We left Kyoto at about 9.00AM to go to Osaka for our final day trip. Like literally every other single journey so far, we started our morning with a fine selection of ¥100 vending machine goods.
Our Japan Rail Passes meant we could take literally any JR train in a 7 day period, so we took the bullet train again! It only took 15 minutes by bullet train for what is nearly a 2 hour journey by road. Once we arrived at Shin-Osaka station we took a metro line into Namba Station the centre of the city to visit Dotonbori, a famous street running along a canal. It was packed with tourists, a common theme by now!
We had a quick lunch of ramen at a Japanese chain restaurant before hopping back on the subway to see Osaka Castle.
Osaka Castle is an impressive sight, even from a distance! The castle is gilded with gold leaf and sits atop a large moat with huge supporting walls of cut rock.
You can walk right up to the base of the castle for free – it is a lot bigger than photos would lead you to believe. We paid ¥900 for a joint ticket that let’s you go up to the very top floor, view the museum within, and also visit the Osaka Museum of History down the road. The museum showed the history of the many battles around Osaka castle, along with entire floors dedicated to heritage items from that period that didn’t allow photography.
The Osaka Museum of History was purposely built to have a perfect view of the castle, with a triangular point of window panes facing towards the park. Each floor is dedicated to a different period in Osaka’s history, starting from it’s original human occupation all the way through the the present day! The exhibits were beautifully made, often focusing on the role of the river and harbor in the city’s history.
It was late afternoon by the time we left the museum, so we took the Shinkansen back to Kyoto Station and queued up at a popular yakitori restaurant for dinner! We waited about 30 minutes in the evening heat but it was definitely worth it! You ordered items through a touch screen, then brought your table’s barcode to the counter to pay once you were done.