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Showing posts with the label Osaka

3 Easy Excursions by Train from Osaka

These three cities in the Kansai region will leave your diary full of memorable entries. Nara Nara is awash with historical temples, shrines and ruins, a legacy from its early influence as the capital of Japan in the 8th century.  Todai -ji Is  the most visited of these temples. It is the home of the seated  Daibutsu  (Great Buddha), one of the largest bronze statues in Japan. It measures an impressive 15 meters in height and and fills the Great Hall (Daibutsuden) with its presence. Two  Bosatsu (Bodhisattva) sit on either side of Buddha.  The  Daibutsuden  is the biggest wooden building in the world though it is much  smaller than the original structure which was razed by fire in 1180 during the Genpei Civil War. Other interesting displays in the Hall are the mock-up model of the temple as it was in the 8th century and gigantic Nio statues. The Nio deities are the traditional guardians of Buddha. They protect the temple from evil spirits and demons. It is a pleasa nt stroll to   Todai

Osaka, City of Kuidaore

Unlike its neighbors, Kyoto and Nara, Osaka has few historical landmarks to show. This third largest city in Japan makes up for the shortfall with its thriving entertainment and food scene.  Dotonbori Street Dotonbori is referred to as the Times Square of Osaka. I think of it as an amusement park with shopping, restaurants, theaters, night clubs and crazy billboards all lit up at night. This place is all about fun, food and whimsical appearances. Restaurant signboard Osaka has been christened the city of kuidaore which means, "eat until you drop". Nowhere is food more visible than in Dotonbori where cartoon signs come alive in the evening, beckoning patrons to dinner. The restaurant shown above is on Dotonbori Street and from the looks of things, the favorite of Spiderman. There are also food stalls on the street selling two popular street food,  okonomiyaki (grilled pancake with flour, eggs, shredded cabbage and meat)   and takoyaki (octopus dumplings).   C