performing at the same grounds that evening, and I think Kpop band Big Bang (who I LOVE) were also there- maybe I wish I had kept my original tickets now!

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Luckily, though, someone managed to understand me in time and I was sent off to the castle itself to try and buy the right ticket.

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I took this photo, above, as I waited for Sam again, assuming that we hadn’t bumped into each other yet because I was at a different entrance. There was this mote trailing around the castle grounds where these golden boats slowly bobbed along, which looked gorgeous with the impressive castle high up at the centre.

Once I’d bought my ticket, I had to walk the eight floors up to the top- each floor had a gallery or museum, though, so it was pretty interesting, and I got to stamp my passport (stamps are a big tourist thing in Japan- and yes, that’s right, I became obsessed with finding them).

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I took the lift back to ground level, found a designated wifi spot and after some frantic messaging, I was reunited with Sam! We went to Tennoji Station, where they have a massive food department store, and thus lots of delicious free samples (Osaka is the foodie capital of Japan so it would’ve been rude NOT to make the most of it, right…). After an amazing sushi lunch (“shall we just have 2 or 3  dishes?” always turns into at least 10 because it was deeelicious), we then took a vintage tram to a Shinto shrine that had a huge arch of an orange bridge spanning over the little river. It was all very picturesque and quiet.

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I was determined to see Osaka Bay, because I’d heard rumours of dolphins and all sorts, but it started to rain- that didn’t stop us, though! We traipsed through the rain and bleak streets full of warehouse and industrial-related stores to reach the water. It wasn’t quite the picture-perfect view I’d had in mind but it was still good to see the sea!

My train back to Kyoto was actually cancelled, so I somehow managed to squeeze onto a commuter train instead, but that one only took 20 minutes so I wasn’t complaining! The next day, I went to Nara, but I’ll save that for another time…

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