The picture is a scene from the movie “The Last Samurai”, when Captain Nathan, played by Tom Cruise, honorably fights with the leader of Samurai, namely Katsumoto, played by veteran Japanese actor Ken Watanabe, against the soldiers of Emperor Meiji who are trained by American Army. The background of this war is “Modernization vs Feudalism”. Emperors glorified modernization and Samurai maintained tradition.
Those are just a few of many heartbreaking mosaics that made Japan’s history when it transformed from a conventional country to a modern one. One such mosaic is Boshin War, a civil war which left a mark of destruction and was recorded in this historical place which I visited.
Yups….This is Osakajo….People call it as Osaka Castle or Osaka Castle.
On 09:50 hours, I stepped on the platform of Tanimachi 4-chome Station, then exited through one of its gates where Osaka Museum of History and Hoenzaka Iseki proudly stood in station’s courtyard. My steps continued to be connected on Uemachi-suji Avenue with red maple tree decorations on both sides.
Its strong history made Osaka Castle be my first destination in the city with a nicknamed “Manchester From East”. I really didn’t want to delay and lose my first glance at king’s palace which is more than four centuries old. The distance is only six kilometers from Kaga Hotel where I stayed and the availability of Osaka Metro line to it made it so easy to access this destination.
Not long in walking, I arrived at Osaka Castle, through Otemon Gate to be exact. Otemon Gate itself is on east side of palace, while on its west side is provided Aoyamon Gate. Like an ancient palace, this place is surrounded by a wide canal nearly a hundred meters long as a form of defense.
Passing a bridge, pedestrian path began to direct every tourist to enter a side of Otemon Gate. It began with a door made of two towering steel sheets. After that, plastered walls which made from fine andesite, some of which were left intact with a length and width of almost five meters.
Soon the second gate greeted. The gate with a size larger than the first one was nicknamed Osakajo Tamon-yagura which was composed of large, intact and sturdy wood. Through this second gate, tourists would automatically enter palace area which had an area of not less than six hectares.
In some fragments of its history, it’s told that this castle was destroyed by fire due to the Boshin War in 1868. Now the Boshin War itself has been illustrated by Tom Cruise in the preambule at the beginning of this article.
I arrived at southern courtyard, call it as Osaka Castle Park. This is where tourists gather and enjoy the elegance of castle made by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the leader of Japan’s Sengoku Period. I took time to take pictures with old samurai role in castle grounds. Even to got rid of loneliness, I often have fun posing behind a group of tourists who were taking pictures. Grinning horses, jumping, waving or whatever I did. Sometimes it made one of that group pointed at me while laughing after seeing their photos in their digital room. Seriously acute.
After an hour of enjoying Osaka Castle, I decided to sit down and enjoyed the Ikayaki which I bought from one of many food truck which was neatly lined up in east courtyard. A portion of Ikayaki was priced about 300 Yen. Ups, do you know Ikayaki?…. It was a large grilled squid seasoned with mirin (Japanese seasoning).
Finishing in eating Ikayaki, or at exactly 10:30 am, I started to leave Osaka Castle area and planned to head to Naniwa City District.
Where would I step?………