There was one day left in Japan and I was determined not to let it go to waste!Â I woke up early and headed to the subway where I definitely ran into the rush hour commute.Â A few wrong turns later I ended up at Osaka castle.
The current twoer was built in 1931.Â It was originally built in 1583 as the center of a unified Japan under Toyotomi.Â It was then destroyed in 1615, rebuilt in 1620, stuck by lightening in 1665 and there you have the brief but tumultous history.
I walked the eight stories to the top of the castle (whoa my leggies were burning).Â It was also hot and jammed packed with school children so I decided to not spend that much time there.Â I wandered through the adjacent plum garden and the grounds before heading back into Osaka.
I decided (not sure why) to take a different route back to Yuka’s house.Â By the time I arrived, I was tired and hungry.Â Her parents own an adjacent restaurant and, even though it was closed, generously offered to cook Okonomiyaki which Yuka’s husband explained is “soul food” for people in that area.Â It is a very thick pancake full of all kinds of ingredients with an egg cooked on top.Â One had leeks and vegetables and the other had oysters.Â The batter has flour, nagaimo, dashi, eggs, cabbage in it.Â The batter with the ingredients were pan fried and topped with okonomiyaki sauce (which is sweet), anori (seaweed flakes), Japanese mayonnaise, and katsubushi (bonito flakes). It was absolutely delicious.Â Just when I thought I was full Yuka’s parents cooked some udon noodles to finish.
We said our goodbyes and I made my way to the train to get to the airport.Â Hard to believe the trip is coming to an end but it’s time to come home.Â I have learned so much and had so many great experiences.
Until next trip,