Welcome to Osaka. My home away from home in Japan is Hilton Osaka. It is an excellent facility; the rooms are specially prepared for you. From the balcony you can get a sky line view of the city. The landscape in Osaka is breath taking. They have the most beautiful modern buildings I have seen thus far. This is one of my favorite places to visit.
My first day here was a day of relaxation, catching up on emails and watching CNN. Day two my co-worker Jonah and I decided to visit the Rose Garden and the Osaka Museum of History. In the Umeda area, there are three major railway lines, a subway and buses to get you around the cities of Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe and Nara. We decided not to use the railway line, the subway or the bus, but walk. We spoke with members of the concierge team to get directions to walk instead of taking the public transportation. We were told “long way, no walk”; however, this was a way to get our exercise in, so we got a map from the hotel desk and walked.
Our pathway to the Rose Garden
The Rose Garden is a garden of many different varieties of roses planted by various people. It is a magnificent site with thousands of roses.
After leaving the garden, our intensions was to go to the Osaka History Museum, however we walked for hours going in the wrong direction apparently. There weren’t any American signs around as far as we could see. The map wasn’t helpful and very few people spoke English. Along the way we met a nice man coming from the Temple; we asked him for directions but he did not understand our question. He took us to a grave site nearby where some of his family members are buried and where his sister was planting flowers and cleaning the tomb stones. She was 83 years of age and spoke English fluently. She lived in New York for three years back in the day. We conversed for a while and took pictures together.
This is the entry to their home and located on the right hand side is the Temple in which they worship and pray.
We finally got on track and shortly after we were off track again. As I stated earlier, all of the signage is in Japanese. We were pointed in the right direction by a senior gentleman that was walking from the market. He took us to a main street and told us to walk about twenty minutes straight, turn right and walk another thirty to fifty minutes and straight ahead is the Museum. I must admit there is more to this story.
As we were following along behind this man, Jonah thought for some reason or the other that it was no way this man could be walking with us to the Museum because it was very far and it had to be totally out of his way. So, he decided instead of us continue following him; since he was in fact walking several steps ahead; we should keep straight. Looking back, isn’t it their custom to walk ahead of the women?
As we veered off and walked maybe a block or two ahead we heard someone shouting and we turned around and it was this gentleman waving us to stop so he could catch back up with us and continue to show us to the Museum. I felt absolutely terrible! This is what I call culture illiteracy!!! Once he caught up with us, in English of course, I asked him to stop and catch his breath and then I began apologizing over and over for not following along. He said no, and with a genuine smile proceeded to show us to the Museum. He was a short statue elderly man in perfect shape obviously. To no surprise, I find walking and eating healthy to be very common amongst the Japanese people. Somewhere I read they have the longest life span in the world. I can believe that. Add very friendly to this as well.
Finally we made it to Osaka Museum of History. We walked for hours to find this place; so it better be good. The admission fee was 600 yen which is equivalent to $7.82 in the US. We took the elevator to the 10th floor. From here we began walking through the History of Osaka. Four periods are introduced. Each are laid out on the 10th F, 9th F, 8th F and the 7th floor.
Two courses have been laid out for touring the Museum. One is the “Highlight Course,” which allows you to take in Osaka history by drawing attention to the reconstruction, models, key photographs, videos depicting ancient court life and movies. The other course takes you through the museum so you can see all the individual exhibits.
The 10th floor is the Ancient Period Floor.
Mannequins in period court dress.
The 9th Floor is the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period Floor. From this floor you get a perfect view of Osaka, one of Japan’s most famous Castle, and Ote-mon Gate.
Osaka Castle: There is a lot of history behind this castle. It played a major role in the unification of Japan.
Ote-mon Gate: One of the structures on the grounds of the Castle.