Osaka & Kansai.
While Kyoto represents the elegant past of Japan, Osaka being a modern city, offers the opposite Japanese experience. Osaka offers the hustling and bustling of a modern city; in fact it is so busy that it is all about making money: Osaka recorded a GDP greater than those of all but 8 countries in the world!
Osaka also offers a chance to enjoy what ordinary Japanese enjoy, having good food & drink in a rowdy atmosphere. They call it kuidaore (eat until you drop)!
Land on KANSAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: About 90 minutes by limousine bus from Osaka (& do only take the bus, the taxi fare is exorbitant! No joke!), this is the international gateway for most from overseas. An architecture built on a man-made island more than 10 years ago the island is sinking everyday! You must see this; it is one of the most modern, well-equipped and crowded airport in the world. Kansai I. Airport is also the world's 1st ocean airport! The airport was 1st opened on Sep. 4, 1994. Many flights take off from here every single minute of the day!
Temple Nr. 4 was the strangest place in my opinion, because it included several things that looked rather like sports-instruments and soccer-flags for me than as things with a religious meaning. And when you take a closer look at my last 2 photos, that puppet of a snówman & Donald Duck and also that "bee" or whatever that sculpture should be are certainly a part of the arrangements there and not something that is lying around there accidentally.
maybe someone here on VT can give me some explanations about this temple Nr.4
Shin-Imamiya Subway Train Station
If you are staying at Hotel Taiyo in Osaka, it is very convenient to travel by train from Kansai International Airport. It is 55 minutes travel time for 1030 Yen by Express JR line. Get off at a subway train station called Shin-Imamiya. I posted a picture taken just outside the entrance of the station. From the signboard on the photo, it is only 3 minutes on foot to the Hotel Taiyo.
There are four major subway stations in Osaka, these are:
JR Osaka Station
Shin Osaka Station
Surprisingly this castle is the most visited tourist attraction in Japan. It certainly looks quite impressive from the outside but visitors may be surprised to learn that it's actually a 1931 reconstruction built from concrete! Inside is largely disappointing to be honest.
Much more impressive is the surrounding walls, gates and moats which I believe are original. An amazing feat of engineering.
Osaka Aquarium - amazing aquatic sights.
On a grey, wet, and chilly Saturday 7 April 2007, I headed out to the Osaka Aquarium to see the acclaimed main attraction - the world's only captive whale shark. Despite the rather hefty entrance fee of 2000 yen (about NZ$24), the aquarium is a place I can recommend fully to visitors in Osaka. In fact, compared to an underwater attraction here in Auckland, New Zealand, which charges roughly the same entrance fee, the Osaka Aquarium (or Kaiyukan, as it is known) is far better value for money.
The layout of the aquarium is very clever. Visitors arrive and, after paying the entrance fee, take an esculator to the 8th floor. From there you wind your way back down to ground level, passing progressively 'deeper' waters of the same tanks in the centre and around the edges as you do so. This means you get to view life at all layers of each tank. In some, there isn't much variation (as with the Pacific Dolphins), but in others you do see quite a lot. Despite the noisy little children and the rather crowded feeling you get in places, the aquarium has plenty of amazing sights besides the impressive star attraction in his/her equally impressive tank. This is a must see sight in Osaka. Don't miss the whale shark and the graceful manta ray (in the same tank), the delightful seals and sealions, the spooky and alien-like spider crabs, and the cute and playful sea otters.