1-1 Osakajo, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 540-0002, Japan
Interior, exterior and aerial photos page: 1
Osaka Castle is a Japanese castle in Chuo-ku, Osaka, Japan. The castle is one of Japan’s most famous, and played a major role in the unification of Japan during the sixteenth century of the Azuchi-Momoyama period.
The main tower of Osaka Castle is situated on a plot of land roughly one square kilometer. It is built on two raised platforms of landfill supported by sheer walls of cut rock, using a technique called Burdock piling, each overlooking a moat. The central castle building is five stories on the outside and eight stories on the inside, and built atop a tall stone foundation to protect its occupants from attackers.
The Castle grounds, which cover approximately 15 acres, contain thirteen structures which have been designated as Important Cultural Assets by the Japanese government, including:
- Ote-mon Gate
- Sakura-mon Gate
- Ichiban-yagura Turret
- Inui-yagura Turret
- Rokuban-yagura Turret
- Sengan Turret
- Tamon Turret
- Kinmeisui Well
- Kinzo Storehouse
- Enshogura Gunpowder Magazine
- Three sections of castle wall all located around Otemon Gate
In 1583 Toyotomi Hideyoshi commenced construction on the site of the Ikko-ikki temple of Ishiyama Hongan-ji. Toyotomi wanted to build a castle that mirred Oda’s, but surpassed it in every way: The plan featured a five-story main towere, with three extra stories underground, and gold leaf on the sides of the tower to impress visitors. In 1585 the Inner donjon was completed. Toyotomi continued to extend and expand the castle, making it more and more formidable to attackers. In 1597 construction was completed and Hideyoshi died. Osaka Castle passed to his son, Toyotomi Hideyori.
The castle is open to the public, and is easily accessible from Osakajokoen Station on the JR West Osaka Loop Line. It is a popular spot during festival seasons, and especially during the cherry blossom bloom, when the sprawling castle grounds are covered with food vendors and taiko drummers. The large indoor arena Osaka-jo Hall is also located within the grounds of the castle park.