Day three of my Japan trip is finally up and features the most aesthetically pleasing pancakes ever, read on if you don’t believe me. If you’ve missed the previous installments of my Japan trip, you can click here to start from the beginning.
After visiting Himeji Castle the previous day and being completely blown away, I was really looking forward to the other castle visits we had planned. Osaka Castle, one of Japan’s most famous landmarks, was next on our agenda. The castle is built on two raised platforms and is surrounded by the most stunning moat, there’s even the option to take a boat ride around the perimeter. The castle grounds are pretty huge, during cherry blossom season it is known for them to have many food vendors as well as taiko drummers scattered throughout the grounds. If I ever get to visit here again, I’d definitely like to go during this time as I can imagine that the atmosphere is pretty amazing.
One of my favourite parts of the castle was its surrounding views; you can see the castle’s park in the distance and then the city of Osaka behind it which made a perfect photo-taking opportunity. Once we got inside the castle, we discovered that it was eight floors high so we went all the way to the top and worked our way down. On each floor, there were so many different parts of history surrounding the castle for you to learn. If I went into all the information then we’d be here for absolutely ages but there’s so many interesting facts that you can read up on. The castle was actually destroyed twice by fires, the second time being during World War II and it goes into a lot of detail surrounding the family that owned the castle. Who doesn’t love a bit of gossip and drama, even if it is from hundreds of years ago?
After our small trek up the eight steep flights of stairs to the top of Osaka Castle, we were feeling pretty hungry so we decided to stop by at a restaurant before heading back to do some more shopping at Shinsaibashi where we had visited two days before. Charlie and I spotted some incredible looking pancakes in the window of a restaurant called Jo-Terrace; a very popular thing among Japanese restaurants is plastic food in the windows to give you an idea of what their meals look like. These always look incredibly realistic and I was completely drawn in by a stack of pancakes covered in syrup and assorted fruits. These looked just as amazing as their plastic replica and tasted better than I could’ve even imagined. I was absolutely stuffed afterwards, it was the perfect fuel boost to be able to go on and battle the shopping mall for a second time.
After the pancakes had gone down a little bit, we made our way over to Shinsaibashi to have another browse in the shops because let’s be honest, can you ever do too much shopping? I decided to pop back into the Disney store and picked myself up a The Nightmare Before Christmas themed pass holder to keep my metro pass in. This made it easier to scan the pass when we’re out and about switching between tubes constantly – stylish and pratical, haha. I also paid a visit to the Sanrio store to pick up some adorable Hello Kitty themed gifts for Al as I know she loves anything Hello Kitty and Japan has plenty of exclusive things to choose from.
We also spent some time in a nearby game center which are very popular in Japan. Many of them have several floors featuring different types of games; I spent way too much time and money on the claw machines as well as getting overly competitive on Mario Kart. I wish we had more big arcades like this in Birmingham as it’s such a fun way to spend an evening and there’s so many games to choose from, you can easily be entertained for hours.
Another popular thing in Japanese game centers are ‘Purikura’ which translates to ‘Print Club.’ These are photo booths where you can pose with your friends and then edit the photos to your liking afterwards with different filters, effects and stickers. They’re so much fun and I loved getting creative with all of the different optional additions. As you can probably tell, my favourites were the animal filters – here are our photos below!
What part of an arcade do you enjoy the most?