After the visual delights of Fujisan we were back in a big city, Osaka. Osaka is Japan’s second city and it was fantastic! Our low expectations were shattered as we were overwhelmed by the signs, the food and the beautiful (and mostly free) shrines and temples.

Our first shout out goes to our Couchsurfer friend Pheobe who hosted us and was amazing! She gave us a spare key to her flat and was an incredibly kind host - thank you so much Phoebe.

First stop was Dotonbori in Namba, which is the main nightlife area and is buzzing with restaurants, bars, and signage!

Blowfish - I dare you to try it!

Plant pots on a building!
We stumbled upon this hidden gem in the heart of Namba – what a beautiful little temple called the Hozenji Temple – a real must-see!

We then went to Osaka Castle and the surroundings were very beautiful and the castle wasn't bad either! We didn't go inside as it had been burnt down and recently rebuilt so the decor wasn't as old we had hoped.

We then stumbled upon another temple while looking for a snack street and saw 3 Buddhas that were made from the ashes of the dead.
Statue at the Entrance
Ash Buddhas
Snack Street Restaurant. Notice the cat.
Shitennoji was next on our list. It is the oldest temple in Japan (around 1400 years old) and was pretty decent and not too expensive (especially since we wangled student tickets).

We think these were children's graves.
Another Pagoda

I was very keen to see this final shrine, called Sumiyoshi Taisha. It made me and Katie feel awefull (full of awe). The lovely bridge and interesting architecture made this THE stand out shrine in Japan!

Even the phone box was templefied!

Rabbit water hand wash
We ended our sightseeing with a lightning quick walk around the port area. Consisting of tall buildings and many business folk, we both agree that a sunset made this more beautiful than it probably seems during the day.

Back on the night bus after 2 days in Osaka and off we went to Hiroshima – home of the world’s first nuclear bomb detonated on a populated area. As if you smart folk didn’t know that already.