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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Japan - Day 3

Day Three and we decided to stay close to home until Nicks back improves.  So off to the subway again....
And Quiddy has stolen Nicks new hat.  What a spunk!

This time 2 trains to get to Osaka Castle

But first I needed to rehydrate from the sake.  As unappealing as it sounds, Pocari Sweat did the trick.

Arriving at the Castle grounds we spotted some Bonsai.  Nick is a huge fan and it was great to be able to see them actually in Japan.  Such a shame we could not buy any.

They were stunning!

Thank God for Voltaren.  Nick was a trooper but there was a lot of walking.

Oh look, more Takoyaaki.

....and Okonmiyaki.

And just yummy stuff in general.

We stopped for a bit to eat before entering the castle and spotted a couple getting their wedding photos done.  The kids had well and truly taken Japan in their stride by then and were calling out "Konichiwa" to everyone they saw, these guys included.

Which ended up of course, with an invitation for this.

Which hilariously really looked like this!  Travelling with kids is the ultimate ice breaker.
I often ponder how many random people have photos of my kids!

These guys were fantastic.  Not to be out done, they decided it was their turn to pose for the camera.

Finally we enter Osaka Castle.  It is one of Japans most famous castles and apparently played a major role in the reunification of Japan in the 16th century.  

My VERY patient family are forever waiting and posing for pictures and I repeatedly tell them they will thank me one day.  I guess some of it has rubbed off on Quiddy who actually takes really good this one.

And this one.

Much to our amusement, this guy wanders around picking up the rubbish.

A delightful surprise was coming around a corner to see this.

Someone had taken the time to create these beautiful origami birds and place them around the base of the tree.

I have no idea why.  I can only hope that they realise that they made 2 little kids very happy.  They loved them!

Another of the wonderful things about Japan is that the Japanese are slightly crazy (in a good way of course) and that makes doing slightly bizarre things not so bizarre.  No one bats an eyelid.

Oh Scarlett...

I think this may count as my number one highlight of our trip.  Blossoms!!!  As the weather had been so cold I was not expecting to see any so my heart soared when I turned the corner to see them.

Cherry blossoms or Sakura are so important in Japan.  Hanami is the centuries old practice of picnicking under a blooming Sakura trees.  Every year the Japanese Meteorological Agency track the "Sakura Zensen" or Cherry Blossom Front and people patiently wait with picnic baskets at the ready to sit and enjoy.

I love that the Japanese see this a a metaphor of life.  It is fleeting.  The changing of the blossoms from extreme beauty for such a short time and then a quick death symbolises mortality.  Once the first flowers appear they are in full bloom within a week and then just a week later....they begin to fall.  It's all over in 2 weeks.  Even quicker if there is a big rain storm.  Taking all that into consideration I feel really lucky to have seen this.

People enjoying the very early stages of Hanami.

I can only imagine how breathtaking this view must be in a weeks time.  They look like firecrackers!

After a rest it was time to explore the Dotonbori/Shinsaibashi area again.

Even saw a piece of the motherland in our travels.

The place was buzzing.

I'm not sure where else you could be where sitting out of the front of your shop and washing your hair is considered perfectly normal.

I'm not too sure what to say about Japanese fashion.

I think they call this style Lolita.

Doesn't it make you want to just walk in and sit down.  There are literally thousands of place to choose from.

We ended up wandering into the America Mura area where all the hip young Japanese (and some less trendy Aussies) hang out.  Where else would you go to buy your gas mask?

...or your bikini.

I love the contrasts in this photo.  From Lolita to Goth...nothing seems out of bounds to the fashion forward Japanese.

Look what I found! good do they look?

There sure was something for everyone in America Mura.

That is one seriously pimped ride.

Drive through Japanese style.

My first bento in Japan!

The kids patience and fab walking skills for the day were rewarded with Krispy Kreme.  The put in some serious miles today.  We finish another day tired but happy.  Tomorrow....KYOTO!!!

1 comment:

  1. Blossom bonsai! Love the photo of you and Knight in Shining Armour in front of the blossoms. Can just you see you in that pimped, flag bikini, Dan!


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