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Osaka January 2, 2007

Posted by urbanblue in Adventures.
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Umeda Sky BuildingNorthern view of OsakaOsaka Castle

This being Japan’s second city, I always felt it was somewhere I should visit one day. So this year, I decided to take an impromtu visit seeing as one of my friends was already taking a holiday there. Only two hours and twenty minutes away by shinkansen (the famous bullet train), it’s a large and impressive city on the Kansai coast. I was staying in the Umeda district in the north, where you can find the Umeda Sky Building. You travel by glass elevator to the 35th floor, then tale an escalator through a glass tunnel to the 39th (that’s what those two diagonal tunnels are at the top of the building in the first picture). If you refer right back to my Hakone stories in September you’ll know I am not good with heights, and the thought of this was frankly terrifying. It wasn’t actually that bad though. And the view was worth it.

I also visited Osaka Castle (which if truth be known was the only landmark I actually knew of before visiting the city). Most temples, castles and shrines in Japan have been destroyed over the years by earthquakes, wars, fires, typhoons etc., so a lot of what you see today is a “modern” reconstruction. This Osaka Castle was reconstructed in 1928. It’s a beautiful building regardless. The grounds also contain a Time Capsule that was buried during Expo 70. It’s designed to be opened in the year 6970, and is said to contain over 2,000 artefacts from around the world representing culture in the 20th century. Don’t think any of us will be around to see that being opened!

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