What would it have been like to live in one of the most elegant castles in Japan? What were the people featured in the paintings and other art works thinking and doing? What was the great battle of Osaka castle like? These and many more questions were both evoked and answered in the castle of Osaka through the beautiful presentation of such enlightening and visually stunning exhibitions. Ancient pieces such as the armour of the emperor and samurais, amazing scrolls forged in the era as well as dioramas of the original castle and province helped to create a vivid image of the drama and astounding nature of the time period and enlightened us as to just how young Australian history is. The amazement didn’t finish there. After a sensational lunch we went to the Osaka Aquarium. This massive building houses many exotic animals, the most significant of which being the whale shark. Osaka aquarium is 1 do only 3 places were this giant can be found. Experiencing the charm and hilarious character of the animals so close was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. The most exciting feature of the aquarium was the opportunity to actually touch such animals as stingrays (not the tails), reef sharks etc. This interactive activity showed how important it was to the owners that everyone in the facility had the best time possible. It was also a day of firsts. We rode the subway, Shinkansen (bullet train) and tram for the first time. The day was finished of with a charming and delicious meal in a Okonomiyaki restaurant made by people that have been in the business for 50 years.