In the early morning, we paid a visit to Osaka Castle. Initially we planned to visit Himeji Castle which is a highly rated castle in Japan. Too bad it's under renovation, and it's quite a distance from Osaka, so we decided to drop it and visit Osaka Castle instead.
It's really a big let down, it was not up to my expectation. It's more like an exhibition hall/ museum for me, rather than a traditional castle. Hmmph!
The view from the top floor.
Some display explaining the wars encountered by the shogun in Osaka.
Nothing much to see at the castle though, but the surrounding is actually quite beautiful. We then moved on to the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan by train, it's just a stone throw away. Before entering the kaiyukan, we had our lunch in the mall at the building adjacent to it. Curry rice! Not so bad, but a little sweet for me.
Our most exciting moment! Kaiyukan! All time favourite :)
Look at the one day pass which included one-day free train rides in Osaka and kaiyukan entrance fee. So cute! How I wish we have these cards in Malaysia. Even our touch-and-go cards are so unattractive wth.
Ready for the largest rodent in the world? Let's see...Penguin feeding time!
The scenery of Osaka Bay, looking from the inside of Kaiyukan
I really really love their aquarium.. it's the best one I ever visited so far! The management is soooo good, the building is magnificent, and the aquariums are actually huge that extended for several floors. I even saw divers cleaning the aquariums meticulously inside. So cool.
The visit didn't wrap up our day in Osaka. Our next destination of the day- Tenjin Matsuri! It is one of the three greatest festivals of Japan, is also the world's greatest boat festival. It is a summer festival held at the Tenman Shrine dedicated to Sugawara-no-Michizane (845-903), who is deified as Tenman Tenjin, the patron god of learning and art. The festival involves inviting the deity out of the shrine and parading him through the city, carrying out various exuberant festivities to entertain him, before taking him back to the shrine. Hence, it includes a land procession and a river procession with fireworks. We are so lucky to actually witness this event, which is actually not in our plan, but we got to know that when we reached Osaka.
My first time participating a matsuri! I always see this in Japanese anime, with lotsa stalls with foods, games etc.
Our noob faces hahahaAnd some interesting games.. and look at the pretty Japanese ladies in yukata :)
Lastly, the processions. We did not manage to see the fireworks, since the place that we were standing was actually the best place to witness the processions, but not the fireworks. The fireworks were blocked by the buildings around, and the we couldn't get through the huge crowds.
The bridge- best place to witness the river procession.
Next post: Day 4: Kyoto- Arashiyama. By far my most favourite place for my Kansai trip :)