Japan 2013: Day 2 Osaka Part 3

DAY 2 (CON’T)

The exhibits inside the castle which detail the history of the castle ….. Didn’t really go through the exhibits in detail as I wanted to cover the Castle quickly, but there is always the brochure/pamphlet and google to refer to ……

http://www.osakacastle.net/english/

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e4000.html

Osaka Castle 4

Then it was up to the level 7 observatory – which to me is the highlight of the entire Castle.

Excellent panoramic views of the entire Castle, its surroundings, and some of the buildings in the vicinity!

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There was actually some barbed wire around the observation deck, thus it was not fully open air. Thought that the wire provided some nice perspective on some of the panoramic scenery shots. Especially the one in the centre bottom where the wires kind of served as a frame ……

Osaka Castle 5

Decided to skip the Nishinomaru Garden. Based on what I saw on the observation deck, the autumn foliage doesn’t seem to have peaked yet + it is already around 1510 Hrs and I would like to quickly get to Tempozan Harbour Village to take the Santa Maria Cruise ……

As I walked back to Tanimachi 4 Chome station (decided to take this route rather than turning left and ending up at a different station), at the traffic junction, I spotted the NHK Building beside the History Museum as well ……

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Students on excursion seated right in front of the History Museum lawn (as I was about to go back into the subway station) ……

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Then it is a almost 20 min straight journey down to Osakako station (8 stops down the Chuo subway line) …. followed by a bit of walk (based on the direction arrows at the station) …… Luckily the village was not too difficult to spot as I spotted the Ferris Wheel and Tempozan Bridge almost instantly ……

Tempozan 1

It was already 4pm when I reached the Harbour Village itself. Had a bit of confusion trying to locate the entrance to the Santa Maria Cruise, until I was told that it is inside the building itself. So in I went, and saw this ……

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It turns out that I have missed the last cruise of the day by a good 10 to 15 min or so. Although prior to the trip I have read online that there was also an evening cruise available at 1730 Hrs, but there was NO ONE at the booking office. Nor there was also any instructions/directions in English. Tried asking a few staff nearby and none could help …… This was kind of a bummer as the cruise itself was entirely covered by the Unlimited Pass (1600 JPY – which is more than 1/2 the cost of the 1 day Pass) and it would have been a nice opportunity to take some sunset/golden hour shots of the Osaka Bay and its surroundings ……

Went back out the building deciding whether or not should I head next to the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan or the next best alternative for sunset views – the Tempozan Ferris Wheel (where the 700 JPY admission fee is fully covered by the pass as well). Searched through the booklet and confirmed at the ticket booth that the 2013 version pass no longer offers the discounted rate for admission, and that the FULL rate of 2300 JPY applies! However they have packaged prices which combine the Kaiyukan ticket with either the Aqualiner (another sight-seeing) or the Santa Maria (this one caught my interest as the total package is around 2700 JPY for both attractions). Thus decided that I will give the Kaiyukan a miss – as I would prefer to spend that 2300 JPY on something else instead, such as a nice dinner …… Will probably come back and do the cruise and Kaiyukan visit together as a package which seems better value for money – IF I have time after Nara day trip on Sunday ……

So I went back into the building, onto the deck and outside the building (which is an open area directly facing Osaka Bay) and started snapping more scenery pictures ……

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While looking out at the sea area, you can see that the sun is starting to set ……

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More gorgeous views as I walked out the building onto the open space and towards the Ferris Wheel. You can see that the sun has yet to ‘move’ towards this side ……

Tempozan 2

Reached the Ferris Wheel at the end of the walk, still in 2 minds whether to go up the Ferris Wheel or not (have a slight fear of heights :P) …… So decided to go and explore the mall within Tempozan, as well as take a food cum toilet break ……

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Found the food street inside the mall. Walked 1 round, nothing really interesting. Not much variety of shops as well so left pretty quickly ……

Then mustered up all my courage and got onto the Tempozan Ferris Wheel! Turned out to be a fantastic decision as the height was not so scary after all. Most importantly, was rewarded with clear 360 degree views of the Harbour Village and Osaka Bay throughout the 15 min long ride/rotation ……

Tempozan 3

My favourite ‘egg yolk’ sun set right in the middle of the collage!

It was around 515pm when the ferris wheel finished ‘rotating’ …. As there was nothing much else to explore at Tempozan, decided to head to Namba for an early dinner as the sky starts to darken rapidly.

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