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Osaka Bridge - One of Many Modern Bridges in Osaka, Japan
Osaka Is Gateway to Kyoto and Popular Japanese Port of Call for Cruise Ships
Unlike nearby Kyoto, which is famous for its many ancient temples and castles of the past, industrial Osaka was almost completely destroyed during World War II. Today, Osaka is one of Japan's most modern cities.
The Seven Seas Voyager stayed overnight in Osaka, allowing the passengers to take day trips to Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe. The cruise ship dock was right next to the giant ferris wheel at the Tempozan Marketplace and just a short walk from the excellent Osaka Aquarium.
We spent a full day in Kyoto and then toured Osaka our second day in port. Most of our Osaka tour time was spent at "must-see" Osaka Castle, the most famous tourist site in the city. This castle dates back to the 17th century, but has been rebuilt many times. The history surrounding the Osaka Castle was fascinating.
We also spent an hour at the Shitennoji Temple, which is the oldest Buddhist temple in Japan. For those who enjoy learning about other religions, seeing the inner-workings of the temple was interesting.
Passengers on the Seven Seas Voyager had a good view of this bridge in the Osaka harbor.Continue to 2 of 24 below.
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Osaka Harbor Tower
This interesting tower greets cruise ships entering the Osaka Harbor.Continue to 3 of 24 below.
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Area Surrounding Osaka CastleContinue to 4 of 24 below.
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Osaka Castle or Osaka-jo
The original Osaka Castle has been destroyed many times. This recreation dates back to 1931.Continue to 5 of 24 below.
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Osaka Castle Wall and Moat
At one point, over 100,000 men worked on the Osaka Castle wall and other fortifications.Continue to 6 of 24 below.
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Ancient Well at Osaka Castle in Osaka, Japan
This Osaka Castle well was known as the "gold water well" because the Japanese lord Hideyoshi sank gold bars in the well to improve the water quality.Continue to 7 of 24 below.
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Osaka Castle Wall and Modern OsakaContinue to 8 of 24 below.
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Osaka Castle Entrance
The walk from the bus parking lot to the entrance gate is about four blocks. Subways are also near the castle.Continue to 9 of 24 below.
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Osaka Castle Dry Moat
This moat is often filled with water, but it was empty during our February visit to Osaka.Continue to 10 of 24 below.
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Osaka Castle in Osaka, Japan
View of the multi-level Osaka Castle. Be sure to take an elevator or climb to the top of the castle; the views of Osaka and the mountains are impressive.Continue to 11 of 24 below.
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Osaka Castle Close-up View
The beautiful gold figures of the Osaka Castle can be clearly seen in this close-up photo of the Osaka Castle Tower.Continue to 12 of 24 below.
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View of Osaka from the Top of Osaka CastleContinue to 13 of 24 below.
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View of Osaka from Osaka CastleContinue to 14 of 24 below.
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Golden Tiger in the Osaka Castle
The exterior of Osaka Castle is decorated with large golden dolphins and crouching tigers such as this one.Continue to 15 of 24 below.
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View of Osaka History Museum from the Osaka Castle
Osaka History Museum is one of the newest museums in Osaka. It is shaped like a sail.Continue to 16 of 24 below.
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View from Osaka Castle of Giant Ferris Wheel in the Tempozan Area of Osaka
The 8th level of Osaka Castle provides great views. This one is of the Tempozan Area, where cruise ships dock next to the giant ferris wheel.Continue to 17 of 24 below.
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Octopus Stone at the Osaka Castle
This large stone in the Osaka Castle wall dates back to the 15th century and weighs over 130 tons.Continue to 18 of 24 below.
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Shitennoji Temple in Osaka, the Oldest Buddhist Temple in Japan
The Shitennoji Temple has been destroyed by fire and wars through the centuries. Today's temple was reconstructed using Asuka period architecture.Continue to 19 of 24 below.
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Shitennoji Buddhist Temple in Osaka, JapanContinue to 20 of 24 below.
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Shitennoji Temple in Osaka, the Oldest Buddhist Temple in JapanContinue to 21 of 24 below.
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Ceremonial Fortunes at the Shitennoji Temple in Osaka
These strings of paper fortunes are picked off the strings by believers who contribute to the temple.Continue to 22 of 24 below.
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Shitennoji Temple in Osaka, JapanContinue to 23 of 24 below.
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Shitennoji Temple in Osaka, the Oldest Buddhist Temple in JapanContinue to 24 of 24 below.
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Rebuilt Shitennoji Temple in Osaka