Osaka Castle: What to Know and What to Do While You're There!
A Castle Both Modern and Old
A Storied History
After Toyotomi died is when things around the castle really heated up, though, as Toyotomi Hideyoshi's son Hideyori grasped at his father's power and based himself in the recently completed Osaka Castle. Japanese history buffs may know... this did not work out particularly well for Hideyori, in the end. Tokugawa Ieyasu, who had been a supporter of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, was less of a fan of his son. The famous Sekigahara War began, and Tokugawa won, claiming power for himself and changing the history of the country. During this struggle, Tokugawa Ieyasu again ruined the structures built on this land, severely damaging Osaka Castle. This meant that the castle was then rebuilt in the 1620's, version number two. The castle walls built during this era still stand, if you're looking for some genuinely old structures during your visit!
Unfortunately, the castle grounds clearly don't have a history of good luck. Fires in 1660 and 1665 damaged large parts of the building, and proper repairs weren't made until the mid-1800's. Not more than 30 years later, in 1868, the castle was captured and then burnt to the ground, a part of the Meiji Restoration. At this point the grounds were used for military barracks for a while, until 1931, when the most recent edition of the castle was finally constructed. The castle didn't get through World War II entirely unscathed, but for the first time in its history, it mostly survived the ordeal. After some major repairs in the '90s, the castle is now a major sightseeing spot, with an entirely modern interior taken up by a historical museum. If you want to read more about the history of the area, Japan, and the three unifiers of Japan, the museum is worth a visit!
A Place to Stay All Day
(Cherry Blossom Season: 9:00~19:00, Golden Week Holidays: 9:00~18:00)
Admission Fees: 600 yen, free for children in middle school or younger
Hours: 9:00~17:00 (Mar. to Oct.), 9:00~16:30 (Nov. to Feb.), 9:00~20:00 (cherry blossom season)
Admission Fees: 200 yen, free for children in middle school or younger
If you're looking for a place to stay while you enjoy Osaka, check out our article on Imano Osaka Shinsaibashi Hostel!
Or if you want to do some shopping while you're there, head to Kuromon Market for something to eat, and URBAN RESEARCH Shinsaibashi for some new duds!
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