Osaka Castle Area大阪城エリア
A water city that affords cruising pleasures and sightseeing. The symbol of Osaka with its 500-year history. Around the castle, Osaka Business Park abounds with towering skyscrapers, and Sakura-no-miya-koen Park is perfect for viewing cherry blossoms.
The Osaka Castle was built in the end of the 16th century by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a well-known warlord who brought the whole country under his rule in the late 16th century. It has been burned down in a series of battles in the 17th century, and reconstructed later. Once again it was destroyed by fire, its donjon only reduced to ashes this time, and was reconstructed at last early in the 20th century. On display at its 1st to 7th floors are various weapons, armors and folklife items of those days. There is a view spot on the 8th floor.
The premises of the castle contain a lawn-covered park with an area of about 105.6ha, which is thronged with cherry blossom viewers in the springtime. In its neighborhood stand the Osaka Municipal Museum that presents culture and history of Osaka, the Toyokuni-jinja Shrine, the Osaka-jo Hall with a seating capacity of about 16,000 and others. With waterways running around the castle, there is a water bus service that takes you out on an 1-hour cruise in the river that flows through the city.
In summer, the Okawa River in the northwest of the Osaka Castle becomes the stage for the Osaka Tenjin-matsuri Festival known as one of the three largest in Japan. The sight of a fleet of about 100 ships going down the river is a must-see, so are the gorgeous fireworks going up at the same time.
The nearby Kyobashi area is known to be the most entertaining quarter of Osaka. Kyobashi Station is a big junction that connects the JR Line, the Keihan Line and the subway, and the waves of people never seem to cease in this busy station.
Across Neya-gawa River on the Chuo-ku side is Osaka Business Park, or OBP. Skyscrapers stand side by side in the triangular OBP site, and major company showrooms and many entertainment facilities such as restaurants and the Digital Art Square are gathered here.
In the north of Osaka Castle, there is Sakura-no-miya-koen Park at Sakura-no-miya on the east bank of Okawa River. It has had a reputation for beautiful cherry blossoms since ancient times. The narrow park is made along the dike with a promenade on each side of the river, where many people stroll and enjoy the beautiful view.
On the west bank of O-kawa River is the Osaka Zohei(Mint) Museum. This western style building is 100 years old and its collection of coins and decorations of Japan and other countries has more than 4,000 items on exhibition. The 350 cherry trees in the area make an arcade of cherry blossoms and attract a great number of people in the springtime.
From Tokyo :
[Rail] About 2 hours and 30 minutes to Shin-Osaka Station from Tokyo Station by JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line. About 13 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station to Osaka-jo Koen Station via JR Osaka Station
From Osaka :
[Rail] 18 min from Tennoji to Osaka-jo-koen Station by JR Loop Line.