Translated by Piyo
Osaka Castle - Magnificent Night Illumination
Written by Atsuko Yagura
Osaka Castle is a famous tourist spot but did you know it is illuminated at night? In this article, we take you on a walk around the magnificent Osaka Castle and its surroundings in the evening.
Osaka Castle - Rebuild by Locals
Osaka Castle is a historical site located in central Osaka. Many people think the castle that stands today was built by Hideyoshi Toyotomi. However, the original castle was destroyed and rebuild in the Tokugawa period (around 1620).
Actually the castle tower was reconstructed again by the local people in 1931. It is said that the ordinary citizens of Osaka, such as local farmers or owners of flower shops, rebuilt the symbol of their town by themselves. It's a heartwarming story of the people's love for the castle.
The Mysteriously Shining Night Castle
During the day, many visitors come to see Osaka Castle but not many people are aware of its beauty at night. In the evening, you can get a close look at the magnificent castle tower shining in white light.
It is a little known fact that the castle is lit up every day after sunset until 23:00. The gates and turrets are lit up indirectly as well, making the atmosphere mysterious and slightly spooky.
You can enjoy special illuminations several times a year. On World Autism Awareness Day, for example, the tower is lit up with blue and in pink during Pink ribbon breast cancer awareness campaigns.
If you're lucky enough, you can even see the castle shining in rainbow colors on special occasions.
Hauntingly Beautiful Castle Surroundings
Otemon is the main gate of Osaka Castle. Like many others, the castle was actually a fortress with high walls to prevent enemies from entering . If enemies came to invade through Otemon, the soldiers fended them off by shooting arrows from the gun turrets.
The gun turrets used to not only serve for defense but also as an arsenal and a lookout point. They are some of the oldest parts of the Osaka Castle. They are even recognized as an important cultural asset.
When you walk through the beautifully lit up Otemon, you might just feel like an ancient samurai.
Now let's enter the castle by walking through Otemon. After passing through, you'll see gun turrets and some holes called yariotoshi in Japanese above your head. These were used to attack enemies with spears through those holes.
Another enticing sight on side of the Otemon are the mysterious silhouettes of trees. These look especially spooky in winter.
The silhouette of the historical structures in the castle park against the backdrop of the modern city is one of the most enticing things about Osaka castle, no matter if day or night. However, lit-up they create an even more interesting contrast to the sparkling modern buildings standing just outside the castle park.
The group of modern buildings seen from the castle are also called business park. The area is a fashionable district filled with famous businesses.
Finally, let's drop by Houkoku Temple located on the south end of Osaka Castle. At Houkoku Temple, you'll find the statue of Hideyoshi Toyotomi who is still loved and remembered by local people.
It might be a bit of a scary sight in the half-lit, shadowy area. The temple, the gate, and the statue all lit up are an eerily relaxing sight.
Don't miss Osaka Castle by Night
Osaka Castle can be a very touristy place. Visiting the castle in the evening shows it in a different and relaxing atmosphere with fewer people around.
Why not having a relaxing night walk around the castle after dinner?