Kansai

The stunning Osaka Castle

I love walking around Osaka Castle in the evenings. The castle was built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who ruled Japan in the latter half of the 16th century. The stone walls and moats surround the castle separating it from the bustling city. As dusk sets in, the sodium lamps light up the pathways surrounding the castle. The weeping sakura leaves along the wide moat briskly sway in the wind and the castle itself looks like a fantasy structure from the mythical age of dragons.

Ringing in the new year at Todaiji

We decided to do something different this new year eve. We walked down to Todaiji at midnight to usher in the new year with the blessings of the great Daibutsu. For it is only during New Year eve that the upper doors, in front of the face of the Great Buddha, are opened so all can witness the eyes of the Daibutsu.