{Japan Travel Diary 2015} Snapshots from Osaka

I finally managed to sit down and sift through my photos from Japan. This series is probably not going to be as wordy as my previous travel blogs, mostly because our trip last December was more focused on quantity over quality. I felt like before I could even fully form my thoughts about a certain place, we needed to leave already. That’s never quite a good thing when traveling, but since I was with a big group I didn’t want to cause any trouble by complaining. Nonetheless it’s impossible not to have pretty photos to take home when you visit Japan. It’s simply too beautiful a country.

It’s been two months since I returned from my winter trip to Japan and my plans to go back are more solid than ever. I have been writing an itinerary for Japan even though I don’t even know when I’ll be able to return. The holidays this year are too few! For now, I’m sharing my favourite snapshots from Osaka, as I’m sure many prefer looking through photos than reading so many words anyway.

We dropped by Osaka Castle, due to time constraints we sadly didn’t get to go inside. I’m thinking of going in during my next trip to Osaka. I’ve been inside Matsumoto Castle and it was literally a good exercise climbing up to the top! That castle in Nagano was maintained to keep its historical interiors intact, but the Osaka Castle has some leveled up parts to it. In 1997, the Japanese government completed a restoration project that aimed to reproduce the castle in its original form on the outside, but with modernized interiors. They upgraded the elevators and converted the inside to a museum.

I’m wondering if going into Osaka Castle is worth the time. What do you think?

In one area of the castle grounds there are a few stalls selling warm Osaka delicacies. Obviously we went for the takoyaki, which is a specialty in these parts. We’re big takoyaki lovers, so picking the set with assorted toppings was a no brainer. (Also because it had the most number of pieces haha!) Nothing like a cold day to make you appreciate warm food more.

We stopped by Shinsaibashi-suji, a few blocks away from where the famed Glico running man is in the perennial state of crossing the finish line in Dotonbori. They say this shopping street is busy all year round, but when we arrived before 10AM it was still relatively quiet. Most shops open around 10 or 11AM.

We had only an hour in this area (which is crazy!) so we didn’t run off to Dotonbori and risk being left by the bus. Sometimes it’s just hard to travel in big groups. 😂 The good news is I managed to score some beautiful sneakers for such a good deal at the shopping street, so that’s quite the consolation.

Tokyu Hands. A definite haven for art lovers and those who want to find unique (but more expensive) souvenirs, odds and ends, and Japanese knick-knacks. It’s also a brilliant art supplies store, the level of which I have never seen anywhere else in the world. My brother and I came here to hoard Copic markers because you can’t get it any cheaper than in Japan!

It’s so unlike me to have very little to comment on about a place I visit, but the reality is I barely managed to settle my feet on Osaka soil the few hours I was here. I try to enjoy every minute of my trips but when it passes me by this fast it’s impossible not to say that there was something missing. I did not get to feel the local rhythm and beat. I’m just glad this isn’t my first time in Japan. It certainly leaves you wanting more.


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