25th July 2017: Osaka → Shinagawa → Osaka → VAMPS

Yeah, well. I had to go and pick up my VAMPS ticket in Tokyo that day because there had been a slight mess up. But in the end everything resulted fine and I was able to attend the concert. Read about it at SemiRandom.

On my way back I saw Tsukenaku lit up (but I seriously had no energy to climb it) and bought yummy, yummy salmon at a random conbini.

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18 August 2014: In Osaka, we stand on the right

Armed with my JR pass I headed off to Osaka for the day via Shinkansen. I would be staying in a Kyoto hotel for a couple of days, but my first date in my Kansai trip was Osaka. Hereby, by the way, I need to remind myself that next time I have to do Kobe. And get a hotel close to Inari so I can bloody make it to the top for a change.

Arriving in Osaka, once again, I felt an overwhelming sensation of being home, and that was once again the feeling I got upon remembering that I was to stay on the right on the escalator (in Tokyo, you keep to the left). My visit was carefully planned to be the most time-efficient day in the whole trip, even considering transportation times and queues. Yes, it was not the most… travel efficient one if you look at a map, but had to be done like that in order to work, time wise.

My first stop was at the Sumiyoshi Shrine compound. Sumiyoshi Shrine is one of the oldest Shinto Shrines in existence, so of course I had to go there this time over.

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After the shrine I headed off to downtown Osaka to visit the Osaka Museum of History, which features exhibitions depicting the evolution of the city from ancient times to the occupation period and the start of Western influence.

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Although this was close to Osaka-jo (Osaka Castle), after I was done I headed back to the train station and backtracked half the way I had previously advanced in order to go to Shinsekai, the New World. there was something else I had pending here, and that was going up the Tsutenkaku Tower to get a view of the city and, of course, to visit Billy Ken, the God of Things as They Ought to Be, and his sidekicks.

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After that I headed back to Osaka Castle area to be up when the sun set, and thus be able to see it lit up, which I had not managed the previous time I had been there either.

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Finally I took the Shinkansen to Kyoto and checked in my hotel for the night.

July 10th 2012: Osaka, Day 2

Tuesday 10th was supposed to be Kyoto day, but train trouble made me change my mind. Since I was in Tennōji anyway, I headed off to visit Shitennō-ji (四天王寺), a massive and colourful Buddhist temple dedicated to the Four Heavenly Kings.

There are a couple of graveyards, too. I always find fascinating how different cultures react to graveyards. In Japan, apparently, you can picnic there.

After Shitennō-ji I crossed above the Tennōji Zoo towards the Tsūtenkaku (通天閣) Tower, in Shin Sekai (New World), the old-time entertaining district of Osaka. Sort of like two-centuries-ago Namba, you can say. I could follow the Tower in order not to get too lost XD

This picture is the pure essence of Shin Sekai: the giant blowfish, the Billy Ken (the god of things as they ought to be) statue, and the Tsūtenkaku Tower.

Once done with this, I crossed aaaall the city towards Osaka Aquarium in hopes of seeing their whale shark… but the whale shark tank was closed due to it being refurnished… they were adding 20,000 sardines.

I went in nonetheless, and took a few pictures for your viewing pleasure:

Hammerhead

Sun fish

Japanese spider crabs

Jellyfish

I would have loved to go and see the Castle illuminated by night, but I was too exhausted and feared crashing down, especially considering that I had one challenge left… Kyoto in ten hours.