Japan · Osaka

Travel Guide: Osaka Castle in Osaka, Japan

osaka-castle-osaka-japan-banner-001

Osaka Castle (Osaka-jo) was built in one of Japan’s more tumultuous eras of history – the Azuchi-Momoyama period – Osaka Castle is one of the region’s most impressive and iconic landmarks. Restored in 1997 after bombing raids in World War II, this gargantuan castle is the pride of Osaka and is a must-see for visitors to Osaka City.

osaka-castle-osaka-japan-001

BRIEF HISTORY

Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the samurai warlord began construction in 1583 at the former site of Honganji Temple and completed the magnificent castle, which was reputed as being unparalleled in the country.

Toyotomi, having employed the castle as his stronghold, succeeded in quelling the wars which had continued for more than one century, thereby unifying the entire nation. After his death, Ieyasu Tokugawa, who worked for Toyotomi as his chief retainer, was appointed to the Shogun and he established the shogunate (government) in Edo (Tokyo).

In 1615, Ieyasu ruined the Toyotomi family and destroyed Osaka Castle (in the Summer War of Osaka). Thereafter, the Tokugawa shogunate reconstructed Osaka Castle. It held the castle under its direct control until 1868, when the Tokugawa shogunate lost power and the castle fell.

The Main Tower of the Castle was reconstructed in the center of Osaka Castle in 1931, which was used as a military base, with funds raised by the citizens.

The present-day Main Tower is the third generation. It follows the Main Tower from the Toyotomi period, which was destroyed by fire during the Summer War, and the tower from the Tokugawa period, which was struck by lightning and was burned down.

Since its construction, Osaka Castle repeatedly featured as the battleground of the major wars in Japanese history.

osaka-castle-osaka-japan-003Gokuraku Bridge, crossing a moat to reach the main tower

WHAT’S INSIDE?

Osaka Castle is eight stories high and each floor has exhibits. Its best to go up to the eighth floor and then walk down the stairs to look at the exhibits on each floor.

osaka-castle-osaka-japan-005 osaka-castle-osaka-japan-006

osaka-castle-osaka-japan-007 osaka-castle-osaka-japan-008

8th floor: This has an observation platform. A stereoscope viewer is also available for showing the “Scenery of Naniwa” (old name for Osaka) that stereoscopically shows the old Osaka landscape. This floor also has a museum shop offering Osaka souvenirs.

7th floor: A georama called “Karakuri Tako-ki” explains the life of Toyotomi Hideyoshi using mechanical figurines and “Taiko-ki with historical facts and true stories” are exhibited.

6th Floor: The sixth floor is a corridor with no exhibits.

5th Floor: The fifth floor exhibits miniature and panoramic visions of Osaka. Natsu no Jin. 2 Panorama is displayed and an explanation is available in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean.

4th floor: The exhibition on the fourth floor changes every two months and details are posted on the Castle’s website.

3rd Floor: Similar to the fourth floor, the exhibits on the third floor change every two months. The Golden Tea Room is also in this floor, a tea room created by Toyotomi Hideyoshi has been restored to it’s actual size. There are also mini versions of Osaka Castle in both Toyotomi and TOkugawa eras.

2nd Floor: This floor shows basic information about Osaka Castle and Japanese castles in general.

1st Floor: The first floor has a theater that plays movies about Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Osaka Castle with subtitles in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean. There’s also a museum shop different from the one in 8th floor.

TIP:  There is a long line for the elevator (left line) but the stairs are almost always empty, so climb the stairs.

osaka-castle-osaka-japan-002
Inner moat

HOW TO GET TO OSAKA CASTLE

Osaka Castle stands within extensive park grounds and around this park are four different stations that are within easy walking distance.

From Osaka Station the easiest way to get to Osaka Castle is to take the Osaka Loop Line to Osakajokoen Station on the park’s north east side. From there it is an 18 minute walk through the park grounds to the castle itself.

Morinomiya Station on the park’s south east side is good for the Osaka Loop Line, the Chuo Subway Line, and the Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Subway Line.

Tanimachi 4-chome Station on the parks south west side is good for the Chuo Subway Line, and Tanimachi Subway Line.

Temmabashi Station on the park’s north west side is good for the Keihan Main Line and the Tanimachi Subway Line. If you are traveling from Kyoto, taking the Keihan Main Line to Temmabashi Station is the easiest route to Osaka Castle.

osaka-castle-osaka-japan-004Aoyaguchi Gate

WHERE DO I AVAIL TICKETS TO OSAKA CASTLE?

  • You can purchase ticket on-site
    • ¥600 – Adults
    • Free: Children 14 and under, Osaka City residents 65+ (ID required), and persons with disabilities
  • You can avail an Osaka Amazing Pass – You get unlimited trip on the Osaka subway, tramway, and bus Plus FREE entry to almost 40 iconic Osaka tourist sites including the Osaka Castle.

osaka-castle-osaka-japan-009View from the 8th Floor

THINGS TO REMEMBER

  • Wear comfortable shoes as you will do a lot of walking. You’ll also have to climb the stairs as the line to the elevator can get really long, especially during peak times.
  • Another museum called the Illusion Museum is within the first floor of the Mizaira, a plaza near the Osaka Castle. You can also get inside for free if you avail the Osaka Amazing Pass.
  • Bring enough cash as some food kiosks and souvenir shops do not accept credit cards.

osaka-castle-osaka-japan-010Ote-mon Gate

LOCATION

English name: Osaka Castle
Japanese name:大阪城
English address: 1‐1 Osakajo, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Japanese address: 大阪府大阪市中央区大阪城1‐1
Business hours:09:00 AM – 5:00 PM, last entry by: 4:30 PM (Monday to Sunday)
Closed: December 28 to January 1
Phone: 06-6941-3044
Nearest Station: Tanimachi Yonchome Station along the Tanimachi and Chuo subway lines. The closest JR station to Osaka Castle is Osakajokoen Station on the JR Loop Line, a 10 minute, 160 yen ride from JR Osaka Station.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for your support in this way! As always, all opinions are my own & I’ll never promote something I don’t personally use or believe in. For more info, please read my full disclosure.

pin-this-post PIN THIS POST

osaka-castle-osaka-japan-pinterest-001

 

 

 

 

 

33 thoughts on “Travel Guide: Osaka Castle in Osaka, Japan

  1. Every Japanese city has a tower, an aquarium, and a castle – it’s an Indian expat who told me that on the train from Osaka to Hiroshima. And she’s right. However, Osaka’s castle was among the most beautiful ones I saw on my trip to Japan.

    Like

    1. Thank you so much for the tips! Ill visit this place when i get to visit Japan. Seeing how beautiful this is id really would include this in my itinerary

      Like

  2. Very thorough which is nice. I find given the circumstances with Covid, I’ve reverted to articles online to allow me to learn of different places around the world. Thanks.

    Like

  3. it is amazing that they offer the Osaka Amazing Pass. It lessens the time and effort in purchasing or paying for tickets. You have a made a good review and provided travel details for DIY-ers. Hoping to see the castle soon.

    Like

  4. Omg may sad akong experience sa Osaka Castle when I went to Japan last year! We didn’t know until 5 or 4 pm lang pala so we went there sarado na huhu! Di bale, next time! 😀

    Like

  5. We were planning to spend Christmas here. Sadly, all the plans for Christmas were all cancelled. I’m glad to read this and maybe someday we will go here for sure!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.