Friday, January 1, 2016

Tempozan Ferris Wheel

I finished the meal at 13:00. The weather was light rain turned into heavy rain when we were in the Dotonbori canal. We finally take shelter in front Don Quijote. Incidentally in the same place stop Tombori River Cruise, which rides a boat ride down the canal while the historical explanations given by a guide.

Explanation of course is given in Japanese. This trip takes about 30 minutes. Friend had just refused because of the rainy weather, but finally I managed to persuade them to join this tour with a boat equipped with a tarpaulin.

When we boarded the boat, there are few visitors Dotonbori who was with us, but all of them foreign nationals. But still guides explaining in Japanese even though she knew none of them understand the meaning of the explanation.

Osaka Castle
When it fell, the rain subsided slightly into a drizzle. We immediately rushed to Shinsaibashi station to go to one of the main goals of this trip, Osaka Castle. When we got off at the station Osaka Business Park, the weather again became a downpour.

Half sorry I did not buy an umbrella in Don Quijote because I think it only rained briefly like in Indonesia. I was wrong, in the earth, the rain could last all day without a break. A week before leaving, I was watching the weather cities in Japan that we will visit, and there is a chance of rain in one city for us here.

 The distance between stations Osaka Business Park in Osaka Castle was quite far, about 1.5 km. As a result we were drenched when arriving at the ticket counter purchase. At the counter, we were handed a coupon Unlimited Pass Kansai Osaka Castle part exchange for a ticket that must be submitted to the clerk at the entrance. Not to forget before we entrust each bag on the counter at a cost of ¥ 100.

Osaka Castle is a symbol of wealth and power (Hideyoshi Toyotomi) and was built in 1583 over the ruins of the Temple of Hongaji. He managed to unite the whole of Japan by commanding troops from the castle. At that time, the Emperor remained in Kyoto.

When Toyotomi died, one of his main advisers, Tokugawa Ieyasu was appointed Shogun and move the seat of government to Edo (Tokyo). In the summer of 1615, Ieyasu destroyed the Toyotomi family and Osaka Castle burned. He rebuilt and the castle until 1868 when the post of shogun removed Emperor.

In 1931, the Osaka Castle main tower was rebuilt with funds collected from the public. The tower is a tower currently stands third generation architecture that incorporates a tower built by Toyotomi and Ieyasu destroyed by the attacks in 1615 and the tower was built by Ieyasu himself but burned out due to a lightning strike. Currently the castle functioned as a museum open to the public.

So that every visitor to visit every floor in the castle, the manager of the castle has a brilliant idea. There is an elevator that will deliver every new visitor entrance to the castle to the 7th floor or top floor. The clerk at the entrance to make sure every visitor directly into this lift. In the elevator there is an employee who operates the elevator and explained in English if we are not the people of Japan that we will rise to the top floor first and then visitors will go down through the stairs to the floor below.

He also explained that there is a ban on taking photos on the 3rd floor which is the main collection of the museum and the photos are sold as souvenirs on the ground floor. I was amazed with the solutions developed countries and the way they implement it.

On the 7th floor, when exiting the lift, visitors will see the sights of Osaka city views from the top of the castle. Because of the rainy weather and fog fell over the city, only buildings that can be matched to the closest location with a diorama available. On the top of the castle, I was amazed with the history of Japan, one might say, bloody.

I imagine how much of Ieyasu Tokugawa troops who stormed the castle in the summer of 1615, and how the Toyotomi forces trying desperately to defend themselves and honor, inch by inch of land in Osaka Castle. Satisfied looked at the city and take photos, as well as contemplation, we go down one by one floor and see the collection in the floor to finally get to the ground floor. I saw souvenirs on offer, but the price is quite high. I need to downsize because there are still 5 days ahead.

When we came out of the building of the castle, it was already 15:30. I am planning to visit Osaka Museum of History, located across from Osaka Castle. We hurried out of the castle since the time of History Osaka Museum is open only until 17:00.

Rainy weather since noon demoralizing my two friends. Ray example, he wanted to take pictures with background levitation Osaka Castle. While Andy, as he carries two bags, plus the rainy weather continues with temperatures ranging from 20-23 in this spring did not lighten his spirits.

We walked us from Osaka Castle to Osaka Museum of History and the distance of 1.1 km to within 15 minutes, many visitors were then to Osaka Castle Osaka Museum of History, and they walk with us. Osaka Museum of History consists of 10 floors and is located adjacent to the NHK Osaka branch office, they even share the same main entrance. My friends hope to see Japanese actress here. But in my opinion, very little chance of that, and suppose they were there, too little chance they want to take photos together. Japanese entertainment world really appreciate the exclusivity, if the fans want a photo of an actress, fans can purchase the artist's album collection in the store, not by a group photo.

Osaka Museum of History
Just like Osaka Castle, we must first elevator ride up to the top floor and then down to the floor below. We had left the bag in the locker coins, ¥ 500 but for the entire bag. The difference, at the Osaka Museum of History we go down using escalators. What distinguishes this museum to museum in Osaka Castle Osaka Castle is if a museum devoted solely to the collection of family history related to the Toyotomi and the castle itself, the Osaka Museum of History tried to explain the city's history from ancient times to modern. These efforts are summarized in 10 floors contained in the museum.

On the top floor, I found the history of the development of the city, since from a small village to the Sengoku period, or the time of upheaval among the nobility, continues to be a modern city that begins with the Meiji Restoration until today. Museum also mentioned Toyotomi family, even displaying miniature urban development with Osaka Castle as a center of economy, culture, and government. In this mueseum, Ray treat disappointment by taking photographs of miniature and practice skills in photography.

