Originally built by the legendary war general, Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1583, Osaka castle has been destroyed and rebuilt several times. The first incident was instigated by Tokugawa Ieyasu, a former employee of the original owner, who overthrew his boss, burned the castle to the ground, then rebuilt it a few years later. The second came about forty years later after a couple of particularly nasty lightning strikes left the castle in a state of disrepair for 170 years. Repairs were finally implemented in 1843 but the castle went up in flames a third time during the Meiji revolution in 1868. It was reconstructed yet again around 1928-31. During WWII it was used by the military as an arsenal and was destroyed a fourth time in the bombing of Osaka in 1945. The final restoration project was completed in 1997.
Things to do & see
- The largest stone “Takoishi” or Ocotopus Stone, 59.4 m2, about 130 tons.
- Incredible stone masonry skills dating back to the 1620s: look for interlocking, mortar-less, granite boulders.
- Ancient stones donated by wealthy houses inscribed with family crests.
- Modern museum and stunning city views from the turret. Opening hours: 9am -5pm (4:30pm) adults￥500 kids FREE (under 15)
- Get your photo taken in samurai armour! (￥500)
- See Cherry blossoms in March/April.