Lonely Planet review
This castle was built as a display of power by Toyotomi Hideyoshi after he achieved his goal of unifying Japan. One hundred thousand workers toiled for three years to construct an 'impregnable' granite castle, finishing the job in 1583. It was destroyed 32 years later by the armies of Tokugawa Ieyasu, rebuilt within 10 years, then suffered a further calamity when another generation of the Tokugawa clan razed it rather than let it fall to the forces of the Meiji Restoration in 1868.
The present structure is a 1931 concrete reconstruction of the original, which was refurbished in 1997. The interior houses an excellent collection of displays relating to the castle, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and the city of Osaka. On the 8th floor is an observation deck with 360-degree views. The castle and park are at their colourful best in the cherry-blossom and autumn-foliage seasons.
The Ōte-mon gate, the main entrance to the park, is a 10-minute walk northeast of Tanimachi-yonchōme Station (Tanimachi 4-chome) on the Chūō and Tanimachi subway lines. You can also take the JR Osaka Loop line, get off at Osaka-jō-kōen and enter through the back of the castle.