Today our plan for Osaka is to visit the Osaka Castle. Actually my plan is to go Nara from Kyoto. But my cousin insists in going to Osaka because Osaka Castle is a must. After walking 15mins from the train station, we have reached the outskirts of Osaka Castle. We would quite surprise even during cold weather (around few degrees) people would pinic at the park. There are even joggers wearing quite thin material as clothing.
This is the entrance to the Osaka Castle. It looks quite small, more like a side entrance. But it is the main entrance. I guess this is the strategy of the castle who once never failed to protect its owner until one fateful war who torn it down.
Just in front of the Osaka Castle, there are vendors selling hot steaming snacks. I want to buy some, but I'm afraid that I can't eat in the castle. So end up, I didn't buy any. But there are several Japanese buying the snacks and sitting on the bench. Surprisely, most of the people are locals instead of foreigners. I guess it is a norm that people staying nearby would come to walk their dogs or just mingle with their friends in the park.
Once we enter the castle, we are lead to the lift queue. The security guard explains that the max level we can go up using the lift is 5th floor. Remaining of the floor we have to climb by stairs. We cannot take photos in most of the areas. So you really have to go down personally to look at what is in store for you. You definitely won't regret if you love Japanese culture and history.
In summary, Osaka Castle is built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi who was born as peasant. After several "careers" changed, he finally worked under Oda Nobunaga. This castle helps him won lotsa of wars and he gains fame & power over the years. He adopted several children and did not have any children until age of 50plus. Unfortunately during his early 60s, he suspected that his wives & adopted children is planning for rebellion, he killed them all. (That's pretty sad) At his death bed, he asked his minister to take care of his 6yrs old son.
This is one of the story I remember quite clearly because I find is quite a tragic. There are also other stories about his wars and how he lead his life.
How to get to Osaka Castle
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.