Day 2 - Osaka

Today we decided to stick around and explore Osaka. We splurged unwisely and purchased Osaka Free Passes for 2000 Yen. They include free entry to a number of attractions and small discounts for others, along with free travel on the subways for the day. Waste of money in the end. We started off at Osaka Aquarium and that was well worth the admission fee. B said that it was the highlight of her day. Sea otters lounging on their backs, dolphins playing with ropes, seal liones gliding through the water, penguins posing. There was a whale shark cruising through their big tank, along with tuna, rays, sharks and many other glittering schools of fish. I loved the ethereal jellyfish, glowing in the light and the alien spider crabs from the deep. Next up was the Osaka Museum of History, although it is closed on Tuesdays. From there we walked under the cherry blossoms to Osaka Castles. Although the castle is a concrete reconstruction, the impressive size of the moat walls make it well worth a visit. The samurai armour inside the castle is also very interesting and well described in English. The day ended with a walk through the Dotomburi area with its brightly lit streets and arcades. We tried shabu-shabu (thin strips of beef quickly cooked in soya milk and then dipped in citrus/soy sauce), sushi, tempura and ramen. Still hungry we grabbed a grilled crab leg from a stall. I look forward to more interesting and tasty meals over the next two weeks.