We’re in Japan! Almost four years have passed since I made my first trip here with P and we’re as happy and grateful as we were the last time that we managed to get here. Same idiotic grins plastered on our faces as we sat on the train out of Kansai International Airport and to Osaka, our base for the trip. (While the two high school boys–who I was already casting in a J-drama in my head–in front of us probably thought, “Bunch of weirdos.” But then we’re in Japan, weird is likely very relative.)
We got to our hotel at almost 10:30 pm (will write about how to go to Osaka from KIX in another post) and by then we just wanted to have dinner, walk a bit in the shopping street where our hotel was located, and get some sleep.
Yesterday, was our first chance to really explore and we went to Osaka Castle, in spite of the pouring rain. All those hours I’ve spent glued to my chair the past few days have now been replaced with hours of walking. I love it…my feet and legs, not so much.
Osaka Castle, which seemed most picturesque with the cherry blossoms in bloom in the foreground (as how Osaka postcards show it), looked drab and gray like the skies at the time. The castle is the city’s most iconic landmark but as I found out from a travel guide, it’s just a replica of the one built in 1853–but not a faithful replica. It has been destroyed and rebuilt several times through centuries, you can’t really fault Japan’s third biggest city from building a more enduring version.
The nearby Plum Grove in the castle grounds provided the day’s bright spot! Who cares about a downpour and muddy grounds when you’ve got some pathways lined with pretty pink blooms? We’re not going to reach the blooming of the cherry trees this time around, but the plum blooms, which are some of the first blossoms to open to signify the start of spring, were just as lovely.
I’ll post more about our trip around Kansai when we get back, but here are a few photos of the blooming plum trees to start off the weekend with something nice and pretty.
How to get to Osaka Castle: From the JR Loop Line, get down Osakajokoen Station.