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Osaka-jo

Cumulative umbrella count: AC = 1 CW = 1 Total lost = 1

oj - Ac  Cw.jpg
Once again, with the guidance of our guidebook, we ventured by train and on foot into Osaka to find tourist attractions in the rain. On this particular day it turned pretty windy and unfortunately Andrew's umbrella was promptly turned inside out. Fortunately it wasn't raining too hard.

After passing some sidewalk construction (presumably for the impending summer tourist season), we arrived at the outer fortifications of Osaka-jo. All you could see were these steep stone walls falling into the surrounding moat.

oj - castle.jpg

We walked up the enormous ramp that spanned the moat to reach the inner walls of the castle compound. We walked through the gates and saw this guy. Andrew thinks it's Raiden from Mortal Kombat. Not entirely sure what he does, but I've seen others that look just like him. They stand and chant and gently swing this small dish suspended from chains. Must be some kind of monk or something. I'll find out about him later...

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The really remarkable thing about the walls of the compound is the size of the stones they used. This is the third largest stone in the compound; weighing in at 120T, it has a surface area of 54m^2. Andrew posed next to one to give it some kind of scale. Massive!

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There are quite extensive gardens surrounding the castle, but it was a little cold for the really nice flowers to be in bloom, so we'll have to make a return visit when the weather gets nicer. As it was there were a few people out walking their dogs and such.

We finally reached the courtyard in front of the castle. No grass, just pavers. Typical Japan. We took a few more pictures and then went to check out the museum inside the castle. This turned out to be mostly disappointing. The castle has been completely modernized as a museum, and all that remains is the 'authentic' exterior and the panoramic view of Osaka you can get from the top. The museum would have been more interesting if we could've read any of the displays, but some of the artifacts were pretty cool: beautiful tapestries (or at least photos of some, as they are too delicate for museum lighting and display), some neat armour and weapons (mostly reproduction pieces), as well as a history of the family responsible for building the castle are presented in Japanese. A word from those who've been there: enjoy Osaka-Jo from the outside, but don't pay the ¥600 to get in.

Oj - castle2.jpg Oj - Gnome.jpg

Posted by agc_cwm 05:13 Archived in Japan

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