Results 1-6of 6 Reviews
June 26, 2006
From journal Sightseeing Japan
In the autumn of 1496 a priest from the Jodo-shinshu Buddhist sect built monk's quarters near the site of the present day Castle. These quarters grew into a large temple called Osaka Hongan-ji. In 1580 the temple fell to Nobunaga Oda, a rising war lord. Only 2 years later Nobunaga Oda committed suicide after losing a battle, and in 1583 Hideyoshi Toyotomi took control and began building, with the assistance of some 60,000 labourers, the present day castle on the site of Osaka Honganji.During the summer war of 1615 the castle was destroyed by fire. Reconstruction started in 1620, was completed in 1629, and 36 years later, in 1665, the castle was once again destroyed thanks to fire caused by a lightning strike. The castle was rebuilt and destroyed several times until 1931 when the main tower was rebuilt with a steel frame reinforced with concrete. Even though the Castle received heavy bombing during WWII the main tower escaped damage, whereas most of the other castle structures were lost. In 1948 the Castle was protected as a "Historic Site Park", repair work commenced and the main tower was reopened to the public. The main tower underwent a major renovation in 1997. The outer walls were replastered, ornamental fixtures were added, and the gold leaf was re-applied throughout. The castle has a feeling of being old but new at the same time, which is quite strange. Compared to Nagoya Castle, Osaka Castle has far bigger grounds, with three moats—two wet and one dry, and several more buildings, 13 in total. However, by far the greatest difference between the two is Osaka castles magnificent Nishinomara Gardens. From the manicured lawns, to the carefully crafted flower beds, to the tree lined paths, these gardens are a must see. This is even more the case if you time your trip, as we did, to coincide with the blossom festival. During this time the gardens explode into a blanket of pink and purple. The garden boasts over 600 cherry trees along with blooming azaleas. You have to be quick though, the blossoms only last a few weeks. Situated in the garden is the Hoshoan tea house which serves Osaka’s most luxurious tea ceremony.The garden has a separate entrance from the main castle, and you can't actually get into the castle through the gardens. The only point of access across the inner system of moats is the Sakura-mon Gate, which leads to the inner bailey, or courtyard. This gate is far narrower than the entrance at Nagoya and is lined on both sides by stone walls.
The layout of the castle is similar to Nagoya with seven floors of history about the Castle and the Osaka area. The eighth floor is a shop and viewing platform. No Japanese castle is complete without the gold gilded dragon fish, and Osaka castle has a total of eight.
Jarrow, Tyne & Wear, United Kingdom
July 9, 2004
The area around the castle has a number of minor landmarks. Skip the souvenir stands at the foot of the tower and continue past the castle entrance to a mock-Arthurian style building - which houses the City Museum. Following the road to the right you'll come to the Hokoku-Jinja Shrine and the Syudokan, where martial arts demonstrations take place. You could then continue on to the ruins of Naniwa Palace, the site of Japan's oldest capital, by following the signs for the Osaka Peace Centre, though the remains would probably disappoint all but the most avid of Japanese history buffs.
The nearest underground station is Osaka Business Park. Leave by exit 4, continue past McDonald's and the MBS Theatre and cross the bridge. Continue on past Osaka-jo Hall until you reach the castle moat, turn right and cross the little bridge about 50 metres away.
From journal On Osaka
June 4, 2003
The interior building traces the history of the castle through the Toyotomi period to the present day. It also houses Osaka's most significant historical and cultural artifacts. The observatory deck at the 8th floor gives a panoramic view of the city.
This castle has lifts installed interiorly, however, healthy public members are encouraged to use the stairs. Lifts are operated manually and will bring visitors to the 4th floor where the latter will then continue on foot. Only the handicapped or the elderly will be able to reach all the way to the observatory deck via the elevator.
Admission to the castle is 600 yen and can be purchased via a vending machine just to the right of the main entrance. It is open from 9am-5pm. A 100 yen discount is given if you have purchased the Welcome Osaka one-day subway card. Be sure to produce it at the ticketing booth before purchasing the tickets.
Visit this website for more details.
It is a 15-minute walk from the Tanimachi 4 chome station on Subway Tanimachi or Chuo line. Look out for the castle tower once you are on the main road.
From journal Down-to-earth Osaka
December 18, 2002
From journal Amazing Japan
August 4, 2000
From journal Japan; A World of Contrasts