Our first stop that day was the Osaka Castle and it is just as glorious as one would expect. From what I've heard and read, you can also explore the castle which I hopefully can do the next time I'm back here. At the time, we were only allowed to walk around the vicinity and take photos because we were on a schedule to move onto Kyoto later that afternoon.
This time around, my parents decided on trying a new travel agency which ended up to be quite lacking in the planning department, to say the least. For the most part, I felt like I was constantly being whisked away or getting disoriented on purpose. Despite all the weird stuff that happened though, Japan is too amazing a country not to enjoy and love and I can't imagine how amazing it would be if I could see it at my own pace. Someday, I swear to return with just my family or my friends! But for now, read on to see more of my quick visit to Osaka! :)
There's a small spot strategically within view of the castle where you can rent costumes and pose with Samurai cosplayers. They'll print and frame it for you but for a fee, of course.
You need to visit Japan to know why people love going to parks so much in the movies. If only it wasn't so hot in Manila maybe we'd have a similar level of value for our public parks. The weather here makes you just want to sit down and chill. Took this shot of a man spending quality time with his Pomeranian wearing a panda suit! Cuteness overload! :D
Off to the side, there are food trucks selling traditional Japanese treats! To this day, I deeply regret not getting myself some Soy Soft-serve. I've literally been craving for it since 2010! Haha!
I've never really liked taking pictures with the places I go to (Other than my outfit shots) but I found myself doing this a lot during the trip. Good thing most of the photos turned out quite blog-worthy! Everything is so photogenic, I cry.
What I did get to try from the food trucks is the Takoyaki! The ones I got to try were a lot smaller than the average Takoyaki - about 2/3 the size. Not sure if this was done in traditional Osaka style. The important thing is: I'm pretty sure it's the best I've had. Not just saying this because of the travel adrenaline but it was just honestly so good! We ordered the assorted set which came in 4 different styles of flavoring which I can't name because I can't speak the language. The one with the pink blotches are my favorite!
Afterwards, we were brought to Shinsaibashi only to be given less than hour to shop. Who could shop for 45 minutes, I wonder. Maybe if you were just going for a quick run to the store? This was a place where none of us had visited before so I found it to be a really questionable decision. As the bus stopped, my sister pointed to the side and my eyes widened at the first Tokyu Hands store I've ever seen and it was huge! The way my friends had described it, I thought art supplies took up the entire building, but it's actually a department store with several levels. Think, MUJI, only with different brands. The top floor is where all the art supplies are and I resigned myself to the idea that I would only probably be able to buy art materials with such limited time. Not going into detail for now as I have a totally separate post for art materials! Haha!
We also went to this store called STEP which is a collective store for almost all the shoe brands you can think of. The prices are average and don't really differ from the prices in Manila. However, the SALE area holds miraculous bargains! My sister and I got a pair of white Nike sneakers (A new favorite!) for about 1500PHP.
Vowing to come back here as I wasn't even able to enter the alley. Shinsaibashi will always have a special place in my heart and I can't wait to see it again! :D