A symbol of resilience

Osaka Castle Park

 

Osaka Castle is greatly intertwined with the history of the unification of Japan and like many castles, it has seen seen its fair share of calamity caused by natural disasters and political strife.

Originally built in the late 16th century, Osaka Castle was destroyed as a result of war in the early 17th century. Rebuilt not long after, much of the castle was lost to fire several decades later. Up until the Meiji Restoration (1868), the castle and its outer buildings existed in varying states of disrepair until a reconstruction effort was completed in the 1930s. Unfortunately, WWII and several calamities took their toll, and the entire compound again fell into disrepair.

Finally in 1997, the brilliant concrete reconstruction of Osaka Castle that exists today was completed. Perhaps the most visited site in the city, the castle’s mere presence adds a an unmistakable elegance to its center. There is something incredibly regal about the gold, green and black trimming around the alabaster walls.

The castle and surrounding park are part of a sprawling complex with an inner moat that wraps around the castle and an outer moat that roughly defines the borders of the complex. When viewed from a distance you can really appreciate the massiveness of the multi-leveled walls that form the plateau on which the castle rests.

When you make it to the actual castle you find a structure that it functions as an eight story museum, with each floor telling a different part of its history.

The first floor features an information center, museum shop and a multi-lingual headset rental booth. There is also a movie theater that features short films related to the founder of the castle, Hideyoshi Toyotomi.

On the second floor you will a find information about the general history of the castle, including references on the impact of the end of the feudal era.

The great Daimyo or Lord, Hideyoshi Toyotomi is the main focus of the third floor. There are fantastic displays of suits of armor as well and you can even try one on. Marvel at the transportable opulence of the Golden Tea Room and its gilded vessels.

The fourth floor offers more information on the lord of Osaka Castle and displays authentic items connected to him. There is also a short film on the castle’s history.

The Summer War and the rule of Hideyoshi Toyotomi make up the subject matter of the films on the fifth floor. An intricate model of the war is on display, with an unparalleled attention to detail.

As the sixth floor is not open to the public, the next destination is the seventh floor, where you will find more audiovisuals on the man who is given much of the credit for uniting Japan. There is presentation on the history of the land on which Osaka Castle was constructed. Apparently, there had been a temple fortress on the same spot.

Finally, the eighth floor is the castle lookout point, offering splendid views of the city as well as a close up look at some of the castle’s exterior accents.

Access: From JR Osaka Station, take the JR Osaka Loop Line to JR Osaka-jo Koen Station.

Cancellation Policy

1) Detailed tour information & conditions will be given after application is made; please read and confirm the final itinerary before the departure date.
2) Reservations: Fill out the application contact form; application is complete upon payment. Reservations accepted by phone, mail, fax, online, or other communicative methods. The contract is not valid at time of reservation; the customer will be asked to submit an application form and payment within 3 days from time of reservation. If application form and payment are not submitted within the term, the reservation shall be considered void.
3) Items not included in tour price: Transportation costs not included in itinerary, optional tour fees, excess baggage fees, any fees of a personal nature (phone bills, meal costs, etc.) Items excluded from the tour will be stated in the tour information.
4) Cancellation fees: When the application is cancelled by the customer or when payment has not been made by the specified date, Ryobi Tours shall receive a percentage of the per person tour fee as a cancellation fee, or a penalty fee. Differences in room charges that result from one person in a group cancelling shall be charged to the participating person(s).

Cancellation Date Up to 21 days prior 20-8 days prior 7-2 days prior Day prior to start of tour Day of tour After start of tour/non-participation with no contact
Cancellation Fee No charge 20% of tour fee 30% of tour fee 40% of tour fee 50% of tour fee 100% of tour fee