Travel through Japan: part III

Our second day in Osaka started with an exploration of our hostel’s area. The day before, I had found there was a tower near our hostel, so we set out to look for it. We were surprised that the area was unexpectedly interesting. There was shopping arcade, a zoo, the tower, a street full of Billiken, …

We could soon see the small tower in the distance.

The tower, called Tsūtenkaku (meaning ‘tower reaching to heaven’), appeared to be based on the Eiffel Tower’s structure, but we couldn’t quite make out the shape of the Eiffel Tower.

A cute little design of Tsūtenkaku on a wall.

From the foot of the tower.

We didn’t enter Tsūtenkaku, since we were on a small budget and we probably couldn’t get a nice view anyway. The tower stood in the middle of a shopping arcade called Shinsekai (which means New World). Shinsekai was celebrating its 100th anniversary with Kinnnikuman, which translates to … muscle man! It was quite the sight to see!

Kinnnikuman!

Kinnikuman had his own Kinniku shop…

The whole arcade was full of Muscle Man’s posters!

A nice woodcut owl in Shinsekai.

And then, at the other side of the tower, there were lots of Billiken.

The other side of the tower.

Billiken, the god of things as they ought to be.

According to Wikipedia, this place used to be a lunapark.

Billiken.

Entrance to the zoo.

Shinsekai.

Shinsekai with its characteristic Tsūtenkaku tower.

While writing this update, I read about this area on Wikipedia and I was really surprised. This area appears to be one of the most dangerous areas of Japan! I can’t believe it! The article on Wikipedia says even tourist guidebooks tell people to be cautious around here or to even avoid this place. Having been here, I just can’t believe this. It was such a vibrant place, to be honest it was even my favourite place we visited in Osaka. I would even go back to this place if I ever visit Osaka again. (read more: Shinsekai)

After visiting what appears to be the most dangerous place of Japan, we headed out to Osaka Castle.

The moat surrounding Osaka Castle.

The majestic Osaka Castle.

At this point, we met a kind old Japanese photographer, who wanted to take pictures of us (for us) at the most photogenic points around the castle (according to him), so we followed him around for a while since he was a bit insistent.

The walls surrounding the castle.

Osaka Castle.

Golden ornaments of the castle.

And inside the castle, a few battlefields were recreated with tiny figurines.

Recreation of battlefield.

Recreation of battlefield.

Recreation of battlefield.

Recreation of battlefield.

View from inside Osaka Castle.

View from the castle.

Panoramic view.

Golden ornament on the roof of the castle.

More golden ornaments.

Osaka Castle.

And we ended our tour around Osaka with a quick visit to the Pokemon Center.

Pokemon, gotta catch ’em all!

After checking out Pokemons, we tried to find the train to Nara. With the kind help of a station staff who noticed our confused looks at the destination screens, we found the train that would get us to quiet and peaceful Nara. After dropping off our luggage at our hostel, we wandered about in Nara, had dinner at an izakaya-like eatery and visited some temples at night.

It’s just water though…

Itadakimaaaaaasu!

Nara at night.

Nara at night.

Nara at night.

Nara at night.

We cowardly walked through Nara park, and to our surprise some of the deer were still awake! At first we were scared to death, because it was really dark, but in the end we were able to found some senbei (crackers to feed to the deer) left by visitors so we able to feed the deer for free! This was quite an experience!

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One thought on “Travel through Japan: part III

  1. Pingback: Travel through Japan: part IV | yoooya

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