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Old September 10th, 2012, 03:56 PM   #1
hkskyline
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hkskyline's 2012 OSAKA Trip

Following my trip to Tokyo last Christmas, I visited the Kansai region for Chinese New Year. Having scored a very cheap package over the long holiday with Cathay Pacific, I scoured around Osaka for a few days, exploring all the sites that I didn't visit last time in ... 2003.

The full set : http://www.globalphotos.org/osaka.htm

1. Sinsekai was an entertainment and dining destination that saw its peak in the early 20th century. But the main street still has many dining options and the Tsutenkaku Tower's views are quite decent.





3. Get a pack of cigarettes, and wash it down with some soda next door.





5. A lot of touts were loudly but politely promoting their restaurant menus on the street.







8. It took a bit of work to get the tower at the right angle in these photos.







11. The language barrier has been beaten. Take a picture of the plastic models that you want.







14. A lot of Hong Kongers love Japanese snacks, and they do come cheap here!

















22. Overhead wires were everywhere!



23. Tsutenkaku Tower is not too tall but tall enough to see above the neighbourhood.

























35. Much of the architecture was monotonous though.















42. The Japanese bubble burst in the late 1980's has stagnated the economy for some 20 years. There are signs that things may be changing though.



43. My Kansai trip was not meant to be a splurge, so anything cheap but of good value was welcome. Kuromon is the place to go for very reasonably-priced sashimi.









47. Try these fishes with a sweet filling! Only 110 yen.





49. There are just so many types of interesting snacks!



50. Fish lovers will find plenty of bargains here.











55. The weird part was this market is inland, and is not a fish market at all.



















64. Cheers!



65. Nankai Line runs several services to Kansai airport. The typical service consists of these metro-like trains. Some make more stops than others.





67. Terminology is often confusing. Can you distinguish between Rapid Express, Express, and Limited Express?



68. Often I had to return to the map to see the difference.



69. For those riding the subways, read the destination signs carefully. Some trains on this line make short turns.





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Old September 10th, 2012, 06:47 PM   #2
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Great, very nice shots from Osaka
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Old September 12th, 2012, 04:10 PM   #3
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72. Unlike the department stores that tend to close fairly early, Dotombori remains lively well into the night. With plenty of shops and food outlets, there were plenty of patrons roaming about.







75. Many local eateries require patrons to first purchase at the computer, then hand over the tickets to the waiters who will then serve. The workers actually do not touch any cash at all during the whole process. Luckily, this one has pictures.



















84. More plastic models to sneak preview your meal.

















92. This "golden dragon" ramen shop looks very informal, and a decent ramen can set you back 1000 yen.



93. The English does not mean anything near the Japanese.



94. The Hankai Tramway runs small trams through the southern parts of Osaka. While they may not be useful to the tourist, their terminus is located within walking distance of Tsutenkaku Tower.







97. Today's Osaka Castle is a reconstruction following damage during World War II. The original structure was completed in the 16th century.



98. No idea why these two ladies were pulling luggage into the castle grounds.









102. Brrr .. it's a wintry day.







105. But it was worth it.



106. Seems the Japanese version had more details about this event.





108. What is that chute doing there?



109. The Museum of Housing and Living is a bit out of the way from the main attractions, but is a hidden gem that is well-worth a visit. It has re-created the cityscape from the late Edo era (1830's). In fact, a whole market street is on display, where visitors can roam around exploring the shops and their contents.







112. Keep in mind this is all indoor, on the top floor of a government highrise.























123. The Shinkansen runs very frequent service from Osaka to Tokyo and points west. They stop at segregated platforms at Shin-Osaka station, so a Shinkansen ticket is needed to spot and photograph these trains.











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Old September 19th, 2012, 11:46 AM   #4
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129. Umeda Sky Building is a long walk from Umeda and seems to sit in the middle of nowhere. But its outdoor rooftop observation deck is a great place to watch the sunset.













135. East









139. South













145. West







148. North













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Old September 19th, 2012, 06:19 PM   #5
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Very interesting pictures. Thank you. Fantastic looking trains. Very dense.
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Old September 20th, 2012, 06:42 PM   #6
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Nice, cool city! Unfortunately very far from Europe...
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Old October 8th, 2012, 06:39 PM   #7
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155. Osaka Castle is surrounded by greenery, and wrapped around by the city. Hence, the views are quite good.







158. The observation deck is on a high vantage point in the restored tower. The perimeter is located outdoors, with netting in the way but there are big holes for cameras to peer through. There is also a heated interior portion that offered a great refuge on this cold wintry day.





















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Old October 8th, 2012, 10:32 PM   #8
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Amazing Shorts! THX for Sharing.
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Old October 9th, 2012, 03:41 PM   #9
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Thank you for the photos. I much prefer understated Japanese modernism to what is going on in China and Dubai.
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Old October 9th, 2012, 03:48 PM   #10
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thanks for sharing your great collection of photos from Japan...
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Old October 16th, 2012, 05:59 AM   #11
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169. We spent quite a lot of time exploring the Museum of Housing and Living, which is a bit off-the-beaten track but a gem nevertheless to experience traditional Japanese urban life from the late Edo era.





































187. To realistically place the visitor into 19th century Osaka, traditional clothes are available to wear free of charge. These accessories are for display only though.




















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Old November 19th, 2012, 02:29 PM   #12
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202. Shitenno-ji is a short walk from Sinsekai but is a world different from the hustle and bustle.





















































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