Edmonds Sister City Dispatches: Touring Osaka Castle

Having  lunch under a cherry tree.
Having lunch under a cherry tree.

By Paul Anderson

On my last full day in Osaka, I met up with four University students. The plan was to visit Osaka Castle. I had seen it from a distance while riding the ferris wheel on top of the HEP 5 building last Friday night.

Shihoko and Miho met me at the hotel and after a short walk to Osaka Station we were on the train out to the castle. The cost to ride the train is 160 yen or about $1.70. I’m starting to get the hang of this. We met up with Kana and found a nice shady place under a cherry tree to put down our plastic so we could eat lunch. This is common practice as there isn’t much grass. There were hundreds of other people doing the same thing.

Picnic lunch: Bento box and Oreo cookies!
Picnic lunch: Bento box and Oreo cookies!

While waiting for Yuri to show up with the homemade bento lunch we would share, Shihoko went to pick up some takoyaki — octopus rolled in flour almost like a pancake batter. It was quite good. When Yuri arrived, what a meal we had. I supplied the Oreos and chocolate.

A couple from England stopped and talked with us. The girls were able to answer most of their questions. We took pictures together and had a nice chat.

The castle was just on the other side of the moat. Actually we had to cross two moats: one on the outside of the wall and another inner one before you reached the castle itself. The stone work was incredible.  It was cut so straight and precise.

Paul Anderson and university students at Osaka Castle.
Paul Anderson and university students at Osaka Castle.

We walked around the castle grounds and were starting to take pictures when an older gentleman offered to photograph us with our cameras. He then took us to all the best spots to take photos, and became our tour guide. He said he was in the movies, and Kana turned to us and said he was an extra. We all got a laugh about that one.

We learned more about the castle grounds than we ever would have by ourselves. We took many pictures of the castle, flowering trees and ourselves. This is another must-see if you go to Osaka, especially on a beautiful sunny day with good friends.

Edmonds Sister City Commissioner Paul Anderson is writing regular reports about the commission’s visit to Japan, part of a 25th anniversary trip honoring Edmonds’ Sister City relationship with Hekinan, Japan. Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling and his wife Sue will head a delegation of 28 community members going to the Japanese city April 1-8.

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