Friday, November 27, 2009
Osaka and Hiroshima: Osaka
Let me start out by admitting that I will never be able to totally convey what a great time I had on my last trip. My 4 day weekend entailed enough fun to count for weeks of good times. From seeing one of the greatest symbols of feudal Japan to reuniting with old friends to eating foods that some would consider toxic, it was well worth the trip. I have decided to break this article in two to make for easier reading. Osaka will be posted first. As usual, enjoy!
I started out on a night bus headed for Osaka on my way to Hiroshima the following day. Little did I know that my night bus had been exchanged for a sweat-box on wheels. My hopes of catching 7 hours of comfortable sleep were quickly dashed. After arriving at Osaka and finding some breakfast, I will admit to succumbing to the unholy glow of the golden arches and indulging in McDonalds’ breakfast, I headed to Osaka Castle. Being a student of Japanese history I had long heard of the spectacle that is Osaka-jyo. Built in 1583 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a “maverick” (curse you Palin for ruining that word) in Japanese history so to say, the castle was finally conquered by the ultimate unifier of Japan, Tokugawa Ieyasu, in 1615. The castle itself is simply superb, and the sloping outer walls are a marvel of martial engineering. I guess what I am trying to say is “If you are even in Osaka, drop by for a visit.” I managed to kill the next few hours just roaming around Osaka. From what I saw, it might just turn in to a trip all to itself quite soon. More fodder for the hungry blog.