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Japan #5: The last leg

So the last stop on the trip was Osaka, half an hour or so south of Kyoto. I took one of the local trains and set off for another mammoth day of walking. First stop was Osaka Castle, an impressive construction sat on a platform surrounded by a deep moat. It's an amazing structure, very opulent. The original dates from the 16th Century although it's been restored a few times following various periods of conflict, the most recent being WWII.

Osaka Castle, Japan







I headed into the city after and to the Dotonbori area. More concrete jungle and neon streetscapes, with endless shops and signs and lights and frenetic activity, similar to Shibuya in Tokyo, only more chaotic if anything. Some of the shop signage is pretty awesome - a huge moving lobster, giant beer can and this huge runner chap...

Dotonbori Japan

Most of the action is in the street running parallel to the canal. Much like Tokyo, things seem to get busier at night time - the whole place becomes a hive of activity. It's so well lit with neon I reckon the street is probably visible from space...

Dotonbori Japan
The train took me wearily back to Kyoto and one last night on the futon on the floor - I'd walked miles over the course of the week. I'd definitely covered Japan pretty well in the time I had. Next morning and it was the metro to the station and back to the capital on the Shinkansen. One final highlight of the trip on the way back to Tokyo was the sight of Mount Fuji appearing out from beneath a thick layer of cloud, literally for about a minute before it disappeared again. An eerie sight given that the mountain is absolutely massive - it just disappeared so quickly you would never know it's there... I managed to get a couple of quick photos from the train but pulled into Tokyo station pleased that I'd seen it.

Mount Fuji, Japan
One final train from Tokyo to Narita airport, and despite all that's said about the efficiency and punctuality of Japanese trains - which is true - it had to be this one that was late didn't it. Late by an hour in fact, meaning that I only made it to the airport shortly before check in closed. Some last minute stress that I could have done without.

So thank you Japan - your country is very beautiful and I hope to one day return to see some more of it.
Location: Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
trains 7543528216609386585

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