Osaka's most visible tourist attraction and symbol, Osaka Castle exemplifies the city's ability to change with the times. Originally built in the 1580s, what you see today is a five-story reconstruction completed in 1931. Instead of leaving a collection of steep wooden staircases and empty rooms, Osaka turned its castle into an elevator-equipped museum celebrating the history of its creator, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, the chief imperial minister to unite Japan.
more interested in aesthetics than artifacts, the eighth-floor donjon (tower) offers a stunning view of the urban landscape. Watching the sun set behind the skyscrapers is reason enough for a visit. The surrounding park makes for a relaxing break from the energy of the city as well. From Osaka-jo Koen-mae Station, it's about a 10-minute uphill walk to the castle. You can also take the Tani-machi subway line from Higashi-Umeda Station (just southeast of Osaka Station) to Tani-machi 4-chome Station. From here it's a 15-minute walk.
Aug 25, 2006
beautiful castle in lush grounds with an amazing view of modern osaka from the castle top. try and visit during cherry blossom in april.
Jun 25, 2005
While purists are bound to be disappointed by the main tower's modern interior, the castle's stunning walls (giant blocks of self-binding stone - no mortar!) and great views of the city make a visit worthwhile.