Armed with my JR pass I headed off to Kansai via Shinkansen. I would be staying in a Kyoto hotel for a couple of days, but my first stop was Osaka [大阪]. Hereby, by the way, I need to remind myself that next time I have to do Kobe. And get a hotel close to Fushimi Inari so I can bloody make it to the top for a change.
Arriving in Osaka, once again, I felt an overwhelming sensation of being home, and that was once again the feeling I got upon remembering that I was to stay on the right on the escalator (in Tokyo, you keep to the left). My visit was carefully planned, even considering transportation times and queues. Yes, it was not the most… travel efficient one if you look at a map, but had to be done like that in order to work, time wise.
My first stop was at the Sumiyoshi Taisha [住吉大社] compound. Sumiyoshi Taisha is one of the oldest Shinto Shrines in existence, so of course I had to go there this time over.
After the shrine I headed off to downtown Osaka to visit the Ōsaka Rekishi Hakubutsukan [大阪歴史博物館], the Osaka Museum of History which features exhibitions depicting the evolution of the city from ancient times to the occupation period and the start of Western influence.
Although this was close to Osaka-jo [大阪城] (Osaka Castle), after I was done I headed back to the train station and backtracked half the way I had previously advanced in order to go to Shinsekai [新世界], the New World. there was something else I had pending here, and that was going up the Tsutenkaku [通天閣] Tower to get a view of the city and, of course, to visit Billy Ken, the God of Things as They Ought to Be, and his sidekicks.
After that I headed back to Osaka Castle area to be up when the sun set, and thus be able to see it lit up, which I had not managed the previous time I had been there either.
Finally I took the Shinkansen to Kyoto and checked in my hotel for the night.