Yesterday we had our first foray on the Japanese rails and it ended up being a grand adventure, even if filled with a few stints of getting lost or taking the wrong train. Not growing up in a city (Phoenix, AZ) with any metro lines/rails, taking them all around Osaka was an experience in of itself. The Shinkasen from Tokyo Station to Osaka was the easiest part and super efficient.
We found our way to Osaka Castle easily enough. Thanks to this handy app called Japan Official Travel app. It actually allows you to coordinate any sort of route including our handy JR passes or not, even including bus routes, walking distances and even boat trips. It’s super effective, and we found it to be even more accurate and useful then Google maps, which is saying something.
Osaka Castle was a beautiful break in the otherwise extremely urban area, you’re wandering through a major city of Japan and suddenly you find a wonderfully large park filled with beautiful trees and lush green, plus this old style castle sitting right in the middle surrounded by water. It serves a historical museum, not to mention there’s plenty of food vendors and street performers gallivanting around the court-side that sits in the shadow of the castle.
After Osaka Castle, we then decided to head to Dotonbori which is a major city district in Osaka. It’s filled with shops, lights, food, everything you can imagine… Oh and people, lots and lots of people. We had to trip our way through at least a few transfers heading from the castle but we finally made it.
Dotonbori was crazy, for lack of any fancy descriptive text. It was way more then we expected, from girls doing repeat dances in windows with sales boards to every single type of shop you could possibly imagine, heck even shops you couldn’t conceive. We ended up hitting up a Daiso which is like a Japanese dollar store where everything is 100 yen.
We also got to see the famous Glico man, which has been standing since 1935! Impressive!
We’re about to head out to Kyoto, so check the drop below for plenty of more images from our trip!!! Peace.