Thursday, July 12, 2012

Osaka

Last month Jason & I visited Kumamoto courtesy of a TDY trip he had to make.  This month, we got to go to Osaka thanks to another TDY and next month Jason will be going to Hokkaido but I will be volunteering in Ishinomaki so I won't be joining him.  {He has equipment in all of these locations and is required to inspect it once a year}  It has been very kind of the Army to send him on all these trips and cover his part of our travel expenses.  I've been incredibly grateful that I don't have to work full time and have been able to travel with him!

Osaka is a city that I thought we weren't going to get to visit because we're running out of time here.  I'm so glad we were able to make this trip!  Osaka might be my favorite place I've visited in Japan. I LOVED Osaka!  Tokyo can seem...overwhelming & suffocating sometimes but although Osaka is also a very large busy city, something was different about it.  It felt more homey and welcoming somehow.  Like I said, I loved Osaka so I'm going to apologize for the length of this post now...it's going to be a long one!

Waiting for the Shinkansen {AKA bullet train}

We got in pretty late but went out in search of a late dinner.  I loved all the tiny streets and all the lights!



Osaka is famous of Okonomoyaki which is my favorite Japanese food.  I was in heaven!  Some call it a Japanese pizza but it's really nothing like that.  The word roughly translates to "everything you like grilled" and it's basically a bunch of veggies and meat {shrimp is my favorite} mixed with a batter that is similar to pancake batter, grilled and topped with a special sauce and mayo {if you like}.  Some people add dried seaweed and dried fish flakes, but I like mine without those!

After dinner we found a darts/billiards bar and I whooped my husband in some darts!

Day 2 we had to visit a local JGSDF {Japan Ground Self Defense Force} base to inspect some equipment.  The Osaka train station is huge!  {I LOVES me some symmetry!}

After business was taken care of, we headed back to Osaka to browse through some of the local streets

there was a ton of fresh seafood for sale



Along with lots of fresh produce


I enjoy all the open air markets!

 Some shots of the roads in Osaka


After walking through the markets, we went to see the coolest shrine I've seen in Japan!

Nanba Yasaka Shrine


From there we went to Shitenno-ji Temple



The place was all decorated for the annual Tanabata Festival
  


This particular festival reminded me of an American Catholic church festival.  Beer booths, food & games, they had it all.   Most of it was familiar to me but this green tea ice cream sandwich...definitely not familiar!

Sunday we headed out to see some more sights, starting with the Umeda Sky Building which was also decorated for Tanabata

They had this awesome set up with a stand to set your camera on at the perfect level to take a self timer photo =}

The view of Osaka from 173 meters


reflections on the roof

 love him!

YAY!  More symmetry on the trip back to the bottom!

A crossing guard at a very busy intersection


After the Umeda Sky building, we went to see the Osaka castle...on the way, we stumbled upon a random punk music festival.  My sister would have been in heaven! 

We stopped to enjoy the music for a bit.  They were actually pretty good.  Too bad I have no clue who they are!

While we were walking to the castle, Jason informed me this would be the last castle he visits in Japan...there are a lot of them!

Us with the castle in the background!

I think this is the most gorgeous one we've seen yet...too bad it's not the original


I definitely recommend visiting Osaka if you ever have the opportunity!

3 comments:

The Friendly Skies said...

That looks like a fantastic trip! You are having so many adventures over in Japan. It's still one place I haven't checked out yet so it's wonderful to get to see what you see. :)

Michelle A'etonu said...

i really want to visit Japan!!! great pics!!

Jelena Simic said...

Lovely post! I need to go to Nanba Yasaka Shrine and Umeda Sky Building. Osaka Castle is my favorite!