A visit to Osaka Castle or Ōsaka-jō.

Construction of Osaka Castle or Ōsaka-jō  started in 1583 by Tayotomi Hideyoshi, who brought the entire Japan under his rule during 16 century. It was built on the former site of Temple Ishiyama which was destroyed by Oda Nobunaga during his regime. It is one of the most famous castles and has played major role in the unification of Japan during Azuchi-Momoyama period. After few years it had been destroyed by Tokugawa  troops but again built by Tokugawa Hidetada in 1620.Unfortunately, the castle was  struck by lightning in 1665.

The present ferro concrete construction of the castle tower built after war and major repairs gave the castle a new glamour during the late 20th century. In 1997, restoration was completed.

The castle is situated on the land roughly 1 square Km and is built on two raised platforms . The central castle is five storyed on the outside and eight storyed on inside and built on top of a tall stone foundation to protect from sword bearing attackers. Various armors, folk-life items of those olden days are displayed on all the  seven floors and view spot is on the eighth floor.  The castle ground has 13 structures which have been designated as important cultural Assets by the Japanese govt.

The castle is surrounded by secondary citadels, gates, turrets impressive stone walls and moats. The Nishinomaru Garden encompassing the former western citadel, is a garden with 600 cherry trees, a tea house and nice views of the castle tower from below

The entire Osaka Castle Park covers about two square kilometers with lots of green space, sport facilities , multipurpose arena ,  Ōsaka-jō Hall and a shrine dedicated to Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The park is one of the Osaka s most popular Hanami spots during the cherry blossom season, which usually take place in early April

How to Get There : Recommended approach to Osaka Castle is through Otemon Osaka Gate, at the Parks south western corner, The closest station is Tanimachi 4-chome station on the Tanimachi  Subway Line and Chuo Subway Line.The closest JR station to Osaka Castle is “Ōsaka-jō Koen” Station on the JR Loop Lines, a 10 minutes drive/180Yen from JR Osaka Station
Here is a small clip to see and admire the beauty of the castle and the surroundings.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkdfRuTnhQA&rel=0&w=640&h=480 ]

photo by:

Luke & Ma

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