Other than Shinsabashi, Osaka-Jo, or Osaka Castle was one of the places I visited the last time I was in Osaka. It was much cooler weather then, so we spent most of our times walking the grounds and the park surrounding the castle. This time around with more time to spare (and crazy hot weather to boot), Y and I decided to head we still wanted to head up to the castle to check it out, but this time to enter the castle itself.
It was so, so, so hot on the day we were there! It’s a fair walk from the subway station up to the castle itself, so by the time we reached the inner gates we were sweating and dehydrated, and stopped for a drink, very conveniently located right outside the Sakuramon gate.
The castle still looks the same as I remembered 6 years ago!
We buy our tickets at the door and climb up the steps to the castle museum.
It’s 7 storeys high, so we take the lift all the way up to the top and slowly make our way down. Great 360 degree view of the city from up here! You can walk all around the building to check out the view, and it’s also a great way to see some of the building structure elements up close.
The rest of the levels make up the Osaka Castle museum, which provides quite a lot of history and info about the castle and Osaka’s history. I won’t go into details about it, but the museum displays are quite interesting and comprehensive. They use quite a range of multimedia and its quite interactive, so if you like your history or just want to get to know Osaka a bit better, this is a nice place to start.
This is where I got my first start on collecting ink stamps! Check out my first two stamps:
We spend about an hour of so in there before leaving. Sadly we had just missed out on a fabulous light-up the night before, and they do light up the castle in the evenings, so while you can’t enter, it might be nice to stroll around the area in the evenings.
We head back out the main gate…
It was so hot then when we exited, we decided to have another ice cream break again to cool down.
one of the interesting things at Osaka Castle are these giant stones you see around the castle grounds. Seriously look at the size of that rock:
what’s interesting is that while this rock is huge, it’s actually not as deep as it looks – it’s a rather thin rock placed on top of other rocks. check it out below.
So that concludes our historical morning at Osaka-jo! We left the castle grounds from the South West Otemon exit. From there we spotted this interesting looking building and decided to check it out.
It actually turned out to be two buildings – the one on the left is the Osaka Natural History Museum:
We didn’t go in to explore the museum in the end, but there was an interesting floor display outside. Not quite sure what it was, I think it’s preservation of early ruins or building sites. I still got a stamp though =)
Connected on the other side of the round dome is the NHK building. There were some groupies waiting for stars (no idea who though) outside the doors, but there was also a little children’s play area which we walked into:
It’s an interactive place for kids to play, and based on popular NHK kids TV shows.
Getting to Osaka Castle
We took the subway from Namba to Hommachi on the red Midosuji line, before changing to the green Chuo line and dropping at Morinomiya station. Signage is pretty clear so it’s quite easy for you to get there. You’ll end up at the South East Entrance, and after walking through the to the Tamatsu-guchi entrance.
Alternatively, you could stop at the Tanimachi 4-chome stop on the same Chuo line. You can enter Osaka castle from the South West entrance instead, or head to the Osaka Natural History Museum and NHK Osaka Hall.
You purchase your tickets in the Hommaru, the inner bailey of the castle right in front of it. There’s a ticket vending machine for you to buy tickets – it usually costs 600 yen for adults, but there was a discount happening so we only paid 540 yen for our entry. Opening hours are from 9am – 5pm, last entry at 430pm.
Find out more about Osaka Castle here.
Getting to the Osaka Natural History Museum and NHK Osaka Hall
As above, stop at the Tanimachi 4-chome stop on the green Chuo line. The Osaka Natural History Museum and NHK Osaka Hall is just at the entrance.
It’s opened Tuesdays to Sundays from 9.30am – 4.30pm, last entry at 4pm and closed on Mondays.