Osaka Castle (Osaka Jo)

Osaka castle (Osaka Jo) is a 16th century Japanese castle in the city of Osaka, and it has an interesting history. It has seen various power struggles of past Japanese rulers, been destroyed once, was burnt down due to lightening, and has even survived world war air raids. Today, it has become a symbol of the vibrant and modern Japanese city of Osaka. The castle is surrounded by impressive moats which are filled with water and are adjoining tall stone walls. Adding to the aesthetics and surrounding the main castle tower is the Nishinomaru cherry tree garden, Neyagawa river and various parks and gardens full of greenery. For more information visit the official website of the castle here. The castle has a museum which explains some of the rich history of Osaka, and it is worth visiting. There is an elevator in the castle tower, so you do not have to worry about huffing and puffing, climbing its 7 several floors.

Below are pictures of a visit in early January:

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            (walking from Osaka-jo-koen station to the castle)

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                       (inside the castle complex park)

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             (Osaka Castle on top of a hill, is visible from far away)

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         (east side moat filled with water surrounding the castle tower)

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                             (east side of castle tower)

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             (new year decoration near the entrance of the tower)

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                (entering the castle tower through a bridge)

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                       (view of the castle from the north east side)

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                          (feeding birds near the east moat)

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                    (bridge to cross the moat on the north side)

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                                            (Osaka castle)

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               (magnificent architectural design with colors)

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                    (view after climbing on top of the wall)

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              (beautiful view of the castle from the base level)

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                                  (entrance to the main tower)

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                                   (ancient Japanese cannon)

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                           (support structure for the cannon)

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    (you can dress up like an ancient-era samurai and have your picture taken)

(tiger is symbolic as a protector, and along with the dragon, is covered in gold)

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                                 (view from top of the tower)

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                   (view from top of the tower – looking south)

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                                 (view from top of the tower – looking west)

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                        (view from top of the tower – looking west)

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                      (view from top of the tower – looking east)

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                       (view from top of the tower – looking east)

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                        (view from top of the tower – looking north)

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                      (view from top  – Osaka city in the background)

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        (Shudokan martial arts training hall on the south west side)

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              (the Hokoku shrine at the south side of the castle tower)

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                  (Hokoku shrine memorial area)

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(Nishinomaru garden has 600 cherry trees, a spectacular sight during the April cherry blossom season)

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Items: Osaka Castle Tower and Museum (official website)

Price: Price to visit the Castle Tower is 600 yen or ₹ 353. Children 15 years and under can go for free (price to visit Nishinomaru Garden is 200 yen or ₹ 115)

Location: 1-1 Osakajo, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 540-0002, Japan

Timings: Open everyday, 9:00 am to 5 pm (last admission 4:30 pm), Closed: December 28 – January 1

Telephone: +81 6-6941-3044

Type: History/Tourist/Cultural

How to get there:Take JR line to Osaka-jo-koen or go to Tanimachi 4-chome station on the Chūō and Tanimachi subway lines. Then walk 5 to 10 mins. Osaka-jo-koen is closest station to the castle but leads to the back entrance, while Tanimachi line station leads to the front Ote-mon gate entrance.

Language: Mainly Japanese.

Also visit: Osaka Aqualiner boat tour, Dotonbori (Namba Shopping Street)

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