Osaka by Day
Osaka is a Japanese city that I believe need no introduction among foreign tourists. I reckon this is the one of the most visited city after Tokyo and Kyoto (disclaimer: statement is not backed by any statistical proof). I visited Osaka during Golden Week 2014 which is just a fancy name for a string of national holidays that fall in early May (aka peak travel period).
My first stop was Osaka Castle – a significant site in many of Japan’s historic moments including the epic battle between the Tokugawa shogunate and Toyotomi clan. They have plenty of exhibits describing the siege of Osaka Castle including this diorama of soldiers from both sides of the divide.
There’s an elevator that will bring you to the top of the castle to begin your tour. From there you make your way down by stairs through the castle museum where there are plenty of exhibits and other items on display along the way. Here’s a view from the castle observatory.
My visit coincided with a school visit. It’s common in Japan for schools to conduct field trips to historical sites or museums. You can spot them miles away because the students will all wear matching colored hats (easier for the teachers to keep track of them). I noticed that the students were given worksheets to fill up so there was a lot of running around as the students scanned through every exhibit for the answers to their worksheet.
If you are in the mood for more history lessons, the Osaka Museum of History is nearby from the castle located in the Osaka NHK Building. I bought a combo admission ticket for the castle and museum (which is cheaper than buying them individually). So ask for those if you are planning to visit both.’
The museum has many exhibits and detailed models showcasing the history of Osaka from the feudal age up to it’s pre-war days. This particular diorama caught my attention. It seems to be depicting a friendly neighborhood peeping tom having some fun at the local outhouse. Looks like the problem of dealing with lecherous men is one as old as time.
This sewing machine brought back a wave of nostalgia because I have the exact same one at my home in Malaysia! It used to belong to my grandmother. I remember as a child watching my grandmother sew her clothes on the sewing machine.
For the other exhibits, you’ll have to visit the museum for yourself. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re a museum person. And if you’re not a history buff like myself, there’s plenty of other attractions around Osaka to keep you busy in the daytime. Wizarding World of Harry Potter, anyone?