Osaka Castle

Map & Directions
Osaka Castle was first built starting 1583 under the new ruler and unifier of the nation Hideyoshi Totyotomi. After his death in 1598 Japan saw changes of power and the original castle was destroyed in the summer siege of Osaka in 1615, a battle between Hideyoshi's son, Hideyori, and the Edo (now Tokyo) based Tokugawa clan.

The castle tower was rebuilt in a different design around 1628, but unfortunately was struck by lightning and burned down in 1665. Until the early 1900's there was no castle tower sitting on the top of the vast rock platform, when then Osaka City Mayor Seki Hajime took the intiative and called upon the locals for funding a rebuild.

A concrete reconstruction was completed in 1931, which was built according to drawings of the original builiding and now serves as a museum with an observatory on the top floor. The original screen drawings can now be seen in the museum.

The tower was spared significant damage in the second world war and saw its last major renovation in 1997.

Surrounding the inner castle grounds is the vast Osaka Castle Park, a popular place for locals to enjoy the cherry blossoms in spring and the autumn leaves in fall. With some 4,000 cherry trees, the park is one of the Japan's most visited cherry blossom locations and a great place to go for a run or walk.

While the main castle tower was rebuilt about a century ago, several buildings from the 1600s are still standing. The main entrance Otemon gate and Sengan turret on the west side are among these, making them some of the oldest structures in the city.