Image: Osaka Castle

I woke up the next morning to sunlight streaming through the hotel window, which meant that the predicted rain seemed to have passed.  I felt surprisingly awake but knew a new wave of tiredness would catch up with me eventually. Chris has decided to return to Osaka Castle because the day before it was pouring so his photography was limited.  Since we were leaving for Kyoto later that day, I decided to suck it up and join him as it would be my only chance to see much of Osaka.

It proved to a wise choice as the weather was pretty much perfect.  Chris showed me the path he had taken before, weaving through a vast covered area of shops, many of which were closed due to the early hour.  Now for the first time I could finally see the cherry blossoms dotting the streets, with various shades of vibrant pinks and pale whites.

I wasn’t quite ready yet for the hour hike to get to the castle so we hopped in a cab, once again communicating through a series of hand gestures until the driver finally got where to go.  It was now about 9AM and as we pulled up to the entrance, a fleet of tour buses had already arrived.  The castle is surrounded by a vast moat, which was lined with the cherry tress in full bloom – quite spectacular.

The castle itself was actually fairly small but the surrounding grounds were beautiful.  By now, the complex was filled with tourists – mostly Chinese and out of town Japanese enjoying the blossoms.  A common setup was a woman pretending to drape herself in the branches of the blossoms.  We decided that wouldn’t work for our own portraits so went with a more traditional approach.



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