When I think about Japan, one of the things that stands out in my mind is its architecture, and more specifically, its ancient architecture.  While I was visiting, I wanted to capture something that just said “Japan” to me, and while Mount Fuji is unmistakably Japanese,  I didn’t find an architecture shot in the area that really spoke to me.  BUT, while roaming around Osaka, I caught a glimpse of the Osaka Castle, and I decided it was the subject I’d been looking for.

One afternoon after work, I started wandering around the area where the castle is, trying to find a good vantage point, and as I walked I realized this was going to be a bit of a challenge.  As it turns out, the grounds are intelligently designed such that there is no straight shot to the castle, and as such, there is always a wall, or some thing, between you and the castle.  There are actually two layers of moats (check out the map for a better visual), the second of which is somehow several stories in elevation higher than the first.  The layout serves as a physical defense for the castle, but it works out that it’s also a visual one as well! 🙁 Once you finally reach the castle, there is a small garden where people pose with the castle in the background, but once you get in front of the garden, the castle is so stinking big, it’s hard to fit in a photo!  Ah the joys of scouting out a new location for photographic opportunities.  Thankfully, I love a good challenge.

If you’ve hung around this blog long at all, you know I like reflection shots, and the moats offer a nice opportunity for reflections.  When I first arrived, the moats were being traversed by all manner of tourist boats, but by the time the sun was setting and everyone was on their way out, the water calmed down and offered up a perfect mirror.  On this particular evening, the sky didn’t do anything spectacular, but the side lighting from the setting sun warmed the castle, even as it’s lights began to come one, and I liked the contrast of that against the crystal blue sky.

–Dan Thompson

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle
1-1 Ōsakajō, Chūō-ku, Ōsaka-shi, Ōsaka-fu 540-0002, Japan
Direction

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