Osaka castle (Osakajo) is certainly a place worth visiting when travelling in Japan. It’s an iconic landmark and one of the most popular places among tourists visiting Japan. If you’re going to visit Osaka city or even Kyoto it should be on the list of a must-things to see.
Here in this post, I share with you my pictures from Osaka castle, so you can see how it looks these days (because it was reconstructed), but also some views from the top floor of the castle.
Essentially, when visiting the castle area, you can explore Nishinomaru Garden (recommended in Cherry Blossom season) and the Castle Tower with the surrounding park area. Both places are paid separately and located something about 5-10 minutes walking distance from each other.
On my trip to Osaka I visited the castle, it costs 600 yen and I would highly recommend entering the castle, as you can not only enjoy beautiful views of the surroundings (and take pictures), but also a great museum that offers a great deal of history to learn from 3D presentations (something I have never seen before, you can’t take pictures inside the museum though!).
Drones can’t be used in the area of the park, in case you wondered!
If you want to learn about some history and facts about Osaka castle, please check this great article by Japan-guide.com.
As I mentioned, in this post I share pictures of Osaka Castle, if it’s worth visiting and also essential information about entrance ticket fees and the hours of operation of “Osaka-jo”.
Osaka Castle pictures shared here were all taken by me. You can download them for free to use on your blog, informational website or web article. Please treat them with respect and add appropriate attribution to this article as the main source.
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Pictures of the Osaka Castle & Surrounding Area
As I mentioned earlier, 600 yen will let you go in and explore not only the Castle Tower itself but also surrounding park and gardens.
I was there in winter (January), so maybe not as spectacular season for photography as spring, when Cherry Blossom trees (Sakura) show their whole beauty, but it had some advantages as well – fewer tourists? I certainly enjoyed my time.
Let’s see the photographs…
When you just enter the Park area, you’re welcomed by the castle itself…
It’s good to go left, a place where you can find this… an Expo ’70 time capsule.
It’s actually quite an interesting project. In a few words – two Japanese companies (Panasonic Corporation and The Mainichi Newspapers) in January 1968 created 2 identical time capsules, they were buried close to the castle. The lower capsule will remain buried for 5,000 years and the other one was opened first time in the year of 2000, and every 100 years afterwards. Read here to find out more about the project.
The next three pictures were taken in the area located in the back of the castle, called Marked Stones Square, and next to it.
The area behind the castles have some benches, and as you can see… it was empty of tourists. That was in the wintertime, in the spring might be a different story.
The next two pictures of Osaka Castle were taken from the Site of Himemon Gate, on my way back from Marked Stones Square, right before I finally entered the castle to see the view from the top and learn some important history.
The first picture shows the Himemon Gate, and the second picture I took right from the Himemon Gate.
Images from the Osaka Castle Observation Deck
The observation deck is located 50 meters above the ground, from where you can enjoy spectacular views of the park, and a panoramic view of Osaka city, a view point I didn’t want to miss.
It’s the only area inside the castle where you can take pictures, inside the museum taking photographs is forbidden!
It’s good to be there around sunset when taking pictures is an important part of your travels.
Later on, I enjoyed the Museum for a while and then went outside to take some more picture of the castle, when the sun was about to go down.
Osaka Castle on Images Before Sunset
Here I’m going to share with you some closeup pictures of the castle, but especially how Osaka castle looks like when the sun which is about to go down giving a beautiful golden glow to the castle.
Just when I was about to leave, I found this place, and it was the best spot to take pictures of Osaka Castle, beautiful view but also quite secluded. Those are my favorite images.
The place is called Japanese Garden, and it’s located on the left side of park entrance.
Another one with the castle on the right side of the frame.
Here are another pics, the first one is a closeup capture in a vertical view, and the second one was taken around sunset, when the sun came out behind the clouds, giving the castle a beautiful glow.
A couple more for you in case you need some images for your own blog. As not sure you read at the beginning of the article, you can download any of those images for free and use them in your articles. I ask just for an attribution.
These two pictures were taken with my phone, so they have different width to height ratio.
And the last one from the Japanese Garden, a horizontal capture at sunset.
Some Other Images from the Park
This is a view you can enjoy from the ground area, next to “Kakushi-Kuruwa Bailey”, on the left side of the castle (Google maps is your friend here!)
Sunset can be also spectacular, even though it was January, there were still some autumnal leaves, that’s quite amazing!
Is Osaka Castle Worth Visiting?
For me, the answer is a big YES.
But for some might be different. Depends what’s important to you and what you want to experience during your trip. So the answer here will be very personal, but I also will share some concerns other people have.
When traveling, I find important to see iconic landmarks and Osaka castle is one of them. It’s actually one of the most famous landmarks in Japan:
“It played a major role in the unification of Japan during the sixteenth century of the Azuchi-Momoyama period”: Wikipedia
It’s also said that Osaka Castle is one of the Japan’s three Great Castles, also “In 1997, the Main Tower was recognized as a valued modern structure and was designated as a Registered Tangible Cultural Property by the national government”. Via OsakaCastle.net.
I don’t know about you, but for me, those are great reasons to visit the place, and am I happy about the visit? Yes, I am!
Everyone is different and values different things in life, some people might be disappointed after the visit, and I know some were, why? Here are 2 main reasons:
- The castle is reconstructed when some tourists visit they expect to see the castle the way it used to be in the past. However inside the castle now is a Museum, and you can and will learn a lot about the history and importance of the place. Please, expect that it looks different and also that not all the information is available in English.
- “It’s so crowded”, expect to have many people around you, and think of arriving early so you can be the first one to enter in case. I walked around the castle in the busy period of time (before closing), and I found some places around the park I could enjoy a moment by myself. It was difficult in some spots to take a picture without anybody on it, but I managed.
Maybe also because I visited in January, most probably during Cherry Blossoms time, it’s much more crowded.
What’s my conclusion? I believe it’s one of the most important places to visit in Osaka, and it’s easy to get there from quite anywhere where you can catch a train.
Osaka Castle: Essential Information
Castle Tower (Tenshukaku Museum)
Entrance Ticket Fee:
Price to enter the castle is 600 Yen.
Junior high school students and under can enter for free (ID Required). Groups can enter for cheaper price.
Hours of Operation: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (17:00)
You must enter the park before 4:30 pm though, but I recommend you give yourself AT LEAST 1 hour to explore the castle ground.
During spring, hours are extended:
From March 24 – April 8 (Sakura Season)*:
9:00 am – 7:00 pm – last admission at 6:30 pm
From April 28 – May 6 (Golden Week)*:
9:00 am – 6:00 pm – last admission at 5:30 pm
*Please double check those dates and hours before visiting those days, as I’m not sure if every year they would be exactly the same dates.
Castle is closed from December 28th – January 1st
Address: 〒540-0002 1-1, Osakajo, Chuo-ku, Osaka City
Located in the big Osaka Castle area, a place where you can enjoy the view of the castle but also enjoy your time among 600 Cherry Blossom trees, so of course it’s a great place to visit in spring.
Entrance Ticket Fee:
Price to enter the garden is 200 Yen.
Free for Junior high school students and under
Hours of Operation:
March – October: 9 am – 5pm
November – February: 9 – 4:30 pm
During cherry blossom season it’s open until 8:00 pm.
*You must enter 30 minutes before closing time.
In case you need more information, here you have the map of Osaka Castle area. You also might want to check about events taking place at the time you’re there.
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