Osaka, Japan Day Three: Osaka Castle & Purikura

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.

Osaka Castle

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.

Shopping & Purikura

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?

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  1. January 29, 2019 / 1:58 pm

    Ah what a fun day and those pancakes do look amazing!! I can imagine the castle looks even more beautiful in blossom season, wow.. Also, I absolutely adore Hello Kitty too – she was my all time fave when I was younger and I remember visiting Florida and just buying everything Hello Kitty from the shop’s haha!xo

    Char |

    • January 29, 2019 / 2:16 pm

      They were incredible, I wanna eat them all over again. Yeah I remember loving her when I was little, I’m sure I used to play this dress up game where you could give her different outfits haha xx

    • January 30, 2019 / 11:19 am

      It’s an incredible and beautiful country, I would definitely recommend going if you ever get the chance x

  2. January 31, 2019 / 8:22 pm

    That purikura thing is so cute! I’ve seen so much about the little photo booth things and always wanted to try it out. Maybe one day I’ll go to Japan and also get to go in the Sanrio store, hehe. PS I LOVED MY PRESENTS THANK YOU. The castle looks so cool and it’s crazy that it’s been destroyed twice but was special enough to rebuild. I don’t actually usually eat pancakes but they look so cute that I’d love to give them a try and bananas and strawberries are the perfect combo. I can’t believe this is only day 3, you look like you had the most amazing time!
    Alice Xx

    • February 5, 2019 / 10:39 am

      They’re so fun Al, I’d love to do them with you! Yesss, I reckon you’d go crazy in there haha. There’s so many adorable things! I’m so glad you loved your presents, I wish I could’ve bought you the store to be honest. Pancakes are my FAVE, and I totally agree that’s definitely one of the best combos – with chocolate too, obvs. I did, can I go back now?! xx

  3. February 5, 2019 / 8:52 am

    What an amazing day! The castle sounds so cool and I love that they put plastic versions of their dishes in the windows of restaurants! I know if Aaron and I had walked past an arcade that big, we wouldn’t have left all day 😂 I love the photo booth’s and I’m a huge dance mat fan – most of the arcade ones are battered in the UK (I reckon anyway) so they don’t register your steps, but back in the day I was pretty good! ❤️❤️

    • February 5, 2019 / 9:47 am

      Yeah I definitely could’ve spent hours and hours there! One of the days I was literally on the same game for so long, some of them are way too addictive. I think some Japanese people actually do dance mats like a sport, there were people dressed up in sports gear getting such high scores on them! One way to shed the pounds I suppose haha x

      • February 5, 2019 / 9:48 am

        Oh yeah, I’ve seen videos of them on them and it’s insane (I’m nothing like that haha!)
        My cousin had one and she lost loads of weight on it – good exercise 😂❤️

        • February 5, 2019 / 10:30 am

          I know, I’d be tripping all over myself haha. God, I need to get myself one by the sounds of it! x

  4. Geraldine
    February 19, 2019 / 2:11 pm

    Hi Alice!! I am so glad I came across this. Osaka castle looks beautiful and you’re right, I think it would be so lovely during the Cherry blossom season to be there! I’ve watched a video before on how the Japanese make those plastic food models and it’s pretty amazing in itself, the pancakes look so incredibly tasty! 😍😋 I love how the purikura doesn’t discriminate and also makes the guys look girly haha! Thanks so much for sharing, I’m off to read your other blog post to your Japan trip! ❤️

    Geraldine |

    • February 19, 2019 / 2:21 pm

      Your comment has made my day! Thank you so much for your lovely words. I would definitely like to visit again during Cherry Blossom season, although I absolutely loved the Autumn leaves as well. Ooh I’ve never seen a video of it, that sounds so interesting! I’ll have to research into those later. I know, the filters are so adorable I think haha! I hope you enjoy my other posts, thank you so much xx

  5. aisasami
    February 19, 2019 / 2:18 pm

    I am glad you enjoyed Osaka. I don’t do a lot of purikura with my friends because I just don’t go out often. But it s fun. I been to Osaka Castle at least twice. I might go again when my sister visits me in th summer.

    • February 19, 2019 / 2:23 pm

      It’s so fun! But then again I think if you live around it constantly you’d probably get used to it and not do it nearly as much. I know for me, there are loads of places in Birmingham that tourists love to go to that I never bother with as I live here. Osaka Castle is so stunning! x

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