Location: Japan, 〒540-0002 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Chuo Ward, Osakajo, １−１
This was the second destination on the third of my 6-day tour in Japan where the whole morning till 1:00 P.M., we enjoyed our stroll at the Universal Studios of Osaka. We took a train and headed to Osakajokoen station and lifted there.
Osaka Castle is a Japanese castle in Chūō-ku, Osaka, Japan. The castle is one of Japan's most famous landmarks and it played a major role in the unification of Japan during the sixteenth century of the Azuchi-Momoyama period.
In 1660, lightning ignited the gunpowder warehouse and the resulting explosion set the castle on fire. In 1665, lightning struck and burnt down the main tower. In 1843, after decades of neglect, the castle got much-needed repairs when the bakufu collected money from the people of the region to rebuild several of the turrets.
In 1868, Osaka Castle fell and was surrendered to anti-bakufu imperial loyalists. Much of the castle was burned in the civil conflicts surrounding the Meiji Restoration.
Under the Meiji government, Osaka Castle became part of the Osaka Army Arsenal (Osaka Hohei Kosho) manufacturing guns, ammunition, and explosives for Japan's rapidly expanding Western-style military.
In 1928, the main tower was restored after the mayor of Osaka concluded a highly successful fund-raising drive.
During World War II, the arsenal became one of the largest military armories, employing 60,000 workers. Bombing raids targeting the arsenal damaged the reconstructed main castle tower and, on August 14, 1945, destroyed 90% of the arsenal and killed 382 people working there.
In 1995, Osaka's government approved yet another restoration project, with the intent of restoring the main tower to its Edo-era splendor. In 1997, restoration was completed. The castle is a concrete reproduction (including elevators) of the original and the interior is intended as a modern, functioning museum.
To reach Osaka Castle would need one to walk far from Osakajokoen train station. But along its way is mostly a sight of green trees and concrete road. The location is actually called Taiyo-no-Hiroba zone. From the train station, you will just walk down and turn left when you hit the Osaka-jo Hall.
There is a fountain before you hit Osaka-jo hall. On its right is bridge leading to Keihan Railway Kyobashi Station. But you are turning left and walk further.
After crossing the bridge, you will walk ascendingly as you approach the castle and pass through the Yamazatomaru. The whole area descending the tower of Osaka Castle is called Yamazatomaru. In the Toyotomi period, this area was designed to impart the quiet atmosphere of a mountain village, where many trees and vines, including pine, cherry blossom and Japanese Wistaria grew and where Hideyoshi and his family enjoyed tea parties and flower viewing.
As you approach the foot of the castle, turn left an enter Tenshushita-shikiri-mon gate. Along the pavements are welcoming wooden benches with iron support for the tired guests. At its back are concrete viewdeck at deep drop with a lagoon down the base and overlooking the city's skyscrapers.
The castle can be best viewed on its other side which is somewhat flat green park. Fronting it is a road that divides the castle and the luscious garden park.
The extreme right of the dining shops will offer the best point to get picturesque photos blending the castle, the backdrop cityscape, the lush green trees and the artificial man-made lagoon.
As I go back to the castle's main gate and heading to the Keihan Railway Kyobashi Station, I still captured nice photos where I included it here as I took them chronologically.
On the left not shown in the picture is the Osaka-jo Hall. While the brown post-like structure is the center of the fountain which surrounds it. Past to this point is a bridge leading to Keihan Railway Kyobashi station but it was such a long, long walk.
Kyobashi station is our entry point to take a train to the Keihan station where we boarded a 6-hour night express bus for Tokyo City which left Keihan at 10:00 P.M.
Our bus trip to Tokyo ended our third day in Osaka while we were deep asleep boarding our bus.
VICINITY MAP OF OSAKA CASTLE