A Complete Guide to Osaka Castle

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Want to know more about Osaka Castle?

Osaka Castle is one of the most beautiful and famous castles in Japan. It’s from 1583 and has played a big role in the history of the country.

It’s a place where you can stroll around in beautiful environments, take magical photos, and learn about interesting history. 

Down below you can read more about the castle and useful information before visiting:


The story behind Osaka Castle

The history of the castle began in 1583 when it was built by Hideyoshi Toyotomi. It was built on the former site of Honganji Temple.

The castle was Hideyoshi Toyotomi’s stronghold, and he succeeded to stop the wars that had been going on for more than one century and unifying the entire nation.

After Hideyoshi’s death in 1598, his chief retainer Ieyasu Tokugawa became the new Shogun (military leader). Ieyasu Tokugawa was the person who established the shogunate government in Edo (Tokyo).

The year of 1615, Ieyasu Tokugawa ruined the Toyotomi family and destroyed the castle during the Summer War of Osaka – both the stone wall and the watchtower were burned down.

What you can see today are the restored versions that they renovated during the Edo Period.

Throughout history, the Osaka Castle has been the battleground of major wars in Japan. It’s a historic Japanese site, and therefore it’s so popular among both locals and tourists.

Osaka castle

What is there to see?

The castle museum and observation deck

The main attraction at Osaka Castle is the castle museum and observation deck that’s located inside the castle.

The museum covers eight floors and displays the history of the castle. Inside you can see historical artifacts, paintings, and samurai costumes (that you can try on for a fee).

At the eight floor of the castle, there’s the observation deck where you have a magical view of the city.

It’s a nice museum to visit if you want to learn more about the castle and its history. It’s great for both children and adults!

osaka castle museum

The castle park

When visiting Osaka Castle, make sure to take your time and stroll around in the castle park. There are so many beautiful places to see, such as the castle pond that you can see in the picture below.

osaka castle garden

Photo: shutterstock

The Osaka Castle illumination

If you visit the castle after sunset, you’ll be able to see the illumination. Until 11pm every day, you can see the castle lit up by lights. It gives another perspective to the castle with a mysterious atmosphere.

osaka castle at night

The stone walls

The stone wall and moats surrounding the castle are some of the most impressive things to see while visiting.

The stone wall is 20 meters in height and 12 kilometer long. Its made from around 500.000 to 1.000.000 granite stones.

Next to the stone wall there are the moats that are around 70-90 meters in width. One of the most beautiful things about these moats is that you can see the reflection of the castle on a calm day.

It’s also possible to take a boat tour around the moats, which is another popular thing to do at the castle.

osaka castle boat tour

Photo: shutterstock

How much does it cost to visit Osaka Castle?

The castle park is free to visit, but to go inside the castle you have to pay a small fee.

  • Adults: 600 yen
  • 15 years or younger: Free

If you’re going in a larger group you get a discount depending on how many you are. For the group discount you have to be 15 persons or more.

Osaka Castle during different seasons

If you’re planning to visit Osaka Castle, it can be nice to know how it looks during the different seasons of the year. Two of the most popular times to visit is during koyo (autumn foliage) and sakura (cherry blossom in spring), however, it’s beautiful during winter and summer as well.

Spring

Spring is one of the most popular seasons to visit Osaka Castle. It’s during this season that you can see the cherry blossom, also known as sakura in Japan. The area around Osaka Castle turns pink, which looks absolutely magical.

There are no exact dates for sakura in Osaka, since it all depends on the temperature and weather each year.

osaka castle spring

Photo: shutterstock

Summer

If you’re around in Osaka during summer you’re going to see the castle surrounded by green lush nature. The weather is warm and nice, and the surroundings are absolutely beautiful.

osaka castle summer

Photo: shutterstock

Autumn

If you’re planning to visit Osaka in Autumn you might be lucky to see the beautiful autumn foliage, also known as Koyo in Japan.

The nature around Osaka Castle turns from green into red, orange and yellow colors. It’s magical and one of my favorite times to visit the castle.

autumn at osaka castle

Photo: shutterstock

Winter

Winter might not be the most popular or beautiful time of the year to visit the castle. The trees has lost its leafs and it can look pretty dull.

However, when the trees are covered in snow this place looks fairytale-like.

So if I would visit during the winter, I would go during the coldest and most snowy days of the year to see it all covered in snow.

osaka castle winter

Photo: shutterstock

How to get there

There are 8 stations that are close to the castle, but I can recommend going to one of these two stations:

Tanimachi Yonchome Station (the closest station to Osaka Castle)

This is the station that’s closest to the main gate, also known as Ootemon. First you catch the Tanimachi Line and then hop on the Chuo Line to reach Tanimachi Yonchome Station.

This is no doubt one of the best way to get to the castle if you want to start exploring from the main entrance.

Osakajo-Koen Station

If you don’t want to change lines to get to Osaka Castle you can go directly from Osaka Station to Osakajo-Koen Station.

Osakajo-Koen Station is the last station of the Osaka Loop Line, and takes around 10 minutes to reach.

The hop on hop off bus

You can also access the castle via one of the hop on hop off buses in Osaka. You can catch busses to different location and attractions in the city, including the Osaka Castle.

Book your tickets here

Recommended hotels near Osaka Castle

There are many hotels near Osaka Castle. Down below you have two recommended hotels, one that’s for budget travelers, and one for those seeking a luxurious hotel near Osaka Castle.

Hotel the Lutheran

This is a good hotel if you want to have a simple hotel room during your stay in Osaka. It’s located near Osaka Castle, as well as the metro.

Click here to see more info, price, and photos

Hotel New Otani Osaka

Hotel New Otani Osaka offers one of the best views of Osaka Castle in the city.

This luxurious hotel also features an indoor spa, fitness facility, a restaurant with a magical view of the city, and a delicious breakfast buffet.

Click here to see more info, price, and photos

osaka castle hotel


More about Osaka Castle

Address: 1-1 Osakajo, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 540-0002, Japan
Opening Hours: 9am to 5pm (last admission is at 4.30pm)
Closed: December 28th through January 1st
Telephone: +81 6-6941-3044

Frequently asked questions

It was built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the military leader, in 1583.

It was built in 1583, so it’s over 400 years old.

The castle ground covers an area of 61.000 square meters (15 acres).

It’s five stories on the outside, and eight stories on the inside. Each floor is filled with interesting exhibitions where you can learn about the history of the castle.

Osaka Castle is one of the most historic castles in the country. It has played an important role in the unification of Japan during the samurai era in the 16th century.

Today it’s a symbol of Osaka in the Kansai region of central Japan.

Yes, it’s possible to visit the castle park during the night to see the castle lit up by lights. However, it’s not possible to go inside the castle after 4.30 pm.

osaka castle at night

Map of Osaka Castle

Down below you have a map of Osaka Castle. If you have a pocket wifi during your stay in Osaka, you can use Google Maps to find it easier.


Do you have more questions about Osaka Castle? Leave a comment below!

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