Our last day in Japan was supposed to be rainy and we were tired already of walking long distances and seeing too much beauty. So we decided to go to Osaka. There were some other reasons – Osaka is close by, only half hour with a fast train (not bullet), it is in an area where the weather is warmer, not so windy and very humid. Also – it has a circle train route in the very center of the city, so we could see a lot while sitting in the train and also hopping on and off of it. And finally -Osaka was the city of World Trade fair when I was a child. Growing up in Lithuania I heard news on TV about it and my imagination went into colors, beauty of all kinds and forms, tents with super interesting things and lots of happy people. But growing up there I could not dream of seeing Japan with my own eyes- capitalist world was forbidden for us, unless you or your parents decided to work for KGB, which my family did not. I never planned that on my 61-st year of my life I will be seeing Osaka with my own eyes. Life makes its twists and turns, sometimes -towards better, sometimes – towards worse. So here is Osaka’s train station: Lots of concrete, lots of modern architecture, several empty weedy lots (!!!), but in general the city looked fully built. Only later we figured out that it was severely bombed during the 2nd world war, hence still empty lots. The train station was fancy, we could see some skyscrapers, also fancy:A little park by this super high skyscraper for people to rest:Persimon trees have a very fancy foliage in the fall: But in totality the city left a sad impression…The cloudy weather did its contribution, the sweat running our bodies and faces, but mainly the number of multistory apartment buildings with little balconies witnessing little flats – they looked definitely unhappy. To rebuild such a city – people are toiling like slaves here. And that could be felt on the streets, which were empty, everybody at work. On our way to the central park we saw a big temple with a big cemetery and lots of interesting sculptures: Very strange artwork by the modern entrance does not fit well with my understanding of any religion and people entering to pray or meditate: Very close to this one temple we saw something peculiar through open doors. The building was just a plain cube, but inside we saw like some “sugar cone”, all covered with golden Buddhas or so: And through the inner doors there was an opening to the inside of the cone – a big hall that definitely looked like a church. It felt inspiring and sacred. It was worth going to Osaka because of this temple!On the way we saw some very traditional stones and pines by an ugly hotel:And a restaurant decorated with scrap metal (almost a Japanese version of Gaudi):There is a big park in the middle of the city with a hill and a castle, as is their tradition:
Lots of Chinese excursions in the park. What caught my attention were those little bird figures on a vehicle barrier. Oh those Japanese, they try to make every little detail nice for an eye:
This wall reminded a wall in Bellagio, Las Vegas. The one in a Bellagio restaurant was built by Japanese with the rocks brought from Japan and has the same design: The castle is rebuilt in an old style, but we had no willingness or enthusiasm to climb more steps and see what is inside… A view from Osaka castle hill: Even on such a gloomy day there were colorful families!: This street reminded me a street in my city Kaunas – Vyduno alley. Only in Kaunas it looks like this at the end of September – beginning of October. Here – it is the second day of December:Once we came back to Kyoto train station – we walked around it or up it because the station is like a museum of modern architecture. There are elevators to go very high up above the station or watch the Christmas light show on the stairs from the bottom: The same stairs – one view is from the bottom, the other two pics – from the top: Andrei in our little room in Kyoto guest house, we liked it! Though the room was small, but high and that made a difference – we felt no lack of space there and loved the wood everywhere! One more pic of any train station in bigger cities to show how clear it is for anyone where to wait for a train, where the line starts and how to be orderly and stand in it, how the fences are made to protect you from fast trains coming to a stop:On our way back in Shinkansen – the bullet train to Tokyo and then to the airport I saw Mt. Fuji from far away. I so wanted to see more of it once we came closer, but strange as it is on such a sunny and clear day – Mt. Fuji was all in clouds…Here is my last glimpse at it :Farewell Japan, the most beautiful country, till next time. I hope it happens!