Ohayo Osaka! Storming Osaka Castle and a weird building next door

Osaka Castle!

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.

On the way to the castle…

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.

Me and Y having a coke float to beat the heat

The castle still looks the same as I remembered 6 years ago!

Osaka castle from a distance
Touristy shot, me and the castle

We buy our tickets at the door and climb up the steps to the castle museum.

Cannon used to guard the castle

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.

View from the top of Osaka Castle
Pretty embellishments

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.

Miniature diorama of wars
Close-ups of the tiger and fish gold carvings that line the sides of the castle
Holographic displays in little windows
The details is quite good, and very realistic!
Even a chance to dress up as a feudal warrior for 300 yen!

This is where I got my first start on collecting ink stamps! Check out my first two stamps:

Or get yourself a nice ink stamp to commemorate your trip there
Here’s another stamp available!

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…

My Jump Shot
How much more graceful you can look when you’re a dancer

It was so hot then when we exited, we decided to have another ice cream break again to cool down.

Matcha-Vanilla and Grape ice cream

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:

How did they get that here?!

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.

The real truth

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.

Strange building?

It actually turned out to be two buildings – the one on the left is the Osaka Natural History Museum:

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 =)

Glass floors


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:

Domo goes to London! How cute is this.

It’s an interactive place for kids to play, and based on popular NHK kids TV shows.

Play with the blue screen
Me and the giant Domo
Saying hi at the entrance


Tourist Info

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.

This way to Osaka Castle!

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.

Ticket vending machine


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.

More about the Natural History Museum here, and more about the NHK Osaka Hall here (Japanese)

Need more travel inspiration?
Sign up now and get the latest blogposts straight in your mailbox. Also, exclusive discounts and perks to help you travel better! (No spam, just travel goodies!)

Leave a Reply