Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Osaka-jo a-go-go

On our last day in Osaka we decided it was time to get proper cultural like, so we headed to the famous Osaka-jo (castle). It was completed in 1598 and is one of the biggest castles in Japan, and it's an impressive sight, towering over the surrounding park areas, its walls and moats sprawling outwards over a huge area.

This was my first castle, and considering how much I loved this sort of thing when I was a kid, I was super excited. See how into standing on this wall I am? Totally into it.

Diane Keaton also enjoyed herself.

The view from the top. Originally the tower was decorated with gold leaf. Pretty fancy.

The inside of the castle is now a museum and features loads of stuff about the history of the castle and surrounding area, including beautiful painted folding screens depicting famous battles and seiges, suits of armour, swords and letters written by former lords.

Also, this creepy ventriloquist was hanging around the touristy, foody area in the inner bailey. He gave us the wiggins.

I also ate some takoyaki (octopus balls, an Osaka speciality; basically bits of octopus fried in a batter-ball) here, but they were from a stall and I think they may have been undercooked? Anyway they were kind of liquidy in the centre and not that great, basically just batter and chewy bits. Still, overall, the castle experience was A+. Would visit again.

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