A water city that affords cruising pleasures and sightseeing. Osaka castle-the symbol of Osaka with its over 400 years of history fusing the old and new, with towering skyscrapers abounded cherry blossom trees and soundings waterways. A sight to be enjoyed in any season.
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 "AQUA-LINER" that takes you out on 1-hour cruise in the river that flows through the city to enjoy famous and historical sites while passing under many bridges to learn Osaka from the water.
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.
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. In the spring, the spectacular cherry blossoms here form a breathtaking tunnel of pink that drawing great crowds from across the nation and abroad.
[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
[Rail] 18 min from Tennoji to Osaka-jo-koen Station by JR Loop Line.