About Osaka Castle
Located in Chūō-ku, Osaka, Japan, Osaka Castle is one of the country’s most famous landmarks.
History of Osaka Castle
The construction of the castle started in 1583 on the former site of the Ishiyama Honganji Temple, which had been destroyed thirteen years earlier. As the largest castle in Japan at the time, the general Hideyoshi Toyotomi intended for Osaka Castle to become the centre of a new, unified Japan. Obsessed with gold, Toyotomi insisted that gold be applied to much of the interior, while the motif appears on many of the exterior awnings to this day.
However, a few years after Hideyoshi’s death, the castle was attacked and destroyed by Tokugawa’s troops. It was rebuilt in the 1620s, but its main castle tower was struck by lightening in 1665 and burnt down.
It wasn’t until 1931 that the present reconstruction of the tower was built. Incredibly, it survived air raids during the war. In 1997, the castle underwent major repairs, and it is now an incredibly popular attraction.
Osaka Castle Today
Today, the castle is five stories high and is a hugely popular site and historical museum. On each floor of the castle are a wide variety of artefacts detailing the extensive history of Osaka and the castle itself. Make sure to visit the top floor for a view of the city, as well as the beautiful surrounding park which is full of cherry trees, and even offers boat rides along the moat.
Getting to Osaka Castle
Osaka Castle is surrounded by five different train stations, but the best access is via either Morinomiya or Osakajokoen Station. Coming from either station affords visitors a unique pathway towards the castle through the gardens, and for curious visitors it’s certainly worth arriving by one and departing by the other.
Japan Historic Sites
Japan - famously nicknamed the 'Land of the Rising Sun' - is home to a number of stunning temples, monuments, and castles. Here's our pick of 10 which you shouldn't miss when paying a visit.