Day 3: Osaka Castle & Dontonbori

Robyn was let down the first time she went to Osaka Castle, expecting a castle and finding a museum instead. With this information at hand I enjoyed Osaka Castle, finding it the neatest Japanese castle shaped museum I’ve ever been to. Er.. wait the only castle shaped museum I’ve ever seen.

On the path to the castle we came across armies (or swarms depending on your point of view) of Japanese school kids, all wearing colored caps to identify which school group they were with. One group spotted us taking pictures and ran over shouting hello in a thick Japanese accent, and immediately proceeding to strike poses for us.

The castle in it’s current state was rebuilt in the 1930’s, and parts of it have been excavated from time to time. However on the inside you would never be able to tell it was a castle. The outside of the castle was replicated with great detail. The parks around Osaka Castle are almost just as interesting, with huge stone walls and beautiful gardens surrounding the paths. Many homeless camps were set up in the park, with an organic arrangement consisting of blue tents and tarps behind the largest trees in the park on both sides of the main path leading to the fountain.  It struck me as very interesting that even the homeless people in japan seemed to stay very organized. After our short tour of the castle grounds we headed over to the Aquabus for a river tour of Osaka. This was the best waste of an hour here yet. We sat in the boat for a whole hour, and got to see plenty of buildings and dirty undersides of bridges. Best of all there were no steps or walking.

After a late lunch we made our way to Dontonbori, a famous Osaka entertainment district we have seen on TV shows such as “Anthony Bordain’s No Reservations”, and “Have Fork Will Travel”. We took the obligatory pictures of the running guy, clown, and crab. While we were at the vendor with the giant robotic crab sign I picked up some of the grilled crab meat, and it was not as good as Mr. Bourdain led me to believe. Maybe they cooked his fresh since he had a camera crew.

After an hour of shopping we managed to pick out a new camera bag, pillow, and spotted a few more Macross toy candidates. With my obsession of all things from Macross you might be wondering why I have to pick out candidates – the really good transforming valkyries run about $191. Of course they are high quality and at least a 1.5 foot long, but at those prices I just can’t buy them all. The latest ones I could find are the opposing forces from Macross Zero. With any luck maybe I can find one from Frontier.