Events for international students FBS Afternoon Bus trip for Students

Date and Time 12 Nov (Sat), 2022
Place Osaka

12 November 2022 (Saturday)

About 40 minutes from Osaka University’s Suita Campus, we joined FBS international students on their recent tour of Osaka Castle. The tour, a long time coming, was organized by FBS Educational Affairs to promote exchange between international students as well as between international and Japanese students. Though the castle is situated in the heart of Osaka in the central business district, the spacious grounds sport lush greenery, cherry and plum trees, and even a jogging track. The ginkgo and Japanese elm foliage can be seen at its best this time of year. The weather, as well, was perfect for taking a leisurely stroll and socializing.

  • After leaving Suita Campus, we took a bus south from Shin-Midosuji Street (near Senri-Chuo) and crossed the Shin-Yodogawa Bridge that runs parallel to the Midosuji Line (train/subway).
  • The guide gave a lecture that guaranteed everyone would be familiar with Osaka’s history within 30 minutes. She quickly managed to grab everyone’s attention.
  • She also discussed the fire that destroyed the castle tower and its subsequent rebuilding.

14 international students from all over the world, including China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Nigeria, and Portugal, joined the tour. The guide was able to convey the history of the castle from the Azuchi-Momoyama period (approx. 1568-1600) to the present day and included tidbits the students hadn’t heard about in an interesting way. Many of the students were excited to get there and explore.

  • We got off the bus by the West Outer Moat and headed toward the front entrance of the castle. The Sengan-yagura Turret could be seen about 70 meters past the moat.
  • Going through the main gate (Ote-mon Gate). This gate is the largest turret gate at about 15 meters with a length of about 710 meters. To the right, the Ote-mitsuke, Ote-niban, and Ote-sanban stones (three huge stones, two of which were confirmed by the Graduate School of Engineering Science, Osaka University and the Kanagawa Archaeology Foundation to have been cut from a single, larger stone) can be seen.
  • Old wedge marks from the cutting process. Students can’t help but touch them.
  • TOYOTOMI Hideyoshi, a feudal lord of the late Sengoku Period (1467-1615) who is recognized as the second “Great Unifier” of Japan is enshrined at Toyokuni Shrine.
  • A martial arts school, Shudokan, is located in Ninomaru (south of the castle tower).
  • Pointing out a model of a lion-faced carp. Two of these mythical fish decorate the top of the castle.
  • You can see the castle tower through Sakura-mon (lit. “cherry gate”), named for the cherry trees that had lined the entrance.
  • The guide points out the Octopus-stone, the largest stone on the castle grounds. Its name is said to be derived from the octopus-like shape on its surface.


  • Adjacent to the Octopus-stone is the Long-sleeved Kimono stone (Furisode-ishi) named, again, for its shape.
  • Group photo in front of the Octopus-stone. The guide provided origami samurai helmets that she had made for everyone to wear.

Tourists came in droves, and it soon became easy to be separated from the group and get lost in the crowd. Stopping to snap a photo of the beautiful autumn foliage was tempting for some, but instead, the students hung on the guide’s every word. Afterwards, they praised her for keeping the tour very interesting, teaching them about the history of Osaka Castle, and making the tour fun even for those who had already visited the castle. Everyone learned something today, and it was all thanks to the guide. Though we didn’t have time to climb the main tower, the guide showed us all so many things on the castle grounds that we had plenty of talking points for exchange.

  • Group photo in the Japanese garden near the castle. A popular photo spot—there was even a wedding shoot going on nearby.
  • A view of Osaka Castle from Yamazatomaru, the north side of the main tower.
  • By the Gokuraku Bridge (Bridge of Paradise)
  • Gingko tree by the Aoyamon Gate
  • Waiting for the water bus.
  • Leaving Osaka Castle Pier for Nakanoshima. Everyone is engaged in lively conversation.
  • We passed under several bridges to the turnaround point near Sendannoki Bridge. We could see the Yodoyabashi Bridge. I took a picture matching the surface of the water to my level of sight.
  • On the return trip to Osaka Castle Pier, we could see the Kawasaki Bridge on our left.
  • The evening sun shining on the business park a little after 4 o’clock.

It was only an afternoon tour, but the students, who often didn’t get many opportunities to chat with their peers in other labs, took selfies with each other and exchanged contact info. Many exclaimed that they were looking forward to the next tour, which will probably be during the spring of the next year. In this way, face-to-face exchanges are slowly coming back after having been postponed for so long due to COVID-19.

To all FBS students,
(Japanese follows English)

We are pleased to announce that we will conduct FBS Afternoon Bus Trip on 12th November, 2022!
This time, we will take you to Osaka Castel Park. Though we will not go into the castle tower this time, the stone walls and the moat of the castle is also as precious as the castle itself. We will take a walk around the castle with English speaking tour guides! Also, let's enjoy beautiful autumn leaves in the park!
After exploring, we will take a “water bus”, Aqua-Liner, and cruise on the Okawa River on a pleasant route that takes in the greenery of Osaka Castle Park, Nakanoshima, and some of Osaka’s most iconic buildings and bridges.
Register now to participate in this fun tour!

Date: 12 November, 2022 (SAT)
Meeting time: 12:30 p.m.
*Please be punctual. The bus will leave on time and will not wait for late comers!
Meeting spot: In front of the Nanobiology Bldg.
Cost: free
Registration deadline: 3:00 pm on 13 October, 2022 (THU)
*We expect about 30 participants (first come first served!). We will give priority to international students, but Japanese students are also welcome.

For those interested, please click here website (BBS) for registration.