Spring arrived super late here in Washington this year, and we couldn’t wait for the sun any longer, so we booked a flight to Japan to see the cherry blossoms. I particularly wanted to see them at Himeji Castle in my hometown. The prediction was they would be in full bloom in early April. However, when we arrived there on April 3rd, the trees only had a few flowers. Luckily, it was in full bloom when we visited the castle again right before leaving Himeji on April 10th.
While waiting for the full bloom in Himeji, we saw on TV they had come to Osaka, so we took a train to Sakura No Miya station, and from there, we walked all the way to Osaka castle. The cherry trees started right at the station, and continued along a river almost all the way to the castle.
This was the first time I actually visited the Osaka castle. It looked very pretty with the cherry blossoms. We went inside and climbed stairs all the way to the top hoping to see Hideyoshi’s golden tea room, but I was totally wrong. it was just like a regular museum inside. The balcony on top had a nice view, but other than that, I was a little disappointed. The grounds around the castle were very nice, though.
(We came by this on our way to Mori no miya station from the castle.)
My brother took us to Izushi, a small town in northern Hyogo prefecture where there once were small castles built by local warlords in 16th century (They were destroyed by Hideyoshi, the guy who built the Osaka castle).
(The view from a hill where one of the castle once stood.)