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Know About The Osaka Castle, Japan’s Most Visited Tourist Hotspot

10 mins. read

Standing approximately 58 metres tall amidst modern skyscrapers and vibrant urban parks, Japan’s most iconic tourist hotspot is the Osaka Castle or Temple. The castle was believed to have been built around 500 years back by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who unified Japan after many years of political unrest and wars. If you take a sneak peek into the history of Osaka Castle, the palace was the largest castle in the land of cherry blossoms. The Osaka Castle played an important role in the history of Japan, as the castle was destroyed by the Tokugawa Army. Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the last samurai and general in the late Sengoku period, rebuilt the castle. It was his vision to build a castle that would stand tall and be a representation of a newly unified Japan. Toyotomi Hideyoshi ensured that the castle was the biggest castle in Japan to show off his influence and power to the rest of the country and enemies.

Throughout the eventful and glorified history of Osaka Castle in Japan, the castle was rebuilt several times. The castle stands as one of the most important and iconic buildings in Japan, which welcomes millions of tourists every year. Unlike most castles, the Osaka Castle is open to the public for tours and visitations. Read the blog post to learn more about Osaka Castle and to unfold various interesting and informative facts about the castle.

History of The Osaka Castle

The Palace of the Osaka Castle is inarguably one of the most famous castles in Japan, whose history dates back to the 16th century. The iconic castle's construction started in 1583 and was finished in 1597 by Japan’s most influential Samurai, Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The Osaka Castle was ideally constructed on a high stone supported by huge rocks and moats to safeguard the castle from enemies. The man behind the construction of the castle wanted to ensure that the Osaka Castle was the biggest castle in Japan at the time. It is believed that over 1 lakh workers contributed to the construction of the Osaka Castle, and it took only three years to build the castle.

Although the Osaka Castle was built solidly to protect it from intruders, the castle got attacked and destroyed by the soldiers of Shogun Tokugawa Leyasu in 1614. This was the time when Japan was under the control and rule of the Tokugawa Shogunate. During their reign, the entire castle of Osaka was burnt to the ground. After that, Tokugawa Hidetada rebuilt the castle in 1620, which was the second Shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty. Tokugawa Hitedata made significant changes to the castle, standing tall and proud even today. One of which is the elevated tower surrounded by five storeys on the outside and eight storeys on the inside of the Osaka Castle.

Unfortunately, the castle got destroyed by lightning in 1660, which resulted in a huge explosion. The castle was repaired again in 1843, just to be burnt down again in a civil conflict in 1868. The Osaka Castle you see today was rebuilt in 1931, which used to be a military arsenal back then. The castle went through a makeover, and the restoration finished in 1997. The Osaka Castle, by all means, stands as the strongest pillar of united Japan, which you can add to your travel itinerary while planning a trip to Osaka.

Things To Do at The Osaka Castle

Being one of the most prominent landmarks of Japan’s history, the Osaka Temple or Castle has plenty of things to do, which we have listed below for your convenience.

Osaka Castle Park

Osaka Castle Park

If you have enough time to explore Osaka Castle, visiting Osaka Castle Park should top your itinerary list. The Osaka Castle Park in Osaka Castle will be hands down of the best parks you will see in the entire Japan, with almost cherry blossom trees awaiting your arrival. Natively known as Osaka-jo-koen, the park has numerous activities for you to enjoy along with your loved ones. Some of the highlights of Osaka Castle Park include Illusion Museum, Peach Grove, Castle Gate and Hokuku Shrine. The most important Japanese festivals are held in the Osaka Castle Park’s premises, which makes it the most visited place inside the Osaka Castle.