Andy utilize this museum with a lot of rest because our way from the airport non-stop since this morning. We were there until the museum closes at 17.00. After that we went to the Osaka Bay area using the subway station via Tanimachi Yonchome (4-chome) the entrance near the highway.

Osaka Bay area is one of the main objectives in Osaka, when we arrived at the station Osakako rain had stopped but the spring breeze blows cold enough fast enough. In this area there are several major attractions, such as Universal Studios Japan, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, Tempozan Market Place and Tempozan Ferris Wheel.

Universal Studios in Osaka is one of two Universal Studios in Asia, the other in Singapore. We are not to Universal Studios Japan because in addition to the entry fee is quite expensive, we did not have enough time to enjoy the rides in it. Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is one of the largest sea water aquarium in the world, but is not included in our travel plans, because besides not covered by Kansai Unlimited Pass also because I can enjoy this virtual aquarium

Tempozan Ferris Wheel
Our main goal is to Osaka Bay wants to climb aboard the Santa Maria. Unfortunately when we arrived at the port already at 18:00, and the clerk said there was no longer travel on that day. Half disappointed, we walked to Tempozan Ferris Wheel. If it goes according to plan, the ship Santa Maria would go around the bay and pass in front of Universal Studios Japan while enjoying the atmosphere of dusk. But because of rainy weather earlier, it is better if we do not go up this ship.

Tempozan Ferris Wheel is a giant wheel with 112.5 meters tall. In 1997-1999, the mill is the highest in the world before losing (Daikanransha, Tokyo), the London Eye, Star of Nanchang and Singapore Flyer. One round trip takes 17 minutes, but it felt longer because the rotation slowly. Not many people are riding on that afternoon, probably because of the rainy weather since this afternoon.

During the rotation, in the carriage explained through audio recordings objects around the bay of what can be seen by the passenger, for example bridges between islands, sewage treatment plants, port of Osaka, and so forth. When we would go up, the clerk offered to take a photo of us with extra costs ¥ 500. We declined the offer to be smooth. My friend was quite shocked by the offer. Apparently we still culture shock, and face Japan on the first day with wak prejudice. We say thank you when descending.

At 19:00, we went to the hotel, located near Osaka Station. Local train ride from the station to Bentencho Osakako, then moved rises Yamatoji JR Rapid Service to Osaka Station. Because of the spring, in the northern hemisphere new twilight here at 19.00. We arrived at the station at 19.30. However, our journey has not ended that night. There is still one final goal that I want to visit is the Umeda Sky Building, one of the tallest buildings in the city of Osaka. Interesting architecture and garden hung became the main attraction of this building.

There is no public transportation from Osaka Station to Umeda Sky Building so we had to walk to get there about 1 km. The weather is not raining but the temperature was quite cold and windy that night, around 14ยบ C. We were exhausted, but our determination that moves to the last destination. Luckily, the hanging gardens in this building closes at 22:00, so we still have enough time.

To rise to the hanging gardens, I go up to the building closest to the road and went up to the bridge on the second floor. Because of the lack of signs, the best way is to follow the other visitors are less likely to come to work at night. This tactic worked and we did not stray looking for the entrance. After the clerk handed us coupons to be given a ticket for a ride to the hanging gardens. Elevator running fast and soon I we've arrived at the 40th floor, we had to take the escalator next to the hanging gardens.

I mean as a hanging garden is actually a bridge connecting the two buildings Umeda Sky. This bridge is a round-shaped hall where visitors can enjoy the view of Osaka city from above. Building management provides several seats to be used by visitors. And when we arrived, the rows of seats is filled by a couple who are in love. Majority indeed many young couples who visit this place. Seeing this reality, I muttered, perhaps the future of Japan is not as bad as I imagined.

Being around I saw no lift to the top of the building. I tried to ride alone when my friend rest in a chair a cafe. The view from the summit is remarkable because it is open and the wind blowing directly on my face my night. Quite soothing. Here I can see unobstructed views of Osaka City glass. In the north, visible line aircraft will land at Osaka International Airport.

Located not far from the city center turned out. Under visible Yodo River that divides the city and empties into the Gulf of Osaka split with Juso Bypass. In the south looks trains in and out of Osaka Station. On the horizon appeared a cloud in the mountains surrounding the city but I do not know his name. Although the night, a roll cloud is clearly visible and looks dazzling.

The rooftop I also found a place filled with love padlock. Many young couples who intend to lock their relationship with a key symbol that is locked in place. The key itself can be removed to their relationship lasting and timeless and natural exposure. Umeda Sky Building is one of a growing number of similar places throughout the world. But this is the first time I saw it firsthand. When I am here, there is a young couple who are installing the lock at one corner. Own padlock can be purchased at the store downstairs for ¥ 500 per piece complete with their names.

Umeda Sky Building
Around 21:00, we decided to end our trip that day and headed to the hotel to rest. We had trouble finding our Hotel Kinki place to stay because of its location turned out to be in the area shopping and relatively without instructions in the front that shows the existence of a hotel. Ray was asked to passers-by, but mostly indifferent or tell the wrong direction. The hotel apparently not too well known, or they did not want to be bothered by the question of tourists who can not speak Japanese. After a while, we managed to find the hotel and check in immediately.

Hotel Kinki actually a business hotel, but they also receive foreign tourists. Facilities provided also quite comprehensive and inexpensive. Because we chose Japanese style bedroom, then we slept on tatami and futon covered. There are television, coffee maker and a private bathroom. Also provided yukata for sleeping.

In Japan, which are calculated per head of guests staying. So, for the rooms we pay ¥ 2,800 respectively. Mark slept in separate rooms and pay ¥ 3,000. It was over our second day in Japan. Tomorrow we will go to the next city in the Kansai region, namely Nara.