If you could only have one day to go to Osaka, Japan, I would recommend you to see Osaka Castle! (But why would you only go there for one day? I wouldn’t judge). It is the must-see destination in Osaka.
Osaka Castle is a symbol of Osaka, which has been handed down through the dramas in history to the present day. It is widely known as an emblem of the power and fortune of Hideyoshi Toyotomi. Hideyoshi, having employed the castle as his stronghold, succeeded in quelling the wars which had continued for more than one century, thereby unifying the entire nation.
The present-day Main Tower is the third generation. It follows the Main Tower from the Toyotomi period, which was destroyed by fire during the Summer War, and the tower from the Tokugawa period, which was struck by lightning and was burned down. Since its construction, Osaka Castle repeatedly featured as the battleground of the major wars in Japanese history. (source)
Since we were from Tsuruhashi, we rode the train from JR Line Tsuruhashi to JR Line Morinomiya. The ticket costs 120 yen each. After we got off the station, we went to 711 and bought heat packs. The guy in the cashier was kind so we thought we should ask for directions. He had a map on the counter and told us where to go. Apparently, the a lot of travelers ask for directions. I think it’s kind for that 711 branch to provide map and we’re thankful for its gracious employees (We do things old-school because we don’t have pocket WiFi. I planned our itineraries at home and at our hotel).
Osaka Castle Park
The Osaka Castle Park is nice for strolling. The weather was lovely. We walked and took pictures. There were benches, food stalls, and vending machines around. Several kinds of people were there: tourists, locals, students, athletes, and vendors.
This cat reminded me of Haruki Murakami’s books. We also see 2 more cats after this white cat. It was confirmed! I’m in the land of Murakami. lol
We rode a train wagon to go closer to the castle. I forgot how much it cost.
The castle is picture perfect. I think I took a hundred of photos of this castle. I could admire it all day. It is very beautiful in every angle.
The ticket costs 600 Yen for adult and free for 15 years old and below.
You can either walk on stairs or ride an elevator directly to 5th floor. Of course, we climbed the stairs to go to all the floors. On the second floor, you can try on a helmet, surcoat and kosode kimono, and have your photograph taken. But we did not do that. It costs 500 yen per person.
On 3rd floor, there are historical artifacts of Hideyoshi Toyotomi and his era. There are Golden Tea Room replica, Osaka Castle model, and a shop where I bought a postcard. Photography is not allowed. I was not aware of it the moment I entered that floor. I took a video of the model of Osaka Castle. When my sister told me that it was not allowed, I shoved my camera inside my bag. It was a short video clip, I swear. I did not erase it but I did not upload it either. I think some people saw what I did but no one did something about it. Except one guy. This guy stared at me for a long time. I just brushed it off like I did not notice him staring. Like, what should I do, right??
On to the next floor, photography is not allowed still. It is a continuation of historical artifacts. It has more scrolls/scripts and paintings. It also has folding screens, portraits, and armors. I enjoyed this floor better than 3rd floor.
On the 5th floor, yay~! I can take photos. This floor contains the Summer War in Osaka. There are screens to watch movies of the famous war scenes on the folding screen. There are banners of Warlords and the miniature figures of the intense battle between the troops of Yukimura Sanada & Tadanao Matsudaira.
The sixth floor is closed to visitors, but I think it was just made by little floorboards that you can overlook the fifth floor. I’m not sure but that’s how I saw it.
On the 7th floor, there are presentations of the life of Hideyoshi. There are panels and little screens showing miniature dioramas. The dioramas are little holograms. It plays one at a time. We still didn’t know if it starts because of sensor or that there are time intervals.
On the last floor, it shows the view of Osaka City. There is also a museum shop.
Observation Deck50 meters above the ground
This was in the first floor. A fortune-telling lottery. I took one but it only showed a number. It said that I will only get to know what it says when I pay for it in the cashier. Never mind, my excitement just went down.
After all the walking, we need food!! First time to eat a legit takoyaki and ramen.
Osaka Castle 〒540-0002 1-1, Osakajo, Chuo-ku, Osaka City Open for 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Last admission is at 4:30 p.m.) Closed on December 28th through January 1st http://www.osakacastle.net/