Sometime before we arrived, I checked out the Sakura forecast. Seems like the erratic weather (due to global warming and what not), caused it to full bloom earlier. Therefore we tweaked our plan to visit all the Sakura-worthy places in the first few days, Osaka Castle being the first stop
Everything is just better here, I kid you not, even the air smells fresher! Battled our (or rather my; cos Minmin is basically just as helpful as my left toe) way to the nearest subway station to the Castle. But first, breakfast at Lawson!
There were two really amazing things about this place. One – the castle grounds had a spectacular view with those semi fallen Sakura petals. Two – insane number of tourists that actually visit at this ungodly hour of the day. Speaking of the petals, somewhat disappointed at the semi-balding trees, but those with a full foliage were still pretty.
The craving for ice-cream is real, especially at 10°C. Just right next to the main keep there was some tourist center, with this Kyoto-ish matcha stall. Kyoto Matcha ice-cream here when we’re headed to Kyoto in a few days, what a weird couple.
Kema Sakuranomiya Park
Right at the exit of Osaka Castle, is the nearby Kema Sakuranomiya Park. Supposedly one of the best hanami spots of Osaka. Supposedly, if and only if half the trees weren’t as bald as Tharman Shanmugaratnam. Questionable question of the day, from my beloved girlfriend, “Eh Sakura got smell or not ah?”
I suppose there used to be a really happening hanami festival, perhaps 2 weeks ago. Most of those carnival stalls aren’t in operation anymore, except for a few. From which, we had some takoyaki and some skewered meat for our lunch. We honestly enjoyed the tranquility (or desertedness to be exact) of this place though.
Rules of engagement, for every Japan vacation: Plan for a day to exchange all your commute/attraction pass vouchers! (Refer to our upcoming guide on where to get what, for Osaka! Stay tuned.)
Our legs were crumbling. From those few kilometers of walk. Rested for an hour or so, and headed off to Nippombashi Denden Town. This is the Akihabara equivalent of Osaka. Not a fan of anime, just here for dinner and to look-see-look-see. Pretty much lazy to hunt for food, took the one that smelt the best.
After our last voucher exchange, it’s time to head home. Tired as we were, the last stop for the day is always Family Mart. Or Lawson. Or 7-Eleven. Basically the Holy Trinity of convenient stores. And as I’ve learnt, their pudding is heavenly, best consumed for supper, no matter how full you are. Guess what feels better than going to bed feeling fat? It is to go to bed knowing Minmin is going to be fat together, and that tomorrow is another adventure.