Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cultural Day November 3

Last Thursday was Cultural Appreciation Day, yet another day off for Craig. The day is in celebration of the announcement of the Japanese constitution after WWII. We were expecting cultural events and looked at English webpages but couldn't find any. Some museums have discounted tickets but we've been to most of them in town so we decided to go to Osaka instead. In Osaka is Osaka Jo (castle). The castle was originally built in the early 1600's and has been destroyed numerous times. The last reconstruction was right before WWII.

Next to a modern skyscraper the castle looks pretty small but the two moats and walls are imposing.

I really should wear my glasses since I totally thought these were real. I'm not the only one, a little boy ran up and grabbed one of the birds and, I think, was a bit surprised he manged to catch it.

Instructions on how to use a western style toilet were posted in the public restrooms.

The park around the castle is beautiful. Since it was a day off there were a lot of people picnicking, playing badminton (a major thing here), fishing in the moat, and soaking in the culture. One thing Japanese people seem to love to do on holidays is have mini-parades with floats that people wearing matching outfits either carry or pull. Before the parade there was lots of traditional (I'm guessing) dancing. People even danced on top of the floats.

Two famous foods in Osaka are okonomiyaki and takoyaki. We had some delicious okonomiyaki for lunch and then some takoyaki for a snack while circumambulating the park. Craig takes his takoyaki very seriously.
The outside of the museum was built to look as accurate as they could make it based on historical records but the inside is a modern museum. It was totally not worth it. Going to the park and seeing the castle was great but the museum was lacking. There was about 5 facts that were repeated over 8 stories.

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