Osaka Castle Park
The Osaka Castle Park is a large park (the second largest) that surrounds the Osaka Castle
, one of the most famous attractions of the city.
Around the park you can find a number of minor buildings belonging to the old castle and various other points of interest.
(admission 600 yen, opening hours 9-17)
The main building (Main Tower) of the Osaka Castle is a beautiful sight but devoid of any historical value.
In fact, although the foundation of the castle dates back to 1583, its tower was destroyed several times throughout history, and the current one is a reconstruction completed in 1997. The exterior was designed in the style of the ancient castle of the Edo period, while the interior features modern and functional spaces to house a museum. The museum is mainly dedicated to the castle and of course its founder Toyotomi Hideyoshi. From the eighth floor of the structure you can enjoy a beautiful view of the city.
Osaka Castle Tower
(admission 200 yen, opening hours 9-17, closed on mondays)
A part of the extensive grounds of the castle is occupied by this enclosed garden with an entrance fee, it is located precisely west of the tower, between the inner moat and the outer moat.
The interior mainly consists of lawns and about 600 cherry trees, that make this place one of the best of the city during the flowering period (hanami) in spring, during which it often remains open in the evening.
illuminated cherry trees in bloom in the Nishinomaru Garden, the castle in the background (photo taken by osakanight)
A small Shinto shrine in the southern part of the park, there isn't much else to say.
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
(admission 600 yen, opening hours 9:30-17, until 20 on fridays, closed on tuesdays)
This museum is located in front of the park, in the south-west, 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, where there is a gift shop and a restaurant, you 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 from the 10th floor of the Osaka History Museum (photo taken by osakanight)
Osaka Business Park (OBP)
The Osaka Business Park is a "cluster" of skyscrapers built right next to the park of the castle, where there are numerous offices and headquarters of major companies. In this area there is not much to report, in addition to the several skyscrapers and futuristic buildings that make a certain "impression", especially at night when the lights come on.
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 construction are the two towers Twin 21
, which house the branch of Osaka of the Panasonic Center
and the Panasonic Living showroom
(that are located in Tokyo respectively in Odaiba
From one of these two towers, the MID Tower
, you can enjoy a panoramic view free of charge.
view from the MID Tower of the Osaka Business Park (photo taken by Saito Shika)
Sleeping, where to stay near Osaka Castle
This area is a little distant from the "liveliest" corners of the city (Namba
, 20-25 minutes away by metro), it is a bit uncomfortable to stay because once you have visited the area of the castle you have finished, you should always move.
I just recommend the Carpe Diem Inn
, a small traditional Japanese style guesthouse (few rooms) surrounded by a beautiful garden, it seems a good experience, maybe for one night.
Some modern hotel can be found, however, between the skyscrapers of the OBP, for example the New Otani
(medium-high range) or the Monterey La Soeur
Pratical guide, how to get to the Osaka Castle Park and map
This area must necessarily be reached by train from the most popular areas of the city where you are probably staying, both from Namba and Umeda, as the crow flies there are more than 5 km.
The nearest stations are Temmabashi station
of the municipal subway) in the north-west, Morinomiya station
, Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi line
of the municipal subway, JR Osaka Loop line
) in the south-east, Osakajokoen station
(JR Osaka Loop line
) in the north-east.
In the heart of the OBP, there is instead the Osaka Business Park station
, served by the Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi line
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 Govoyagin
How to use Govoyagin
Govoyagin 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 Govoyagin 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 Govoyagin 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.