Osaka / Kyoto Day 5

Training with the Samurai

It was up bright an early as we had a lot to do today. We left our bags with the hotel and headed to the local shrine to get out Shrine Stamp for here. I love these Shrine Stamps. The temple near us is called Imamaya Shrine and is meant to be good luck for business. Below is a video of the guy doing the stamp.

It was on to Osaka Castle as it was one of our must sees before leaving Osaka. The grounds of this place have seen a lot of damage from the 2 typhoons that have come through. But it was still beautiful. We arrived at the first moat and we were suprised how big it was. We bought some breakfast?? I put quesion marks as the boys had chicken skewers and ate looking over the moat.

We spent some time wandering through up to the castle marvelling at the stuctures and walls surrounding the whole area. We stopped at a Shrine in the Castle Grounds which was dedicated to the spirit of the first Taiko of Japan. Who united the clans of Japan for a while.

We finally arrived at the castle and it was beautiful. It has been burnt down and rebuilt back to its original look quite a few times. We purchased tickets and headed into the castle itself.

Most of the castle is a museum explaining its own history and the history of the Samurai’s who lived there. The 8th Floor has a viewing platform that looks out over Osaka. It has great view and it was worth the entry just for that.

We then had to head back to the hotel and make our way to Kyoto. The trip was pretty easy and before we knew it we were in Kyoto. We had a Samurai Tour booked at 4 and had some time to spare so we went for a walk around the local neighborhood. We came across some beautiful temples and parks and got even more shrine stamps.

After clocking up more the 20000 steps we made our way to Samurai Juku. Here we changed into tradtional Samurai outfits and learned the way of the Samurai. We were taught about the swords, how to handle them carefully, how to shealth and unshealth and how to swing. The swords we were using were 400 - 500 years old which added to some our nerves. We then got to experience cutting bamboo mats which you can see below. Samurai Juku was an absolute blast, an amazing experience. We learnt so much and the teacher and interprator were the best.

After a busy day we headed to a Okoyakami place that the Samurai Teacher suggested. It was absolutely amazing. It has been a long but amazing day and I cannot wait to see what else Japan has in store.