Saturday was the first cool day since the insane summer heat and it’s still cool here, I think maybe autumn has finally arrived. Sadly, the comfortable temperature is paired with a lot of rainfall, which is kind of annoying but still a hundred times better than the summer weather. I have a rekindled desire to see Japan and all it has to offer, and I convinced Yasu to do some sightseeing with me today. He offered to go to Kyoto or Kobe, but I wanted to start close to home today, so we decided to pay Osaka Castle a visit.
From the outside it looks like a typical Japanese castle, but on the inside it looks like some insignificant office building. They’ve totally rebuild and modernized the castle on the inside, they’ve even installed a couple of elevators. Seems like there is nothing authentic left inside, or perhaps in some hidden rooms, and you really have to remind yourself you’re in a castle because it looks like a regular museum in a boring building with some old things on display. But the exterior is pretty and it is pretty damn convenient to use an elevator and regular stairs to go up and not have to climb down impossibly high and slippery steps on your socks with a constant fear of breaking your neck. And outside the castle we could pretend to be the rulers of the castle and that is always fun.
We had lunch at a restaurant/omiyage shop next to the castle, and I decided to take the castle specialty named after its ancient ruler Hideyoshi Toyotomi (whose grave we discovered on Koyasan a couple of months ago). It was basically rice with some special taste (a little too special for me but Yasu liked it) and regular udon served in a super bowl, maybe Hideyoshi liked to feel small or something. It was fun to eat but way too much for lunch. Later on I tried another weird ice cream flavor (previously tried are green tea, sesame and salt) which Yasu translated to ‘some kind of rice’ and the lady behind the counter told us that it had a touch of ginger. So I guess I’ll just call it ‘ginger rice ice cream’, and I liked it. The only I didn’t like so far was the most common and popular green tea, and my favorite is still sesame.
Even though it was raining so much that we got soaked, and I didn’t have an umbrella with me, and even though the inside of the castle wasn’t the least bit impressive, we still had fun discovering an (to us) unknown part of Osaka.