2013 Japanese Spring – Day 5 : Osaka

Although we had our ICOCA cards for our subway rides, we felt that we could not pass up on Osaka One-Day Pass (cost ¥800).

This was purchased from one of the many the ticket machines. The pass allows for unlimited rides on Osaka subway and buses and discounts on selected tourist spots, shops and restaurants. Just the ticket for our programme today.

Our first stop was Shitennoji Temple (四天王寺).  This temple was constructed in 593 by Prince Shotoku and it’s one of Japan’s oldest Buddhist temple.

We approached the temple through the side entrance and passed through a few temples and flea market along the way.  The flea market and other stalls in the grounds of the temple had some interesting items for sale…

We also walked past a cemetery in the temple grounds.

This is Rokuji-do(六時堂), one of the many temples and shrines found in Shitennoji Temple grounds.

As we had the pass, entrance is free to the inner precinct of Shitennoji Temple which saved us ¥300 per person.  The temple is quite small and there weren’t many people there.  This is the Kondo (Main hall) of the temple.

This 5-storey pagoda or Gojunoto represents the five elements : earth, water, fire, air and heaven.

Our next stop was Osaka Castle – the streets even had special manhole covers!

The castle is only a short walk from Tanimachiyon-chome station. With the pass, the entrance fee is ¥500 per person instead of ¥600.

Sakura-mon (Gate), the main gate to inner realm of Osaka Castle

It’s still quite a distance to walk from the main gate to the main tower building.  The main tower of Osaka Castle which consists of 5 levels and has now been turned into a museum.

The top level of the main tower has an observation deck with a 360° view of Osaka and the castle grounds.

View of the Nishinomaru garden in the castle grounds. During cherry blossom season, this garden is filled with people.

Samurai educate and entertain visitors at the castle.

After Osaka Castle, we went to Osaka Bay Area.  This is where you will find the 112.5 meters high Tempozan Ferris Wheel and Osaka Aquarium (Kaiyukan).

Tempozan Ferris Wheel

Osaka Aquarium

Street entertainers kept the kids thrilled and entertained.  The audience was very appreciative!

Then we spent some time at the harbourfront.  A tourist boat taking tourists for a cruise at the harbourfront.

Ships plying the sea at Port of Osaka.

Our last stop for the day is the Floating Garden in Umeda Sky Building, the one we saw from our Haruka Limited Express train on the way to Kyoto on the first day of our trip.  We wasted some time trying to reach it as sign posts and maps were a little confusing to us.

Managed to capture Osaka skyline at dusk and at night when all the buildings are lighted up.  We got a discount of ¥70 (10%) per person as we had the pass.  Full entrance fee is ¥700 per person.

View of the building from the ground level

Osaka skyline at dusk

Osaka skyline at night when all the buildings are lighted up


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