Osaka: Osaka Castle

Located in Chuo-ku, Osaka Prefecture in Japan, Osaka Castle (大坂城 or 大阪城, Ōsaka-jō ) is one of Japan's most famous castles. It also played a major role in the unification of Japan during the Azuchi-Momoyama period.
Under the command of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Osaka Castle was built in 1563 on the site of the Ikko-ikki Temple of Ishiyama Hogan-ji. Toyotomi wanted the castle to look like that of the Azuchi Castle (Oda Nobunaga's headquarters) but it turned out much better. Osaka Castle was completed sometime in 1597, however, Toyotomi Hideyoshi died soon after. The castle was then passed to his son Toyotomi Hideyori.
Map of Osaka Castle Park
Gate going to the castle

Eating ice cream at one of the stalls near the gate
The Expo '70 Time Capsule
Details of the capsule's opening date.
Osaka Castle was built on two raised platforms of landfill supported by sheer walls of cut rock. The central castle building is five stories tall with an additional three stories underground. 
The castle as seen several meters away from the gate
Statue of Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Going back to its history... In 1614, Tokugawa Ieyasu attacked Toyotomi Hideyori and started the Siege of Osaka. Despite being outnumbered, Toyotomi's forces managed to protect the castle's outer walls. After a cease in hostility, Tokugawa agreed to stop attacking the castle granting that Toyotomi should have the outer moat filled. The tensions erupted again when Tokugawa found out that Toyotomi is massing a larger army and stopped filling up the moat. 
A history marker near the castle
Castle moat
A dried up moat...
Godzilla and Angilas fighting near the castle (and destroying it after) photo from en.japantravel.com
As seen in Detective Conan Movie 7: Crossroad in the Ancient Capital

In 1615, Tokugawa Ieyasu's forces managed to route the defenders and as a result the Toyotomi clan perished. In 1620, the heir to the shogunate, Tokugawa Hidetaga began to reconstruct the castle. He assigned the task of constructing new walls to individual samurai clans.

Different pictures of the castle facade:





Throughout the years the castle was also subjected by the wrath of Mother Nature and the destructiveness of man. The castle burned after being struck by lightning in 1660 and 1665. It was also burned in the civil conflicts during the Meiji Restoration and was destroyed during bombing raids in World War 2. Osaka Castle was restored several times in 1620,1843,1928 and 1995.
Osaka Castle under reconstruction in 1928
Closing time!
Our visit to Osaka Castle was unplanned. It was during after our trip to Dotonbori that our Japanese family surprised us by bringing us to the castle. Sadly, the castle museum/ interior was closed when we visited. We spent our time checking out the souvenir shop and took nice photos of the castle facade and its surroundings instead.

Getting there:

Ride the JR West, Osaka Loop Line. Board down at Osakajokoen Station and walk several blocks going to the castle.

Ratings:
Crowd
Cleanliness
Overall rating

Comments

  1. Schöner Beitrag :-) LG
    www.lebeninderprovence.blogspot.fr

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