This morning we take the bullet train (approx. 1 hour) to HIMEJI
to visit the impressive UNESCO Listed Himeji Castle, perched high on a hill top. The castle is known as the White Egret due to its white walls and elegant shape and it has impressive maze-like defences. After taking in the panoramic views from the top of its 6 story watch tower we take another bullet train to Hiroshima.
After that, take the bullet train to OSAKA
, Japan's second biggest city and an extremely vibrant and lively place to stay. Arrive in Osaka. From Namba Station, walk through Osaka’s liveliest and most colourful shopping and dining streets, starting with Doguyasuji Market
, a unique market that sells anything related to food, Doguyasuji is known for its plastic food models, which are often used in restaurant displays.
Make a quick left turn in one of the narrow alleys to see Hozen-ji Temple
, a small village temple dedicated to one of the Five Wisdom Buddhas. After offering coins, worshippers splash water on the statue of the deity before praying as a sign of respect. Just nearby is Sennichimae, a lane filled with small eateries that serve all the Osakan delicacies such as takoyaki, okonomiyaki and the famed fugu (blowfish). Aside from the local restaurants, Sennichimae also hosts a couple of game centers and the vibrant Namba Grand Kagetsu Theater, the headquarters of the nationwide Japanese comedy brand, Yoshimoto. Right outside the temple grounds and just across the humble yet historical Kamagata Ukiyo-e Museum is Hozenji Yokocho
, a short, narrow lane lined with expensive restaurants.
If your energy allows, pay a visit to Osaka Castle
which is well worth a visit despite being a reconstruction as the original was burnt down during the firebombing at the end of World War Two and you will find a variety of very interesting museums scattered throughout the city.
After dark, Osaka really comes alive, and a walk through the bright lights of the Nanba district is a great way to take in the atmosphere, with some great people‐watching opportunities. With literally thousands of restaurants, bars and entertainment spots to choose from, Osaka is perfect for a big night out, some hearty local food and the chance to let your hair down.
Overnight in Osaka.