Osaka, Japan - Modern Japanese City Rebuilt After World War II

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    Osaka Bridge - One of Many Modern Bridges in Osaka, Japan

    Osaka Bridge - One of Many Modern Bridges in Osaka, Japan
    ••• View of Bridges Greets Cruise Ships to Osaka Osaka Bridge - One of Many Modern Bridges in Osaka, Japan. Osaka Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    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...MORE 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.

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    Osaka Harbor Tower

    Osaka Harbor Tower
    ••• Osaka Harbor Tower. Osaka Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    This interesting tower greets cruise ships entering the Osaka Harbor.

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    Area Surrounding Osaka Castle

    Area Surrounding Osaka Castle
    ••• Ancient Castle and Park Surrounded by Modern Osaka Area Surrounding Osaka Castle. Osaka Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Osaka Castle or Osaka-jo

    Osaka Castle or Osaka-jo
    ••• Osaka Castle in Osaka, Japan Osaka Castle or Osaka-jo. Osaka Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    The original Osaka Castle has been destroyed many times. This recreation dates back to 1931.

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    Osaka Castle Wall and Moat

    Osaka Castle Wall and Moat
    ••• Osaka Castle Wall and Moat. Osaka Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    At one point, over 100,000 men worked on the Osaka Castle wall and other fortifications.

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    Ancient Well at Osaka Castle in Osaka, Japan

    Ancient Well at Osaka Castle in Osaka, Japan
    ••• Legend Says Japanese Lord Filled Well with Gold Bars Ancient Well at Osaka Castle in Osaka, Japan. Osaka Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    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.

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    Osaka Castle Wall and Modern Osaka

    Osaka Castle Wall and Modern Osaka
    ••• Contrast Between Ancient and Modern Japans Is Dramatic Osaka Castle Wall and Modern Osaka. Osaka Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Osaka Castle Entrance

    Osaka Castle Entrance
    ••• Osaka Castle Entrance. Osaka Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    The walk from the bus parking lot to the entrance gate is about four blocks. Subways are also near the castle.

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    Osaka Castle Dry Moat

    Osaka Castle Dry Moat
    ••• Osaka Castle Is Most Popular Tourist Site in Osaka Osaka Castle Dry Moat. Osaka Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    This moat is often filled with water, but it was empty during our February visit to Osaka.

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    Osaka Castle in Osaka, Japan

    Osaka Castle in Osaka, Japan
    ••• Osaka Castle in Osaka, Japan. Osaka Castle Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    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.

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    Osaka Castle Close-up View

    Osaka Castle Close-up View
    ••• Recreation of Eight-Level Castle Is Most Popular Tourist Site in Osaka Osaka Castle Close-up View. Osaka Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    The beautiful gold figures of the Osaka Castle can be clearly seen in this close-up photo of the Osaka Castle Tower.

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    View of Osaka from the Top of Osaka Castle

    View of Osaka from the Top of Osaka Castle
    ••• Osaka Castle Tower Provides Wonderful Vistas of Osaka View of Osaka from the Top of Osaka Castle. Osaka Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    View of Osaka from Osaka Castle

    View of Osaka from Osaka Castle
    ••• Osaka Castle Tower Provides Wonderful Vistas of Osaka View of Osaka from Osaka Castle. Osaka Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Golden Tiger in the Osaka Castle

    Golden Tiger in the Osaka Castle
    ••• Decorations on Osaka Castle Golden Tiger in the Osaka Castle. Osaka Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    The exterior of Osaka Castle is decorated with large golden dolphins and crouching tigers such as this one.

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    View of Osaka History Museum from the Osaka Castle

    View of Osaka History Museum from the Osaka Castle
    ••• View of Osaka History Museum from the Osaka Castle. Osaka Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    Osaka History Museum is one of the newest museums in Osaka. It is shaped like a sail.

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    View from Osaka Castle of Giant Ferris Wheel in the Tempozan Area of Osaka

    View from Osaka Castle of Giant Ferris Wheel in the Tempozan Area of Osaka, Japan
    ••• View from Osaka Castle of Giant Ferris Wheel in the Tempozan Area of Osaka, Japan. Osaka Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    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.

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    Octopus Stone at the Osaka Castle

    Octopus Stone at the Osaka Castle
    ••• Largest Stone in Osaka Castle Wall Octopus Stone at the Osaka Castle. Osaka Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    This large stone in the Osaka Castle wall dates back to the 15th century and weighs over 130 tons.

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    Shitennoji Temple in Osaka, the Oldest Buddhist Temple in Japan

    Shitennoji Temple in Osaka, the Oldest Buddhist Temple in Japan
    ••• Shitennoji Temple in Osaka, the Oldest Buddhist Temple in Japan. Osaka Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    The Shitennoji Temple has been destroyed by fire and wars through the centuries. Today's temple was reconstructed using Asuka period architecture.

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    Shitennoji Buddhist Temple in Osaka, Japan

    Shitennoji Buddhist Temple in Osaka, Japan
    ••• Shitennoji Buddhist Temple in Osaka, Japan. Osaka Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Shitennoji Temple in Osaka, the Oldest Buddhist Temple in Japan

    Shitennoji Temple
    ••• Shitennoji Temple in Osaka, the Oldest Buddhist Temple in Japan. Osaka Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Ceremonial Fortunes at the Shitennoji Temple in Osaka

    Ceremonial Fortunes at the Shitennoji Temple in Osaka
    ••• Believers Select Paper Fortune After Making Contribution Ceremonial Fortunes at the Shitennoji Temple in Osaka. Osaka Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    These strings of paper fortunes are picked off the strings by believers who contribute to the temple.

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    Shitennoji Temple in Osaka, Japan

    Shitennoji Temple in Osaka, Japan
    ••• Shitennoji Temple in Osaka, Japan. Osaka Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Shitennoji Temple in Osaka, the Oldest Buddhist Temple in Japan

    Shitennoji Temple in Osaka, the Oldest Buddhist Temple in Japan
    ••• Shitennoji Temple in Osaka, the Oldest Buddhist Temple in Japan. Osaka Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Rebuilt Shitennoji Temple in Osaka

    Rebuilt Shitennoji Temple in Osaka
    ••• Oldest Buddhist Temple in Japan Rebuilt Shitennoji Temple in Osaka. Osaka Photo (c) Linda Garrison