OWL Magazine Korea

Osaka, One of Japan’s Three Famous Castles – Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle, along with Himeji Castle and Kumamoto Castle, is renowned as one of Japan’s three famous castles. Interestingly, Osaka Castle has historical ties to Korea, as it was built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a figure associated with a painful chapter in Korean history.

“Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi”

This castle was constructed by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a key figure in the events that led to the Imjin War (Japanese invasions of Korea). Hideyoshi, who had served under Oda Nobunaga, a powerful warlord in Japan during the Sengoku period, rose to prominence after Nobunaga’s death.

Following Nobunaga’s demise, Hideyoshi swiftly absorbed his forces, eventually unifying Japan. Subsequently, Hideyoshi formulated plans to invade Korea, leading to the Imjin War in 1592.

“Osaka Castle Built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi”

Osaka Castle was erected not far from Kyoto, the former capital of Japan during that era. After its construction by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Osaka Castle became entangled in various historical events.

Particularly notable was the Summer Siege of Osaka, which saw Hideyoshi’s regime transition to Tokugawa Ieyasu after his death.

“Aftermath of World War II – Destruction and Restoration”

As with many cultural landmarks in Japan, Osaka Castle fell victim to the ravages of World War II. The U.S. bombings that devastated Osaka in 1945 reduced Osaka Castle to ruins.

The current Osaka Castle we see today is a post-war reconstruction. While it maintains an exterior reminiscent of its original form, the interior has been restored using reinforced concrete. Thanks to these efforts, the central tower of Osaka Castle, called “Chūsūkaku,” is equipped with an elevator, allowing visitors to ascend to the fifth floor.

“Various Attractions Inside Osaka Castle”

Presently, Osaka Castle is surrounded by a park and is open to the public, offering free admission to the park area. However, certain attractions within the castle grounds may require an entrance fee.

Inside Osaka Castle, visitors can explore various attractions such as Chūsūkaku, Nishinomaru Gardens, museums, pleasure boats, an armory, and a lookout tower.

“Pleasure Boat ‘Gozabune Naito’ within Osaka Castle”

Within Osaka Castle, there is a service that allows visitors to take a pleasure boat tour around the castle called “Gozabune Naito.” This boat offers a unique perspective of Osaka Castle from the moat.

“Sights Around Osaka Castle”

The vicinity of Osaka Castle also offers other attractions worth exploring. Along the route to Osaka Castle, you can encounter the Osaka Museum of History, Osaka International Peace Center, and the Aqua-Liner water bus.

“Free Facilities with the Osaka Amazing Pass”

All the facilities mentioned earlier can be accessed for free if you have the Osaka Amazing Pass. This pass covers a range of locations, from Chūsūkaku to the pleasure boat Gozabune Naito and even the Osaka Museum of History. It’s recommended to take full advantage of the pass and explore diverse sites during your visit.

While Osaka Castle may not be the most uplifting destination for Korean visitors due to the historical context, acknowledging and confronting this shared history is essential to preventing its recurrence.

“Osaka Castle in Osaka, Japan”

  • Address: 1-1 Osakajo, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 540-0002, Japan
  • Phone: +81 6-6941-3044
  • Operating Hours: 9:00 – 17:00
  • Website: Osaka Castle