Work is really busy right now so I only have time to give you a quick talk on Osaka. A few weekends ago I went with Randy to see Osaka Castle.
It is one of the most famous castles in all of Japan and is absolutely beautiful to boot. It played a major role in the unification of Japan during the Azuchi-Momoyama period. The castle occupies approximately one kilometer and is surrounded by two platforms of landfill sustained by giant walls of cut rock, each with their own moat.
It was built in 1583 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi on the site of the Honganji Temple which had been destroyed by Oda Nobunaga thirteen years earlier. His intention was for the castle to become the center of a new, unified Japan under Toyotomi rule. I should also mention that it was the biggest castle in the country at this point in time. In 1615 (only a few years after Hideyoshi’s death) the castle was attacked and destroyed by Tokugawa troops. It was rebuilt again in the 1620’s but its main tower was struck by lightning in 1665 and it burnt down. Is anyone else seeing a pattern of castles being burnt down? Anyways the current one was built sometime in the early 1930s and is still going strong.
We also went to the Umeda Sky building. The architecture was cool but I like old historical buildings better.
In a few days I will write on Himeji, the greatest Japanese castle in existence. I am also going to a giant kite battle on Sunday. Niigata is famous for its kites so it should be awesome. Here are the pictures.