Translated by Piyo
Take a Walk Around the Magnificent Osaka Castle in the Evening
Written by Atsuko Yagura
Osaka Castle(大阪城) is located in the center of Osaka. I have a random question for you: Who do you think built Osaka Castle? You may think the answer is Hideyoshi Toyotomi (豊臣秀吉) because of its location, but that's not right. Actually, the stone fences and turrets which still stand today were all built in the Tokugawa period (after the 1620s). During the day, many tourists come to see Osaka Castle, but personally I more prefer the view of the castle in the evening. The castle is lit up everyday after sunset until 23:00. In the evening, you can get a close look at the magnificent castle tower shining in the white light. Not only the tower, but also the gates and turrets are lit up indirectly, making the atmosphere a little more mysterious. Let's have a walk around these nice places in the evening near the castle.
The Shining Castle in the Dark; Loved for Generations
Let's begin with the castle tower. Elevators are now installed in the tower, so of course the tower isn't considered an untouched structure. Actually the castle tower was reconstructed by the local people of Osaka in 1931. This means "ordinary citizens of Osaka", like local farmers or owners of flower shops, rebuilt the symbol of their town. It's a heartwarming story of the people's love for the castle.
You can enjoy beautiful and special illuminations several times a year, for example the tower is lit up with blue on World Autism Awareness Day; with pink on the occasion of Pink ribbon campaigns; and if you're lucky enough, you can see the castle shining in rainbow colors.
"Otemon" the Gate Standing on the Path to the Castle
Now let's go to see "Otemon", the main gate of Osaka Castle.
The castle may look cool, but it was actually a fortress used to keep enemies from easily entering the site of the Castle. When enemies came to invade through Otemon, the soldiers fended off their enemies by shooting arrows from the Senkan turrets. Actually, the Senkan turrets were one of the oldest buildings in Osaka Castle and recognized as an important cultural asset along with the Inui turrets. When I walk through the beautifully lit up Otemon, I felt as if I had become an ancient soldier.
The Contrast Between the Silhouette of the Castle and Light
Now let's enter the castle by walking through Otemon.
After passing through Otemon, you'll see Tamon turrets and some holes called "Yariotoshi(槍おとし)" above your head. These holes were used to attack enemies with spears which came out of those holes. Of course, spears do not come out of the holes currently! Instead you can enjoy mysterious silhouettes of trees.
The silhouette of the castle is one of the most attractive things of the castle. Especially in the evening, you can see a beautiful contrast between modern buildings standing just outside the site of the castle and traditional structures in the site. Inui turrets used to serve as an arsenal and a lookout point. The group of modern buildings behind the castle is called "business park" and the area is a fashionable district crowded with business people. Finally, let's drop by Houkoku Temple(豊国神社), located on the south end of Osaka castle.
In Houkoku Temple, you'll find the statue of Hideyoshi Toyotomi(豊臣秀吉) who is loved by local people in Osaka. I was a bit scared because it was already dark outside, but I enjoyed the solemn view of the main building of the temple, the gate, and the statue all lit up. Osaka castle is a quite touristic place, but at the same time it's relaxing for local people and we can see many people jogging there. The castle in the evening shows the breathtakingly beautiful facade with relaxing atmosphere. Why don't you walk around the castle with the joggers?
Place: Osaka Castle Park Address: Osaka Castle, Chuoku, Osaka city, Osaka Opening
Hours: Always open
Closed Days: Always open
Credit Cards: unavailable
Menu Language: unknown
Station: JR Kanjou Line Osakajokoen
Station Access: JR Kanjou Line Morinomiya Station, Osakajokoen Station ／Osaka Municipal Subway Tanimachi Line Tanimachi 4chome Station 1-B Exit, Temmabashi Station 3 Exit ／Osaka Municipal Subway Chuo Line Tanimachi 4chome Station 9 Exit, Morinomiya Station 1 Exit, 3-B Exit ／Osaka Municipal Subway Nagahoritsurumiryokuchi Line Morinomiya Station 3-B Exit, Osaka Business Park Station 1 Exit
Religious Information: unknown
Phone: 06-6941-1144 Official