Osaka Castle (Osakajo)

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The construction of Osaka Castle (, Ōsakajō) started in 1583 on the former site of the Ishiyama Honganji Temple, which had been destroyed by Oda Nobunaga thirteen years earlier. Toyotomi Hideyoshi intended the castle to become the center of a new, unified Japan under Toyotomi rule. It was the largest castle at the time.

However, a few years after Hideyoshi's death, Tokugawa troops attacked and destroyed the castle and terminated the Toyotomi lineage in 1615. Osaka Castle was rebuilt by Tokugawa Hidetada in the 1620s, but its main castle tower was struck by lightening in 1665 and burnt down.

It was not until 1931 that the present ferro-concrete reconstruction of the castle tower was built. During the war it miraculously survived the city wide air raids. Major repair works gave the castle new glamor in 1997. The castle tower is now entirely modern on the inside and even features an elevator for easier accessibility. It houses an informative museum about the castle's history and Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

The castle tower is surrounded by secondary citadels, gates, turrets, impressive stone walls and moats. The Nishinomaru Garden, encompassing the former "western citadel", is a lawn garden with 600 cherry trees, a tea house, the former Osaka Guest House and nice views of the castle tower from below. Unlike most of the rest of the castle grounds, the garden requires an admission fee.

The entire Osaka Castle Park covers about two square kilometers with lots of green space, sport facilities, a multi-purpose arena (Osakajo Hall) and a shrine dedicated to Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The park is one of Osaka's most popular hanami spot during the cherry blossom season, which usually takes place in early April.

Nishinomaru Garden during the cherry blossom season

Get There and Around

The recommended approach to Osaka Castle is through Otemon Gate at the park's southwestern corner. The closest station is Tanimachi 4-chrome Station along the Tanimachi Subway Line and Chuo Subway Line.

The closest JR station to Osaka Castle is Osakajokoen Station on the JR Loop Line, a 10 minute, 160 yen ride from JR Osaka Station.

How to get to and around Osaka

Hours and Fees

Castle Tower

Hours

9:00 to 17:00 (entrance until 16:30)
Extended hours during various holidays and special exhibitions

Closed

December 28 to January 1

Fees

600 yen

Nishinomaru Garden

Hours

9:00 to 17:00 (until 16:30 from November through February)
Open until 20:00 during the cherry blossom season.

Closed

Mondays (or following day if Monday is a national holiday), New Year holidays

Fees

200 yen (500 yen during the extended hours of the cherry blossom season)
Last updated: February 19, 2014
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Hotel Ichiei

A comfort modern Japanese hotel located in the center of Osaka. 3 train stations of Namba within a walking distance.

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Hotel Kinki

A hotel close to JR Osaka Sta. & subway Umeda Sta. Free WiFi in rooms & PC in lobby. Laundry, non-smoking rooms. From 2900Yen.

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Hotel Kuramoto

A clean ryokan with a history of nearly 60 years. From 4000yen. 2 min to Dotombori area. 5 min to 2 subway stations.

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Kaneyoshi Ryokan

A modern Japanese inn in Dotombori. the center of Osaka. 2 subway stations nearby. Close to many shops and Osaka Castle.

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Hotel Nikko Osaka

Deluxe hotel connected to the Subway Shinsaibashi Station. Located across the street from Daimaru department store and the famous shopping and dining center.

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Hilton Osaka Hotel

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Hotel Granvia Osaka

Very conveniently located inside JR Osaka Station City.

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Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport

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InterContinental Hotel Osaka

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Remm Shin-Osaka

Recently opened business hotel conveniently located inside JR Shin-Osaka Station.

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Swissotel Nankai Osaka

Well established, leading hotel conveniently located above Nankai Namba Station.

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The Ritz-Carlton Osaka Hotel

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