In 2009, I was invited to Chair one Academic Session of the Asian Conference of Education in Osaka, Japan and I was also a research paper presenter at the conference. On the sidelines of the conference, I took a day out to do sightseeing in the lovely city of Osaka.
It was November so the air was cold ready for the winter in Osaka. They told me that Osaka is loveliest when you are there on winter as you will feel the breeze and the snow, just like any places in the world that has winter. Above all else, I went to Osaka Castle, not once but twice!
My first visit was with two Japanese friends who had been so generous in showing me around museums and castles, foremost of it was Osaka Castle. Tatei Nobuhito and his friend accompanied me to the castle and it is one sunny day before the conference starts that we went to the castle grounds. Tatei is one among many travel guide volunteers around Osaka.
My second visit was with my Swiss friend Cornel Graf. We both explored Osaka Castle earnestly and we took fancy dressing up as Samurai warriors. I would love to wear the samurai hat which Coco wore but it does not fit me well so I settled for a much lesser version.
In doing so, when we arrived at the 2nd floor landing of the Osaka Castle, there, a friendly staff greeted us and asked us if we wanted our photos taken dressing up as Samurai warriors for a minimal fee of 30 Yen. We took it and then off we go, history made! Swiss and Pinoy samurai jacks!
Journeying Osaka Castle is like travelling into a time warp. You will see how impressive the wooden beams and the castle structure as it is, although I have observed on my first visit that the Castle administration, installed a glass elevator for use by visitors to the castle. That, I think has not blended well into the entire Castle structure. But, I love the well manicured castle grounds complete with floral designs.
Travelling to Japan and especially to Osaka can bring you all the rich cultural diversity and understanding of how Japan is now and in their glorious past. The lives of the samurai and the castle, much more like Journeying Osaka Castle is one experience that a visit to Osaka will ever taught us history’s lessons. Their lives and societies are so interconnected to the one true figure and that person is the revered Emperor who sits on the Chrysanthemum throne for centuries now.