Osaka-jō

Osaka-jō information

Location
Osaka , Japan
Address
1-1 Osaka-jō
Getting there
Train: JR Osaka Loop line to Osaka-jō-kōen
Subway: Chūō or Tanimachi line to Tanimachi 4-chōme, exit 9
More information
www.osakacastle.net
Prices
grounds/castle keep free/¥600, ¥900 combined with Osaka Museum of History
Opening hours
9am-5pm, to 7pm Aug
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After unifying Japan in the late 16th century, General Toyotomi Hideyoshi built this castle (1583) as a display of power, using, it's said, the labour of 100,000 workers. Although the present structure is a 1931 concrete reconstruction (refurbished 1997), it's nonetheless quite a sight, looming dramatically over the surrounding park and moat. Inside is an excellent collection of art, armour, and day-to-day implements related to the castle, Hideyoshi and Osaka. An 8th-floor observation deck has 360-degree views.

Hideyoshi's original granite structure was said to be impregnable, yet it was destroyed in 1614 by the armies of Tokugawa Ieyasu , rebuilt 15 years later, then razed again when another generation of the Tokugawa clan refused to cede it to the forces of the Meiji Restoration in 1868.

The castle and park are at their colourful best (and most crowded) in the cherry-blossom and autumn-foliage seasons.