On Thursday I decided to check on the status of my local amusement park for the third time. So I hopped on a train for two stops and got off to see it was closed. Yet for some reason open on Wednesdays, so maybe one day I’ll get around to translating the website. Armed with unfilled time, I decided to go to Osaka and visit the harbor. I thought that there might be something fun to do there and I wanted to make sure that the ocean wasn’t a myth. I impressed myself with my subway map reading skills and got off at the right spot. In the area was the world’s fifth-largest Ferris Wheel, the Tempozan Giant Wheel. I had to get on SOME form of amusement ride so I paid and got on. I took some great pictures of the harbor and the views were incredible. I explored a little more, and then I went home.
The following Saturday, my trip to Osaka was different. I went with a friend to the Osaka Aquarium, followed by Osaka Castle (which also had great views). But our primary destination was the Osaka Peace Museum. The museum focuses partly on the firebombing of Japanese cities, mainly Osaka, Kobe, and Tokyo, but of course the atomic bombs are also mentioned. However, the general point of the museum is to expose the horrors of war in an effort to avoid war in the future. Something I found interesting was that the museum does not try to hide Japan’s aggression in the war. They say quite plainly that Japan was the cause of the conflict–starting with their war with China–and not the effect. I’ve heard that some Japanese textbooks gloss over Japan’s war crimes, so I found it good that the museum spoke the truth. The museum was quite interesting and featured replicas of some of the bombs dropped, and well as models of sections of the burned-out city. They even had an exhibit on the German death camps, also for the purpose of exposing the aggressors of World War II. An animated film was also shown, which quickly turned very graphic and focused on a family in Osaka during the firebombing. The museum ended up being an interesting but bleak experience (much like this blog article), and I was very glad that I went.