Wednesday 16 November 2016

Osaka Day 4: Osaka Castle & Tempozan Ferris Wheel

We headed back to Kuromon Ichiba Market (as we had done on the first day of our trip) for breakfast as we simply love the variety of food there. We decided on Wanaka as the food looks delicious from outside =)

Clockwise from left: Back at Kuromon Ichiba Market;
Decided to eat at Wanaka, which seems to be famous for its takoyaki;
Signboards in Wanaka telling you not to eat outside food within their premise.
Clockwise from left: Boy looking at what he would like to eat for breakfast...;
The spices and tissue paper and stuff;
Yakisoba with egg, yum!
Super yummy Okonomiyaki! My favourite =)

We purposefully ordered less than what we could eat as we wanted to save our stomachs for the fresh sashimi, seafood and beef at the restaurant a few stores down the lane.

Clockwise from left: Chef cooking the chosen meat on the spot;
Pretty small restaurant with limited seating capacity;
Fresh meat and seafood for you to choose from.
Clockwise from top left: Our tray of sushi and sashimi;
Scallops and prawn;
Delicious steak!

I have to say, perhaps it is because of Osaka's close proximity to Kobe that their beef is much better than the ones we had in Tokyo. Love, love the beef steaks here!

When we were finally satisfied, we headed to Nippombashi Station to take the train (see my simple guide to train travel in Osaka if you're unfamiliar with riding the trains in Osaka) to our next destination. As we were remaining in Osaka for the rest of today, we thought that it might make sense to get the Osaka Subway One Day Unlimited Pass (cost: 800 yen per adult, 300 yen per child 4-12 years old).

Mega thanks to the Information Staff at the ticketing machines who helped me to buy the aforementioned one-day passes otherwise I wouldn't have known how to purchase them from the ticketing machines.

One-Day Unlimited Passes
(Child pass on the left and adult pass on the right)

We took the Osaka Subway Chuo Line (green) to Tanimachi 4-chrome Station and exited at Exit 1B. It took us about 10-15 minutes to walk from the station to Osaka Castle.

Osaka Castle Park
Otemon Gate
Shops selling ice-cream were calling out to us!
Eating ice-cream in front of the Sukuramon Gate

Walk through the Sukuramon Gate and you will find yourself face to face with Osaka Castle!

Osaka Castle is such a beauty!
Sitting on the Expo Time Capsule

My family members are not museum fans (sadly because I am!) so we decided not to visit the museum within Osaka Castle. Instead, we spent our time shopping at the souvenir shops and eating the street food from the food trucks.

The fries from this food truck looks super tempting!
YUMMY! So delicious!

We exited via the Sakuramon Gate and walked full circle around the Osaka Castle to explore the rest of the Osaka Castle Park.

Beautiful views of the moat surrounding the castle

The park is huge so expect that the walk from Sakuramon Gate (which is South of Osaka Castle) to Yamazatomon Gate (which is North of Osaka Castle) to take approximately 15 minutes (a full walk around the entire castle grounds can take 30-45 minutes!).

Yamazatomon Gate and Gokurakubashi Bridge
(North of Osaka Castle)
A kind stranger helped us to take this photo =)
Information on the moat that surrounds the Osaka Castle
Another view of the castle.
I love this shot of the castle the most!
Lovely leisurely stroll back to the Osaka Subway Station

We headed back to Tanimachi 4-chrome Station to take the Osaka Subway Chuo Line (green) to Osakako Station (direct line, no need to change lines).

Once there, it was only a 5 minute walk to Tempozan, home to the famous Tempozan Ferris Wheel and Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan.

Left: Welcome to the Port of Osaka;
Right: At the base of the Tempozan Ferris Wheel! I love ferris wheels! =)
Tempozan Ferris Wheel
(Address: 〒552-0022 1-1-10 Kaigandori Minato-ku, Osaka City)

However, as we were hungry, we decided to hunt for lunch at Tempozan Market Place
before riding the Ferris wheel.

This way to the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
(which we didn't visit because well, we've been to toooo many aquariums that they all look the same after a while!)
Tempozan Marketplace

Tempozan Marketplace is basically a mall with many shops including the Legoland Discovery Centre and 100 yen shop (more on that later). We decided to eat at a food court as they served a variety of dishes.

There're so many cut-out posters in Japan and yet the kids don't get bored of them!

The food court had an outdoor seating area which had an awesome view of the sea and the Tempozan Ohashi Bridge.

Dining with a view of the Tempozan Ohashi Bridge and Universal Studios Japan (in the far background)
Ramen and gyoza, a staple in every meal because it's what my kids love

After our (very late) lunch, we went to buy tickets for the Tempozan Ferris Wheel.

Ticketing booth is on the 2nd floor while the entrance to the Tempozan Ferris Wheel is on the 3rd floor
Clockwise from left: Waiting for our turn to board the regular cabin;
Proceed to the 3rd floor for boarding;
Tickets cost 800 yen per person (3 years and below is free)

You can choose to ride the transparent cabin (no additional charge) but we decided to ride the regular cabin so that we didn't have to queue (everyone else wanted to ride the transparent cabin).

Regular cabins were in red 
Clockwise from left: Going up, up, up!;
The kids with their grandma;
My kids were visibly excited to ride the Ferris Wheel.
A family photo of us
Information about what you are looking at are printed on the windows so that you can match the actual landmark with the name of the landmark. I thought this was so cool and useful! =)
Clockwise from top left: View of the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan from the cabin of the ferris wheel;
The beautiful Tempozan Ohashi Bridge, which you will drive over if you want to get from Tempozan to Universal Studios Japan just across the water body;
The iconic red Minato Bridge;
Lovely sunset in the horizon!
The transparent cabin is white and as you can see, the folks look like they are terribly bored
(or maybe too scared to move) *laughs*
Clockwise from left: This fellow seems to not have a fear of heights;
It's actually pretty high up!;
Kids and I having a ball and taking lots of pictures.
And we're back on land!

We spent the rest of the evening shopping, especially at the Sanrio store where all the Sanrio products were a lot cheaper than Singapore and free of tax if you spend more than a certain amount.

This Sanrio store was awesome!
(Yes, I'm a closet Sanrio fan!)
Left: Had delicious popcorn from Popcorn Papa!;
Yet another cut-out poster spotted =)

If you can, try to leave only after the sun has set so that you can catch the illumination of the Tempozan Ferris Wheel. It's really pretty! =)

Tempozan Ferris Wheel Illumination at night

If ferris wheels and aquariums are not your thing, you can consider checking out the Tennoji Zoo, National Museum of Art and Umeda Sky Building, which, I have heard, are nice places to visit too.

We headed back to the hotel and had a nice luxurious bath at the onsen before proceeding for our free ramen supper at the hotel's restaurant. That night, we also tried the snow strawberries that we bought from Kuromon Ichiba Market but it wasn't as good as the rave reviews made them out to be (maybe it wasn't the right season).

Super expensive snow strawberries!

Other than the disappointing snow strawberries, it was a great end to a fun day! =)

Continue to >> Osaka Day 5: Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum & Shinsaibashi
<< Back to Osaka Day 3: Arashiyama & Kiyumizu, Kyoto


Visit MADPSYCHMUM TRAVELS for the rest of my posts on Osaka, Japan 
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