My personal motto during trips is 'don’t hurry’ so I take my time while walking around, taking lots of photos to record my experiences and share my memories with friends.
Of course, I know of some important things beforehand and as can be expected, I come across new and unexpected things. Unlike the original Matsumoto Castle, the present Osaka Castle was built in 1931 and contains a historical museum inside. This I knew but still wanted to visit anyway. Alas, it took me longer than expected to get to Osaka by the Kodama Shinkansen and find my hotel. I arrived too late to enter.
As I couldn’t get inside I decided to instead walk around. The present Osaka Castle standing on a powerful stone basement looked quite grand and it was beautifully decorated. From the castle’s grounds I could take in the expansive views of Osaka. Behind the castle I found a small cemetery with Jizo statures and some sacred Shinto stones.
Unlike Tokyo, it was unexpectedly chilly in Osaka so I decided to warm myself with some hot tea and takoyaki sold right by the castle. Some people took the photos of beautiful pink sakura and I joined them. Suddenly, the sakura were lit by the rays of the evening sun. The light of the setting sun changed the landscape completely.
I watched the sunset until twilight. On the way out I spotted a shrine, entered and saw a statue of someone. I took photos and only later found out that it was a monument to Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the man who had built the original Osaka Castle in 1583. The shrine turned out to be Hokoku Jinja and was built by order of the Meiji Emperor in 1868. I’m glad I visited place and took photos so that I could later learn more of the history of Osaka Castle and Japan.
Find out more about Osaka Castle.