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Wonders of Osaka

Next on the road....

I bought a one way ticket going to OSAKA. They told me that that’s the place where we can see the Osaka Castle and many other places like Universal Studio. So I jump up my feet head to the train station.  Because I dont speak much Japanese at that time I went to the information booth and asked for the platform going to Osaka.  I was greeted warmly and given proper instruction how to get the correct platform.  I got on the train and it took me 1 hour to travel.

Osaka is located in the Kansai region on Honshu, the main island of Japan.  There were so many place to visit but it would take about 3 days to visit all around the capital.  Information is just one block away from the exit so I asked help where to go, I found the Osaka castle to be the most fascinating so I headed to that place immediately.  It took me 20 minutes before I reached the palace. 

Few reroute, expensive ride, 2km up-hill walk before I got in the main castle.  The main tower of Osaka Castle is situated on a plot of land roughly one square kilometer. It is built on two raised platforms of landfill supported by sheer walls of cut rock, using a technique called Burdock piling as I read on the wall description, each overlooking a moat. The central castle building is five stories on the outside and eight stories on the inside, and built atop a tall stone foundation to protect its occupants from attackers.

I read on the bulletin that the castle was modeled from another castle  Azuchi Castle, the headquarters of Oda Nobunaga. The castle is open to the public and is easily accessible from Osakajōkōen Station on the JR West Osaka Loop Line. It is a popular spot during festival seasons, and especially during the cherry blossom bloom (hanami), when the sprawling castle grounds are covered with food vendors and taiko drummers. The large indoor arena, Osaka-jo Hall, also is located within the grounds of the castle park.

I didn’t spend much time in Osaka castle since I still have two spots more to visit. The Umeda and the World Spa.   I went back to the train station. I had few questions which got mixed up by the people I asked helped and talked too.  I was inside the station trying to get out but could n't find my way out.  I was already running around  and begging for an english speaker but could not find anyone at that time.  There were less and less people on the way.   It was about 5pm and most of the people I bumped into were all at the middle age which does not understand english.  Then I realized that I need to help from God. I paused and asked God.  I asked God where He wanted me to go and prayed.  At last I got a college student who can at least understand and speak which I understood. Praise God I was able to get out of the puzzle.  

It's getting late afternoon when I decided to go to the nearest spa famous in Osaka.  I took a train to the world Spa and found the place just few blocks away from the station, it was very accessible.  The place was so huge.  It was situated in one tall building covering 8 floors in total.  It has amenities haven’t been found in the Philippines.

The Spa World experience is divided up by floors: the bottom floor, of course, is the lobby, with access to the adjoining hotel, arcade, gift shops and shoe lockers. Before you enter the lobby proper, buy your ticket from the vending machines. If you're lucky, Spa World frequently does special "campaigns" whereby you can have 24-hour access for 1,000 yen. This is a steal compared to the regular price, especially for unlimited, 24-hour use!

After you present your ticket at the desk, you'll be given a green bracelet that tracks any money you spend inside, so that you can pay it later. Put this on immediately and don't take it off until you leave - it's waterproof, of course. You can check your balance at machines placed around the building. Also, put your shoes or boots away immediately after you arrive! Don't take them upstairs with you! The locker will refund your 100 yen when you return.

The baths are on the 4th and 6th floors - they switch off every month so that both floors can be enjoyed by both genders. Usually, women are on the 4th floor during the odd-numbered months, and men have the 4th floor during the even-numbered months. The bathing floors are also where you'll find the lockers, so it's best to store your things away up here. Just pick any locker you like. If you want to hit the baths immediately, they'll be attached to the locker room. Make sure to rinse yourself thoroughly before you climb in! If you'd rather explore first, you can put on the loungewear, located between the baths and the locker rooms. If you're meeting someone of the opposite sex in one of the common areas, you'll need to wear these, or your bathing suit, if you are heading up to the mixed-gender pool and rooftop bath. The pool elevators are located across from the information desk on both bathing floors, and you can also rent a swimsuit here, if necessary.

 Note: Do not wear your swimsuit into the regular baths! It is only for use in the pool and 8th floor mixed baths. Also note that visible tattoos are not permitted in the area. http://en.japantravel.com/view/spa-world

I spent about 2hours in the place and headed home immediately.  Now it was getting dark and its getting colder and colder.  I walked fast to the station and went to the information booth.  Some of the information booths already were closed.  I learned that there was no bus going back to Nagoya and no train cars were going to that place straight from Osaka.  The only transportation that I could take was the Shinkansen bullet train.  I got excited to ride on this train but I got shocked about the ticket price.  It was so expensive that it was almost about the amount of my one way ticket plane from Philippines.  Well, I have no choice so I bought the ticket and experienced the fleet breakneck speed of the train.  I was given the no reserve seats because it was a little 500Y cheaper than the one with reservation.  About 5 minutes before the train arrives I was already at the platform waiting. 

Unknowingly, I got in the area where the tickets are for those who has reservation.  When the train stopped I entered-in and seated quietly in an elegant cushioned lazy-boy chair when suddenly another guy was looking at me asking for the seat I was on, he told me that he was reserved the for him.  Rattling that the train was already signaling to depart.  The guy told me to transfer to the car where there is no reservations, so I run to the quickly to the first cars where I need to sprint in just about 20 seconds the fastest train will soon leave, “Oh boy” I was almost out of my breath.   Catching my breath inside the train I am still thankful for this adventure.  Many people were already seated and they were all staring at me stupefied at what happen to me.  Gratefully I got one seat available where no one is looking at me.  I laid my jacket in the luggage area and quietly sat down the chair.   

Continuing the day I reached Nagoya Station after about 45minutes from Osaka.  

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