A rainy day in Osaka

We arrived at Tempozan Pier, the main port for Osaka in Japan on a damp and dreary day. The first thing we saw was the massive Tempozan Ferris Wheel.

I can just imagine the dramatic views you must see on a ride on the 112.5 metre wheel but our plan was to make our way to Kyoto via the high speed Shinkansen (bullet train). Just like Kyoto, on researching we learnt that Osaka is a huge city with many stations and a superior train service. We easily found our way to the closest station, purchased our ticket and made our way to Shinosaka Station for our journey on the Shinkansen. The journey on the bullet was about 15 minutes and incredibly efficient.

From Kyoto train station we caught a bus and soon arrived at the UNESCO World Hertigate site, Nijo Castle which was completed in 1626.

You can hire audio guides, but we wandered at our own pace reading the signs which kept us well informed. This historic castle is known for the beginning and end of the Shogunate period.

Despite both the castle and the palace having been destroyed by separate fires, this impressive site has two moats surrounding massive stone walls and beautifully elaborate gates. The outer wall has three gates and the inner has two. Inside the inner wall are the remaining foundations of the five story keep destroyed in the fire in 1750. The large grounds contain several lovely gardens. The garden has several groves of cherry and Japanese plum trees, a large pond and topiary pine trees.

The largest building in the complex is the Guard House. There is also a Reception Room, Grand Chamber, an Audience Chamber and the Shogun’s personal chamber. There are also two Tea Houses within the complex.

A lot of details about the design of structures from this period have been learned from the five buildings in this palace complex. Gold leaf and elaborate wood carvings decorate the buildings. Inside the main chamber are screens painted by artists with rich colours and gilded depicting flowers, trees, birds and tigers. The most striking feature is the Nightingale Floors. The floors in the corridors were constructed to squeak like birds when walked on to alert the occupants from sneak attacks and assassins.

If you’ve been fascinated with Japanese history and the Shogunate era you simply must put a visit to Nijo Castle high on your list. These grounds are impressive, imposing and rich in decorative detail.

On our return back to Tempozan Pier we visited Legoland which has a lifesize giraffe outside. The giraffe is made from 330,000 Lego pieces. We went to Tempozan Marketplace, purchased an ice and sat and admired the giraffe while we ate it. Who said you rainy days had to be blah?

Would a visit to Ninjo Castle be on your itinerary for Osaka? Would you let a little rain put you off visiting such a large outdoor complex?

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20 Responses

  1. We are visiting Japan on April. Thank you for the tips!
    Tahiti Le Blog recently posted…Nager avec les baleines à Tahiti. Pour ou contre ?My Profile

  2. JooJoobs says:

    Thanks for sharing.

    Rain or shine, the pictures are appreciated.

    ~bibi

  3. Misha says:

    These are really very awesome places to visit rainy day Osaka and have some amazing experience of world’s beautiful creations. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Kali says:

    Wow! Mind blowing and eye catching photography. This place is just awesome. Hope to trip to those places in the near future.

  5. Definitely wouldn’t let a little rain put me off – we’d do nothing all winter in Copenhagen if that were the case! What a beautiful castle and I love all the details you share the large and the small. I would love to get to Osaka someday. Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles

  6. Cadu says:

    How fast is the Osaka bullet train? I’m used travelling by train in Italy, and some of then reach 300 km/h.
    I know that was a rainy day, but the Japanese gardens are still amazing, aren’t they?
    Nice post!
    Cadu recently posted…Vem Barcelona!My Profile

  7. Katy says:

    Yes definitely sign me up for Ninjo castle even on a rainy day. It looks so peaceful and calming. We hope to visit Japan next year and will make the most of it rain, hail or shine. Thanks for joining #farawayfiles

  8. Japan is high on my list, those trains, those buildings. Great post #CityTripping
    Catherine’s Cultural Wednesdays recently posted…LONDON OPEN HOUSE 2017My Profile

  9. Castle-hopping in Japan is definitely high on our bucket list! The architecture is so unique and beautiful. We also love learning about the history, much of it completely new to us. Fantastic post – definitely something we want to do! Thanks for sharing on #WeekendWanderlust.
    Rob+Ann @TravelLatte(.net) recently posted…#Travel140 Travel Tips: Three Step Strategy to Conquer Jet LagMy Profile

  10. Hilary says:

    We loved our visit to Japan, and if we get back there Osaka is definitely on our list! We love a castle rain or shine! #farawayfiles
    Hilary recently posted…Road Trip to Arches National ParkMy Profile

  11. We just returned from Japan and only had a quick overnight in Osaka. We missed a visit to Nijo Castle sadly, looks like you had a lovely visit despite the rain.

  12. Legoland and Nijo castle in one day – that’s good going. We really enjoyed Osaka. You’ve reminded me of the nightingale floors! It’s an incredible place. Thanks for linking #citytripping

  13. budget jan says:

    Good on you for getting out and about in the rain. Nijo Castle would have been a great place to visit even in the rain. We’ve been to Osaka but not to the Castle. I’ve heard the nightingale floors in a temple in Kyoto. I particularly like gardens so I hope when we do get to visit the castle the sun is shining. 🙂
    budget jan recently posted…Lake Louise to Emerald Lake DetourMy Profile

  14. Kiyoko says:

    I was in Japan during June (rainy season), so I definitely know what it’s like to get caught in the rain. It rained the entire time I was in Hiroshima, and it certainly didn’t stop me! I also spent a great deal of time in Kyoto and Osaka, but never made it to Nijo castle. Judging by the pictures, I’d say I really missed out!

  15. These pictures are simply stunning. Even the rain doesn’t stop you from exploring, well done!

  16. Jo Castro says:

    Osaka looks incredible, rain or shine. I love posts about Japan, because the culture is just sooooo diferent and obtuse to WA. The castle looks amazing, and would be on my list too.

  17. As we say in Germany, “If you’re not willing to go somewhere in the rain, you might never get there!” Thanks for linking up this week! #wkendtravelinspiration
    Jim ~ ReflectionsEnroute recently posted…For the Kids! Playmobil FunParkMy Profile

  18. Rhonda Albom says:

    Amazing what you can get to on public transit. Nijo Castle looks to be in excellent condition. The squeaking floor is an interesting defense feature.
    Rhonda Albom recently posted…Moroccan Doors and Arched Doorways in Fes and Meknes MoroccoMy Profile

  19. Lolo says:

    Osaka looks fun rain or shine! I bet riding that fast train was an amazing experience! Would like to go to Japan one day as I was born there but haven’t been since I was a wee lass haha #wkendtravelinspiration

  20. I admire you by making the most of a rainy day! Recently, we had a super rainy day in Germany and we tried to move around even though it was raining a bit hard and was cold. Of course I would like to visit the castle. And, I like that super flirty giraffe (red lipstick and everything). #TPThursday
    Ruth | Tanama Tales recently posted…Vienna in 2, 3 or 4 Days: Highlights and Day TripsMy Profile

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