3 December 2013

Osaka Travel Trip 2013 @ Part 6 (Osaka Castle & Umeda)[Final]

On the final day in Osaka City, I visited some of Osaka's attractions using the Osaka Unlimited Pass which includes admission tickets to many popular attractions which is impossible to finish all in one day. My first stop was to Osaka's Museum of History which was on the way to Osaka Castle. Admission ticket is included in the OUP.

Osaka Museum of History
Basically, this place briefs on the history of Osaka evolution which spans out in few floors. There are alot of manmade statues to project the the cultural period of Japan. If you are keen into understanding culture then this is the place for you. If not,you might get really bored here.

Osaka Museum of History

Osaka Museum of History

Osaka Museum of History

Osaka Museum of History

Osaka Museum of History

Osaka Museum of History

Osaka Museum of History

Osaka Museum of History

Osaka Museum of History Entrance

Osaka Castle

At the same area, I walked over to Osaka Castle grounds. It was quite far as we had to walk into the grounds and towards the castle. On the way there, you are able to see many stalls selling drinks and snacks like takoyaki (I find the stuff here overpriced by a little). The castle were actually quite small and there at the observatory tower, the view of Osaka City can be seen. 

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle Model

Osaka Castle Top View

Osaka Castle Top View

Osaka Castle Nishinomaru Garden
If you using the OUP, it also includes a admission into Osaka Castle's Nishinomaru Garden to view the nature wonders of a Japanese park. However, unless its fully autumn or the sakura spring season, there is nothing much to view here. I was here when the leaves started to turn brown.

Osaka Castle Nishinomaru Garden


Shitennoji Temple

After our visit to Osaka Castle, we decided to visit Shitennoji Temple, one of Japan's oldest temples and the first ever to be built by the state. Shitennoji is a short walk from Shitennoji-mae-Yuhigaoka Station on the Tanimachi Subway Line. Alternatively, it can be reached in a ten minute walk north of JR Tennoji Station on the JR Loop Line.

Shitennoji Temple

Shitennoji Temple Inner View

Shitennoji Temple Grounds
Comparatively, the temple grounds has a slight different atmosphere. It was really quiet and patrons visiting here are mostly made of locals. I guess people really respect this place as everyone was embracing the serenity and peaceful ambience of the Buddism culture.

Umeda Area
Finally, after getting quite bored with too many temple & shrine visits, we headed up to Umeda as this dense area are filled with countless shopping malls and it is as busy as Namba. This area is also where the JR, Nankai, Hankyu, and Hanshin stations meet similiarly to KL Sentral.

Osaka Station

Grand Front Osaka

Osaka Station City

Umeda Sky Building Escalator
We headed to one of Osaka's best top view, the Umeda Sky building which requires you to walk pass an underpass. OUP covers the admission tickets too. The glass escalator was certainly a fascinating ride and not for the faint-hearted people who are really afraid of heights.

Osaka City View

Osaka City View
The view on top is an open-air view was simple breathtaking. The wind was quite strong that day and I had a full view of Osaka City that makes KL looks like nothing. Personally, I think this place is best viewed at night.

Lovers Corner
Also, Umeda Sky Building seems to perfect place for couples as you can take memorable photos and even purchase love padlocks to engrave your names and lock it on the grill bars at the observatory floor.

Osaka City View

Padlocks for Couples

Umeda Top View

Umeda Bottom View

Osaka City View

Raw Ingredients for Okonomiyaki
For dinner, we discovered this restaurant in Yodobashi Umeda that serves fresh okonomiyaki cooked on your table. Okonomiyaki s a Japanese savoury pancake containing a variety of ingredients and is one of Osaka's specialty dishes.

Staff Preparing Okonomiyaki

Vegetable Okonomiyaki
Noodle based Okonomiyaki
They are a few types of okonomiyaki. Mostly commonly used are flour based that resembles a pancake texture. However, in this restaurant we had okonomiyaki that used vegetable and noodles (modanyaki) as its base.

Okonomiyaki Cooked!

Okonomiyaki Ready to be Eaten!
The taste of the okonomiyaki was really delicious as the flavours of the meat & vegetables were very well blended. I do get hungry quite fast though after this meal.

HEP Ferris Wheel
Next stop, HEP ferris wheel which is located in the top floor of Hankyu Entertainment Park (HEP) Five that has quite a number of good local designers shops inside. The admission fare is also included in OUP which cost about Y500.

Sunset View from Ferris Wheel
This is also a good place for couples too and each ride takes about 15 minutes. I personally think the Ferris wheel is best viewed during sunset as you can see the transformation from evening to the nighlights of Osaka City.

HEP Ferris Wheel
Osaka Night City View
Fried Pork Katsu
Finally, some late snacks with delicious deep-fried pork katsu!