The Sakura-mon Gate

Located in the southern part of the castle, the Sakura-mon Gate is the main gate for visitors to enter the castle. Named after the word Sakura, which means cherry blossom, it was presumed that hundreds of cherry blossom trees were planted near the gate when Toyotomi Hideyoshi built the castle in the 16th century. The gate was first built in the early Edo period in 1626. Unfortunately, It was destroyed by a fire in 1868 and repaired in 1887 by the Japanese Army. Upon visiting the Sakura-mon-Gate, you will notice stones on either side of the gate. It is said that when it rains, images of a Lion and a Dragon would appear on the stones.

Osaka Castle Deep

Osaka Castle

Situated at the Southwest corner of the Osaka Castle, you would notice the Osaka Castle Deep that houses important documents of the era of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Upon entering the Oksaka Castle Deep, you would also come across weapons, armour, swords etc., from the bygone era. You would also notice miniature figures that reveal the deep history of Osaka’s battle scenes. The Osaka Castle Deep occupies three floors from the 7th to the 10th floors of the facility, narrating Osaka's painful and glorious history.

Nishinomaru Garden

If you are looking for less-crowded places inside the castle’s campus, then Nishinomaru Garden must be on your list of places to visit in Osaka Castle. Just a short walk from Osaka Castle leads you to the Nishinomaru Garden, a fantastic place to admire the castle's beauty from a distance. Upon visiting the Nishinomaru Garden, you will be greeted by over 300 cherry blossom trees and other flowering plants.

Miraiza Shopping Mall

Miraiza Shopping Mall is another place inside the Osaka Castle campus where you can shop for souvenirs for your friends and family or for yourself. The unique theme set by the Miraiza Shopping Mall attracts visitors to the mall. Upon visiting the Miraiza Shopping Mall, you would notice the entire mall staff in Ninja attire, as the mall has a ninja theme running throughout the year.

Going from Osaka Station to Osaka Castle

Reaching Osaka Castle is very convenient for tourists to visit as there are around eight trains that lead you to the castle. If you’re coming from Tennoji Station or Osaka Station, you can take the JR Osaka Loop Line to Morinomiya Station or Osakajokoen Station, which will lead you to Osaka Castle. You can reach the castle via the subway as well. You can deboard either at Osaka Business Park or Temmabachi, from where you can head to Osaka Castle.

Other Essential Information about the Osaka Castle

To make your visit to Osaka Castle more enjoyable and worth visiting, here are some of the most essential information you need to consider before your trip to the castle.

Operational Hours

The opening hours of the Osaka Castle are between 9 AM to 5 PM. Extended entries are provided on selected special occasions.

Closed During:

The gates of the Osaka Castle remain closed between 28 December to 1 January every year.

Admission Fee:

Wandering the Osaka Castle premises is free of charge, but a visit to the museum costs ¥600. The ticket is free of charge for children below the age of 15 years. The tickets to the Osaka Castle can be purchased either on-site or online from the official website of the Osaka Castle well in advance.

Last-Minute Tips

When visiting Osaka Castle, one must be mindful of certain things. Some of the last-minute things to consider are listed below:

  • Carry a comfortable pair of walking shoes, as there will be a lot of walking involved in exploring Osaka Castle and nearby places.
  • Refrain from touching the artefacts inside the castle’s museum as they are delicate and can get damaged easily.
  • If you have kids with you, refrain from climbing on the walls or railings of the castle or museum, as it can be quite dangerous.
  • Carry small backpacks instead of carrying large bags, which can obstruct the view of other fellow tourists.
  • Avoid taking eatables along with you, as the castle premise has enough eateries both inside and outside the castle where you can purchase refreshments.

The Osaka Castle is one of Osaka's most striking and iconic sights, which you cannot miss out on your trip to Japan. Be prepared to spend at least half a day at the castle to unwind, relax amidst nature and learn about the fascinating history of Japan. After reading the blog post, do you feel inspired to travel to the buzzing city of Osaka? Then, look no further than Veena World. Explore and choose the most suitable Osaka tour package from our list of carefully crafted tour packages. If you want flexibility in planning your itinerary, give the Customised Holiday section of our website a quick check.

June 25, 2023

Author

Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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