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Chris & Lindee see the world

Day 2 Japan - Osaka

JAPAN | Tuesday, 5 November 2019 | Views [33]

We are a group of 10 Aussie travellers. Most of our group hail from south of the Queensland border. Our guide Keiko met us after breakfast this morning outside in the sun. Our bus driver Hiro was ready to take us to Nara. We enjoyed our walk from the bus stop to visit Todaiji Temple. The Buddha seated in the Great Hall is one of the largest bronze Buddha statues in the world. We cleansed ourselves with ?fresh water and allowed the smoke from many incense sticks burning at the entrance to clear away any negativity before stepping into the space. The Great Hall is 50 metres wide and almost as high. And today it was filled with people from all over the world and the occasional group of school children on their Autumn excursions. We left the temple and strolled back through the grounds and passed many deer from the Nara Deer Park. There are 1200 deer roaming through the park and the temple grounds. They have become a sacred symbol of the city as a Shinto belief that every creature, nature or object is a messenger of god. Back on the bus we were taken into the main centre of Nara for lunch. We saw some local rice cakes (mochi) being made, and sampled the sweet, green, gooey, chewiness before finding a small noodle shop to rest and refuel. Reboarding our bus, we headed back to Osaka city to explore Osaka Castle. The castle has been an important landmark throughout Japanese history especially during 1583 and 1585 when warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi built it and ruled Japan there. Like many buildings in Japan, that we’ve learned of so far, the castle has been rebuilt as a concrete building due to the previous timber structure burning down. We climbed the stairs to the top (7 floors) to enjoy views out across the castle compound to the city beyond.

We had time as we returned to the bus to sit in the sun overlooking the massive moat around the castle ad reflect on our day so far; and our 16000 plus steps; and the day wasn’t over yet!

Dotonburi was our next stop. This area of Osaka is a throbbing food, shopping and entertainment centre. We walked a street lined with brightly lit and decorated shops selling fashion, food and fun to visitors and locals alike. Wandering along the river we sampled Takoyaki (octopus balls!) from one of the many outlets offering the quick and easy and very hot tasty treat. We decided to escape the chaos above ground and found and Irish pub to have a quiet drink in before dinner.

Heading back upstairs we explored some of the smaller streets and lanes as darkness fell and the night lights came on.

Dinner was with our group in a restaurant that specialised in seafood hot pot. Very tasty and very satisfying.

Another fabulous day of adventure with fabulous company! And another night where we all fall into bed completely exhausted!

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