Another day and another different castle on the program but that's a story for later. Happens again tomorrow as well.
A beautiful Autumn day in Kyoto as we head out for the Kyoto Tower built in 1964. This wasn't on the original itinerary and we were to visit the Osaka Sky Tower this afternoon. Unfortunately, the Osaka tower building is closed due to damage from the typhoon recently. Apparently a lot of windows blew in.
The Kyoto Tower is known for its innovative monocoque construction where the steel plates were joined into a cylindrical tower without the use of an iron frame. The tower is 131 metres high with the observation deck at 100 metres. While up on the Observation deck, we were lucky enough to see two Shinkansen (bullet Trains) cross as they arrived and departed Kyoto Railway station. By the time I got the camera out, I was only ably to catch one.
After the tower is was a 1 hour drive to Osaka and due to heavy traffic our first stop there was at the Dotonbori Markets. These markets are very large and were different to the last one, at least where we were, in that food was not the primary item. The shops were permanent structures and covered souvenirs through to kitchenware, electronics and electrical appliances. Features of the markets were the dragon sculptures on many buildings and a couple of giant crabs with moving legs and claws.
Next we headed for Osaka Castle. Like many other buildings we have seen, this one has had a hard life since it was first built in 1583 and destroyed in 1615. Around 1620 it was rebuilt over a 10 year period. Serverly damaged by lightning in 1665 and again rebuilt, it was later again destroyed during the battles when Japan transitioned to imperial government. With public donations the castle was rebuilt around 1931, damaged again during bombing raids of World War II and restored again after the war. Apart from the eight floors of the building inside what appears to be a five story shell, two of the features are the massive stone walls of the moats and in particular, the size of some of the rocks used in those walls. The largest rock has a 59.43 square metre face, would be around 1- 1.5 metres thick and an estimated weighs of 108 tonnes.
Dinner tonight was a group buffet on the 10th floor of the railway station. Excellent meal and no-one should have gone home hungry.