Last year we regretted that we never got to see any of Japan’s castles. This time we wanted to make sure we didn’t miss it again and decided to visit the Osaka castle on our first day in the city. From one of the nearby metro stations, we made our way into the castle park from the south entrance.
The park is very beautiful with its well maintained trees and bushes and I imagine it’s even more beautiful in the spring with all the sakura in bloom.
After walking through the many gardens and passing two moats, we could finally see the castle up close. It really is quite beautiful with its white walls, green roof and golden decor. Nowadays, the castle has been turned into a museum that mostly tells the story of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the man known as Japan’s second great unifier. On the top floor of the castle is a 360° panorama view of Osaka.
After visiting the Osaka castle, we took the subway to the harbour where the Kaiyukan Aquarium is located. According to the Lonely Planet guide, there’s a great food court called Tempozan right next to the aquarium and I can tell you it was not wrong. Both my husband and I are huge fans of okonomiyaki (a sort of cabbage pancake with shrimps, octopus and bacon) which means that we went straight for Fugetsu, one of the two okonomiyaki restaurants in Tempozan. Here you may choose from a number of different fillings for your okonomiyaki and the staff will cook it right in front of you, on the huge built-in hot plate on the table.
Full and happy from eating the delicious okonomiyaki, we made our way to Kaiyukan where all sorts of sea living creatures waited for us. It is a nice aquarium but if I compare it to the one found in Shanghai, I think that Shanghai was slightly better. One thing that was truly amazing was the whale shark in the main tank. Unfortunately, all my pictures of it were rubbish so you need to google it if you don’t already know what it is. However, as amazing as the whale shark is, my absolute favourite is still the sea otters. They are just incredibly cute and I could probably spend all day watching them!