Osaka Castle, or “Osaka-jo” in Japanese, is certainly one of the most famous landmarks in Japan.
If you come to Osaka, Osaka Castle is a recommended sightseeing spot. You can feel the Japanese tradition.
One of the most fascinating features of Japanese culture is the sheer breadth of its rich history – across the country there are thousands of shrines, temples and castles dating back literally hundreds of years, each with an interesting story to tell. The construction of Osaka Castle was started by Hideyoshi Toyotomi, who aims to unify the world, at the site of Honganji Temple in Osaka (Ishiyama) in 1583. Toyotomi Hideyoshi was born as a farmer. A samurai who became a shogun from a low position and is very popular with Japanese people.
After Hideyoshi Toyotomi acquired the former site of Ishiyama Hongan-ji temple, which had fought against Nobunaga Oda, he decided to make Osaka be the basis from which he unified Japan. In 1583 he began construction on an outstandingly magnificent Osaka Castle. Taking approximately fifteen years to complete, its scale was four to five times what it is today. A golden tower glistened at the center of the Honmaru (Inner Bailey).
However, in the 1615 Siege of Osaka the Toyotomi family fell and the castle burned down. Entering the Edo period, in 1620 the Tokugawa shogunate began reconstructing the castle. With the shogunate’s prestige on the line, it was completed ten years later, and was completely different than the one built by Hideyoshi Toyotomi. For example, there were large embankments, stone walls, and moats around the castle, and the Main Tower was fifteen meters higher.
However, the Main Tower burned down after being hit by lightning in 1665, and was not rebuilt. Other structures, excluding the likes of the Otemon Gate and Tamon-yagura Turret, burned down in the disorder surrounding the Meiji Restoration in 1886.
In 1931, at the proposal of Osaka Mayor Hajime Seki, the Main Tower was rebuilt with donations collected from residents. Due to air raids during World War II, multiple structures burned down and the Main Tower was damaged in multiple places. After the war, the whole area was turned into a park, and turrets, storehouses, and other structures were restored from 1958 to 1966. Then, thanks to the major Heisei repairs carried out in 1997 to restore the Main Tower to its 1931 form, it reached its current state.
You can overlook Osaka from the observatory on the 8th floor. Cherry blossoms are in full bloom in Osaka Castle Park in the spring
Osaka Castle Park is an urban park located in the center of Osaka
In addition to having important cultural properties, it is also an urban oasis surrounded by green forests and boasts the seasonally-changing plum grove and Nishinomaru Garden. People are always visiting to enjoy music and sports, and it has become a rich presence in the city where residents come to relax.
Osaka Loop Line “Morinomiya Station and Osakajokoen Station”
Tozai Line“Osakajo Kitazume Station”
Tanimachi Line “Tanimachi Yonchōme Station” Exit 1-B and “Temmabashi Station” Exit 3
Chuo Line “Tanimachi Yonchōme Station” Exit 9 and “Morinomiya Station” Exit 1 and Exit 3-B
Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line “Morinomiya Station” Exit 3-B and “Osaka Business Park Station” Exit 1
Bus no. 62: Ōsaka-eki → Yodoyabashi → Temmabashi → Ōtemae → Banbachō → Abenobashi → Sumiyoshi Shako-mae