Explore Japan's third largest city, Osaka, on this intriguing half-day tour. One of the gateways to ancient Japan for traders from China, Korea and the Asian continent, Osaka played a vital role in the introduction of new technologies in ceramics, forging, construction, and engineering. Today, this modern port city combines historical and cultural attractions with all the delights of a Japanese urban marvel. Following a 90-minute panoramic drive from Kobe to Osaka, see the impressive landmark, Osaka Castle. One of Japan's most famous castles, it played a major role in the unification of Japan during the 16th century. Built on a plot of land almost one mile square, the castle compound contains thirteen structures, designated as Important Cultural Assets by the Japanese government. The central castle building is five stories on the outside and eight stories on the inside, built atop a massive stone foundation that protected its occupants from sword-bearing attackers. Of particular interest are the tower's ornamental ride-end roof tiles, and bas-reliefs carved in the shape of crouching tigers, all gilded with gold. An engaging museum occupies the interior of the building, tracing the history of the castle from the late 1500s to the present day, and housing Osaka's most significant historical and cultural artifacts. After a guide tour of the castle, proceed to Japan's oldest Buddhist temple in Japan, Shitennoji. Built in the late sixth century by Prince Shotoku, the temple grounds contain a five-storey pagoda and a treasure house containing ornate mandalas and several massive wooden Buddha statues. Despite repeated reconstructions, the layout of the temple compound remains largely unchanged from its beginnings. Return to Kobe and the ship following your tour of the temple.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 4-5 hours of walking with number of steps to negotiate. Photography and video are not permitted inside Osaka Castle (3rd & 4th floors). Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. Casual clothing and comfortable, flat walking shoes are recommended. We suggest passengers obtain local currency for shopping.
Motorcoach parking lot at Osaka Castle is approximatley a 15 minute for the castle.