Monday, May 29, 2017

REVISITING JAPAN'S HISTORY THRU OSAKA CASTLE AND BEYOND

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.

The dynastic icon Osaka Castle in the midst of modern era


Background

Source: Wikipedia



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.

Taken from Osakajokoen Train Station


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.

Right side to Osaka-jo Hall with a bridge


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.

This road will show as you turn left before hitting Osaka-jo Hall


Pass thru this point


You need to turn right on the edge of the road


This will show as you turned right in the previous picture and walk forward


This will show as you walk further


You will enter this gate with no entrance fee


Walk further and turn left when you see a bridge and cross it heading to the castle grounds


Part of the Yamazatomaru or Yamazato Citadel


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.

Still a part of Yamazatomaru with the ramp ascending to the castle's foot


Reaching the foot of the castle


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 other side of the castle


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 dining kiosks and souvenir shops within the vicinity


The viewdeck which offers the best vantage point


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.

Postcard perfect picture (Model: Beng Sia)


This is what I mean: the backdrop cityscape, lush green trees and the tranquil man-made lagoon


Part of the cityscape


Another green revelation of Japan's cityscape


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.

The upper part of the Yamazato Citadel


Crossing back the bridge from the Yamazatomaru zone


An opportunity for tourists to enjoy a lagoon boat ride


The bridge with the city's backdrop


The castle, the bridge and me


Back to the grounds of Osaka-jo Hall


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.

That's what you will capture when standing from the bridge


Riverbank turned into mini green recreational park


After crossing the bridge, we entered the area of Osakajoshinbashi walk further for three blocks


This covers our long walk


We passed thru the MID Tower using escalators to the walkway bridge of Keihan Railway Kyobashi Station


The long walk at the walkway bridge


what you will see down the walkway bridge


What's inside the walkway bridge


Taking a rest at the Kyobashi Station


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.

The bus station for Tokyo City


Took our dinner here at Don Don Tei in Keihan


Our night express bus for Tokyo City


Our bus trip to Tokyo ended our third day in Osaka while we were deep asleep boarding our bus.

TRANSPORT ACCESS



VICINITY MAP OF OSAKA CASTLE



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