Finally we were able to see an "old" building.....the Namba Station building. Actually our itinerary was to a shopping trip to Shinsaibashi, but we decided to do some sight-seeing instead. We were very happy that the guide was able to accommodate our whims.
He was not sure the whereabouts of the temple and we walked past the busy shopping centre towards the quieter neighbourhood of Namba. We asked the people along the way but they too were not sure of the temple.
Finally saw this exterior in the one of the alleyways, truly well hidden....
and behold the impressive looking lion head of Namba Yasaka Shrine.
This was once a vast Buddhist temple complex and during the Meiji Restoration separated from Buddhism. The shrine were burnt down during the 1945 air raids and the present building were reconstructed after the war.
The lion head shrine measured 12 m high, 11m wide and 10 m deep. The huge mouth is believe to swallow the evil spirits and to attract good luck.
It was almost closing time and we just walked around and took some photos.
You can write your prayers/wishes on the ema (wooden prayer tablet) and hang it at the temple while awaiting for god's answer.
But if your fortune reading are no good, you hang them on the rope and leave them behind for the gods to help overcome the misfortune for you.
the watchful eyes protecting those travelling on the street..
Even though it was a very short visit, we all felt so peaceful as we left this place....
back to busyness of Namba area ....no, not for more coffee....
Must buy and must eat..... steamed pork buns.
The workers were hard at work, so mechanical manually..I like this word.. he was looking at us gaping at him all while pleating the buns! But these were really juicy and tasty buns..
By the way, I forgot to mention that today was my brother-in-law birthday and we decided to buy him a birthday Cheesecake and ended up with our guide paying for it because he said its from the tour company. Very pleasant surprise and I actually wanted to say that throughout the trip, the guides were fantastic caring and helpful and I truly recommend this Wendy Tour.
At the corner of the Hozen-ji Yokocho alley, we saw this beautiful tall vase inside one of the building. Its shaped like the Paris Eiffel tower but the pictures seemed strange... it was a mixture of Chinese and English (the Last Supper painting). Apparently it was a gift from China, the place was closed hence we were unable to check it out properly.
The Hozen-ji Yokocho alley is stone-paved alley with numerous small shops giving a nostalgic feel in the busy Dotonburi area.
the Kamigata Ukiyo-e Museum at entrance corner of the alleyway.
Ukiyo-e is an art of multicoloured woodblock printing.
the brightly lit paper lanterns casting a warm glow
Its like we were all so distracted by the shops and noise around us and suddenly this quiet oasis is right in front of us. This temple used to be a large complex but mostly were destroyed during the 2nd WW and only the Fudomyoo, the deity of fury remain. The temple and alleys were later rebuilt.
purification before worship..
the guide demonstrating the old water pump..
The Fudo Myoo, one the five Wisdom King. The statue is holding a sword that represents wisdom cutting through ignorance in hig right hand and a rope in his left. There are 2 smaller statues accompaning him.
After saying your prayers, the worshippers then splash some water on the statue of the deity and due to the frequent splashing, the statue is covered by a soft green carpet of moss.
It was said that originally only visitors who had not brought an offering would splash the statue with water but now this had became the common practice. We were rather reluctant to leave this space of calm and peace but the glitz and lights of Dotonburi were also beckoning us...........
Taking photos of some of the most iconic touristy places....
the Giant Crab...
The Running man......
the Dotonboribashi bridge across the river..
Just a few of the neon signs..
Ichiran Ramen .. rich and satisfying.....
Long, long queue, give your order (you get to tick how you like the soup ie spicy and also the texture of the ramen), pay at the vending machine, go upstairs to the restaurant when your seats are available and within few minutes, bowls of appetising ramen in front of you... yummylicious!.
After dinner we were not ready to go back to hotel yet. We took the subway and make our way to the Umeda Sky Building to see Floating Garden.
The building is 173 meter tall and consist of 2 towers which are connected with each other by the Floating Garden Observatory on the 39th Floor.
Can you see the long queue..... besides it was dark and you can only see the night view of Tokyo.
she really enjoyed the cold wind while we were all shivering and hiding behind the pillars. The night has suddenly turned cold and it was getting late.
Memories with birthday "boy" at Osaka Station building
true picture... tired already !
Finally reached the hotel and celebrated the remaining of the day for Seng...
Osaka famous Takoyaki...