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Osaka Castle Park

last update: May 09, 2022
The Osaka Castle Park (大阪城公園, Osaka-Jō-Kōen) is a park full of cherry trees, the second largest in the city, occupying an area with a long history behind it. In fact, the Osaka Castle once stood here. The reconstruction of the keep of the ancient castle today dominates the landscape of the area with its grandeur and is one of the most visited monuments in Osaka.

Things to do and things to see in Osaka Castle Park

The freely accessible Osaka Castle Park covers approximately two square kilometers and includes large green lawns, various sports facilities, a shrine dedicated to Toyotomi Hideyoshi (Hokoku Shrine), as well as numerous remains of the ancient castle that once stood in this area. The most important building is undoubtedly the keep of the castle, a recent reconstruction but still impressive in the eyes of a tourist, and which houses a museum inside. Osaka Castle Park is also one of Osaka's most popular cherry blossom spots in the early weeks of April. Near the park there is an important museum on the history of the city, the Osaka History Museum, and several multipurpose arenas that host concerts and other events. In stark contrast to the style of the ancient feudal castle, just north of the park there is a modern business center full of skyscrapers, the Osaka Business Park.
osaka castle main keep

Castle's Main Keep

(admission 600¥, opening hours 9-17)
The main keep of Osaka Castle, while very beautiful to look at, has no historical value. In fact, although the foundation of the castle dates back to 1583, its tower has been destroyed several times over the course of history, and the current one is a reconstruction of 1931, severely damaged during the last war and renovated in 1997. The exterior was built following the style of the ancient Edo-era castle, while the interior is characterized by modern and functional spaces to house a museum. The museum is dedicated to the castle and its founder, Toyotomi Hideyoshi. From the eighth floor of the building you can enjoy an excellent view of the city.

Nishinomaru Garden

(admission 200¥, opening hours 9-17, closed on mondays)
A portion of the extensive grounds of the old castle are now occupied by this garden with an entrance fee. It is located precisely west of the main keep, between the inner moat and the outer moat. Inside there are large lawns and about 600 cherry trees, that make this place one of the best of the city during the cherry blossom period (hanami) in spring, and during this period it often remains till night.
osaka castle from nishinomaru at night during hanami enlightened cherry trees in bloom in the Nishinomaru Garden, with the castle's keep in the background (credits)
hokoku shrine in osaka

Hokoku Shrine

(free admission)
A small Shinto shrine in the southern part of the park. It is dedicated to Toyotomi Hideyoshi and was built in 1879 by Emperor in the area of Nakanoshima, and was moved to the current position in 1961.
osaka history museum

Osaka History Museum

(admission 600¥, opening hours 9:30-17:00, until 20 on fridays, closed on tuesdays)
This museum is located in front of Osaka Castle Park, south-west side, in a tall modern oval building. The museum itself is set up between the 7th and the 10th floor, and must be visited by following a path downward: from the first floor, which houses a gift shop and a restaurant, you will take a lift to the 10th floor, and from there you begin to go down. As the name suggests, it is dedicated to the history of the city. Inside there are numerous life-size reconstructions of scenes and buildings of various ages. From the upper floors you can also enjoy a beautiful view of the city, particularly of the castle with the skyscrapers of the Business Center in the background.
view of osaka castle from osaka history museum view from the 10th floor of the Osaka History Museum (credits)

Osaka Business Park (OBP)

The Osaka Business Park is a cluster of skyscrapers built right next to Osaka Castle Park, where there are several offices and headquarters of major companies. When the lights are turned on at night, the area has a certain futuristic hypermodern atmosphere, but besides that there is little to say about it. Inside the Matsushita IMP Building there is the International Market Place, a shopping center with many shops of foreign brands and ethnic restaurants. Another interesting structure are the two towers called Twin 21, which house the branch of Osaka of the Panasonic Center and the Panasonic Living showroom. Lastly, from one of these two towers, the MID Tower, you can enjoy a panoramic view free of charge.
view of osaka castle from obp mid tower view from the MID Tower of the Osaka Business Park (credits)

Concert and event halls

The Osaka Castle Park area is famous in Osaka as the location of important multipurpose arenas that host concerts and other various types of events:

Where to stay near Osaka Castle Park

This area is a little far from the liveliest neighborhoods of the city (Namba and Umeda, 20-25 minutes away by metro), and it isn't among the most recommended areas where to stay in Osaka. We just recommend the Carpe Diem Inn, a small traditional Japanese style guesthouse (few rooms) surrounded by a beautiful garden. A particular alternative to the usual business hotels. In addition, some modern hotel can be found among the skyscrapers of the OBP, for example the New Otani (medium-high range) or the Monterey La Soeur (mid range).

How to get to Osaka Castle Park

People usually get to this area by train or subway from the most central areas of the city (Namba and Umeda), which are both, as the crow flies, more than 5 km far. The nearest stations are:

Map of Osaka Castle Park, Osaka

Guided tours, activities and other things to do

If you are planning a trip to Japan and you want to do something more than just visiting famous places and monuments, we suggest you to use Rakuten Travel Experiences.

How to use Rakuten Travel Experiences

Rakuten Travel is a very useful website to enrich your travel experience, especially if you are going solo or it's your first time in Japan.
Because of the language barrier (and more), in Japan it is very difficult to interact with the locals and to get off the tourist track.
Thanks to Rakuten Travel you can find a lot of interesting and sometimes unique guided tours and activities all over Japan (and not only in Japan), that you would otherwise never be able to enjoy.
But there's more: on Rakuten Travel you can also buy tickets for several famous attractions, events, transportation and other useful services for tourists. Last but not least, you can reserve a table in hundreds of restaurants.

Some examples

Take a look at Rakuten Travel Experiences

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