Osaka Castle Park
Though a city celebrated mostly for its modern, brash and vibrant character, Osaka is a city with a long and important history, reflected in the grand architecture, open spaces and feudal defences of Osaka Castle Park. Occupying a vast area in the heart of the city, the park includes the reconstructed castle, expansive public gardens, temples and shrines, along with multiple cultural and sports facilities. Centred around Osaka Castle – one of Japan’s largest castles – and surrounded by the original foundation walls and large moats, the park is in many ways the historic and public heart of the city.
First constructed in the late-16th century, the castle was the largest in Japan at the time before it was destroyed in 1615. Rebuilt in the 1620, the castle was again destroyed in 1665 when struck by lightning and set alight. It was not until 1931 that the castle would be reconstructed again, miraculously surviving the heavy bombing of WWII the castle enjoyed renewal in the 1990s and remains one of Osaka’s most iconic sights. Open daily from 09:00 to 17:00 (other than Dec.28 to Jan.1), the castle houses artefacts and materials relating to the history of the castle.
First-time visitors are typically drawn to the park by the park, an impressive structure that appears to float above the parks and garden below while hovering in the centre of an otherwise modern city. It’s important to note that the entire structure is a reconstruction with no original features inside, which can leave some visitors disappointed. As such, combining your visit to the castle with further exploration of the park is worthwhile.
For visitors heading there in spring, Nishinomaru Garden is one of the city’s best cherry blossom-viewing spots while the rest of the park includes numerous shrines, temples, museums, restaurants and more. The open spaces of the park often relief from the crowds and hustle of the city while in the summer months, also affording escape from the heat and humidity which can be brutal. The park is accessible at all times of day.
Osaka Castle: 09:00 to 17:00 (last entry at 16:30) / Park is accessible at all times of day
Osaka Castle: Open daily (other than Dec.28-Jan.1) / Park is accessible throughout the year
Given the size of the park it can be approached from multiple directions and is within walking distance of several train station. For visitors heading to the castle, accessing the park via Temmabashi Station or Tanimachiyonchome Station will be the most convenient options