We arrived by train at Osaka Station at night, transfered to Morinomiya Station and then walked several blocks west to the KKR. We were really tired, but when we got to our rooms, looked north out of the windows and saw Osaka Castle lit up, it was magical. We were absolutely delighted. (See picture). We also had views of the plum and cherry blossom tree which were starting. In the picture, you can see large blue tarps. Japanese people sit under the trees with their friends and families and have picnics and enjoy the blossoms.
We were in a group, and one of the others in our party had a view south and could see St.Mary's Cathedral where they went to Mass in Japanese on Palm Sunday. Wonderful!
We had been staying in ryokans, so it was a nice change to stay in a western-style hotel. We had happened upon 2 Shinto weddings at several shrines in Kyoto, so it was also a great surprise to see 2 western-style wedding parties at this hotel. Apparently, it specializes in doing them and has whole floor devoted to the task of putting on these events.
We were used to getting meals at the ryokans we stayed at, so we had a bit of a hard time finding places to eat nearby. There was one in the hotel, but to make a long story short we didn't find it. We ended up walking around the neighborhood and found a Lawson Store (like a 7/11) with a decent choice of precooked foods. We liked it enough that we went back there for breakfast. Later when we visited the castle, we came across a lot of food stalls inside the 1st moat on several sides of the castle where we enjoyed sausages, corn on the cob, fruit on sticks, and that sort of thing. I'm not sure how early they open though.
Coming to Osaka castle was one (of the many) highlights of our trip!
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