Saturday, March 2, 2013

At last, a Castle

Osaka Castle, Osaka, Japan

We arrived in Osaka on the Shinkasen (bullet) train from Tokyo. During the ride we saw Mt. Fuji; it flew by in all it's grandeur and majesty. I wasn't prepared for it's size and beauty. Breath-taking!

 Osaka Castle was a fortress, built by Hideyoshi Toyotomi. In a series of battles (1614-1615)  between the Toyotomi clan and the Tokugawa Shogunate, the castle was captured and the Toyotomi clan destroyedTwo major battles occurred in this war: the "Winter Champaign" and the "Summer Champaign of Osaka".

The castle has an inner and an outer moat. Little portholes line the massive walls.

 The main hall now houses a wonderful museum which tells the story of the Summer Champaign.

First we were whisked by special elevator for people with white hair and walking sticks (we qualified!) to the observation deck on the 8th floor. The "more able" had to walk up. We looked out over Osaka, city of 18 million people (3rd largest in Japan).

Dolphin-like fish guarded the roof below us and tigers adorned the gables. (This is a reproduction from inside the museum).

 The wind was bitter on the north side so I sought refuge inside the cafe/gift shop and photographed other people braving the cold!
 The story of the summer champaign is told on screens painted in the 17th century. Throughout out the museum details from these screens are used to recreate the battle. Also scale model figures.

 Dog Lovers Alert

Small Japanese dogs are well dressed! Indulge the "inner leopard" in YOUR dog today!

No comments:

Post a Comment