If you are traveling Japan, then surely Osaka is on your hit list. If you even go beyond Tokyo, don’t forget Osaka, which is a mere 3-hour Shinkansen away from Tokyo in the Kansai prefecture. Of course, you cannot visit Japan without checking out one of its many castles, and we highly recommend Osaka Castle to be on your anime hit list. Osaka has many sights and while Osaka Castle isn’t exactly close to the major hot spots like Dotonbori, Universal Studios Japan, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, or Tennouji Zoo; it is surely an anime hot spot to take note of.
Why exactly is Osaka Castle an anime hot spot? Well, it is featured in many anime including Smile Precure!, Hand Shakers, and Daybreak Illusion. Heck, Date Masamune has Osaka Castle in his sights in Sengoku Basara as a place for a showdown. Whether or not you enjoyed the anime, the splendor of Osaka Castle isn’t one to be missed. Read on to find out more!
Osaka Castle Info
|Location||Osaka Castle is closest to the Tanimachi 4-chome Station, which can be reached on the Tanimachi and Chuo subway lines. However, if you are traveling Japan with the JR Pass (which you should if you are traveling around Japan), you can take the JR Loop Line to Osakajokoen Station, reachable from Osaka Station.|
|Cost of Admission||600 yen|
|Hours of Operation||9 AM - 5 PM|
Nestled in the city of Osaka, which is known as the kitchen of Japan, Osaka Castle is a sight of historic glory amongst the towering skyscrapers and urban splendor. The castle grounds themselves are beautiful and the perfect place to walk along as you stroll through towards Osaka Castle. Along the way, you may pass by the Nishinomaru Garden and many yatai (street stalls) selling all sorts of delectable goodies you have only dreamt of from your favorite anime.
Osaka Castle itself stands looming over all and it is quite intimidating at first glance, yet it is also beautiful. Just imagine the main characters from Hand Shakers fighting Hayate and Chizuru about the castle grounds and atop the castle itself. With the beautiful animation from Hand Shakers, you get to see Osaka Castle in its splendor, but up close and personal, the castle has a presence that cannot be ignored.
Of course, we should make note that you can see the elevator that is basically attached to Osaka Castle on the outside. This is a precursor of what you will experience on the inside, so be forewarned. If you are only interested in the splendor and grandeur that is Osaka Castle, don’t go inside. Beyond the historical facade, you will be surprised to see that Osaka Castle is a bit more modern than you expected.
You can pay 600 yen to go inside, and learn more about Osaka Castle and its history. Inside, Osaka Castle is extremely modern and has been gutted out in favor for exhibits like a museum. You can explore the different exhibits available which speak of the history behind Osaka Castle. Should you choose to go up Osaka Castle the old fashioned way, you will have to trek floor upon floor of museum exhibits describing life in historic Osaka.
Osaka Castle was originally supposed to be the epicenter of the Toyotomi rule, but sadly, after Toyotomi Hideyoshi died, Osaka Castle was destroyed. Even when it was rebuilt, its tower was burned down by a strike of lightning. 1931 saw the rebuilding of the castle tower and Osaka Castle was renovated in the ‘90s into the splendor that we see today. Suppose it must be lucky that you can view museum-like exhibits on the inside as you travel your way up to the top.
Unlike Himeji Castle, which is located a little over an hour away by Shinkansen, you do not have to go up to the top. No, you can leave at any time or just head straight to the top instead of loitering and looking at the many historical exhibits. At the top, you will be greeted by a beautiful view of Osaka and an iconic picture. If you bothered to enter the castle, be sure to see the view before transcending back down towards the exit. The view might just take your breath away.
Of course, you can always get away with viewing it from afar and taking a picture like so many anime characters before you, like the girls from Smile Precure! Do not assume that you have failed your job as a tourist for not entering Osaka Castle. Everyone travels in their own way, right?
While Osaka is a popular tourist destination, thankfully, Osaka Castle is not overly crowded like places like Dotonbori. It may be the perfect place to check out from your busy travel plans or just to get away from the city sights. Either way, we believe you will love coming up to Osaka Castle.
You may want to consider going to Nishinomaru Garden, which is located on the Osaka Castle grounds, but unlike the rest of the grounds, there is an admission fee. The castle grounds are a major hot spot for hanami (sakurai viewing). We recommend trying all of the yatai as the foods can be quite delicious. In the fall, a fan favorite is the roasted sweet potatoes! Of course, when in Osaka, you cannot go wrong with some takoyaki. Mmm!
Different seasons will offer different views of Osaka Castle. As Japan does have four seasons, you may consider seeing it multiple times in different light.
Osaka is a popular tourist destination, but did you know it should be an anime destination, too? And Osaka Castle is one that just doesn’t translate the same in images as it does in person. How many fans out there have been to Osaka Castle? What do you think about it? Does anyone have Osaka Castle on their list of places to hit? Please share in the comments below.