Sunday, May 26, 2013

The symbol of Osaka, OSAKA CASTLE!

Osaka Castle is located in the central of Osaka, and many Japanese people visit there for sightseeing and cherry blossoms viewing.  The castle is surrounded by moats and the moats are surrounded by green forests, Osaka Castle Park, which also has Osaka Castle Hall and Hokoku Shrine. I had been there for my elementary school trip... long long time ago ><

A military commander, Hideyoshi Toyotomi built a impregnable castle to show his power and status and to unify the nation in 1583. It was golden glittering form, glorious and magnificent.  However, after Hideyoshi' death, his political control was deprived by Generalissimo, Ieyasu Tokugawa, and the castle fell during the Summer War in 1615. 

Even though the second Tokugawa's generalissimo had reconstructed the castle in 1630, the Main Tower was destroyed by lightning strike only after 35 years later. Finally in 1931, Osaka public efforts and enthusiasm made the construction of the Main Tower come true. So the castle looks modern now and the inside of the castle is operated as a museum.  But do not disappoint, there are still interesting displays in the castle.

Let's go to the observation deck.  You can look Osaka's nice view with Shachigawara, "Roof tile in the form of a legendary killer whale." A pair of golden shachi-gawara embellished the top roof of the main tower of Osaka Castle. The height is 2m19cm and 400kg. The castle is covered by moats and green, and cherry blossoms in spring. Hideyoshi probably had enjoyed the same view from here.

The museum has miniatures of hot fighting "The Summer War of Osaka" 1/20 scale.  At this time, we already had guns, but many warriors fought with spears. 


If interested, you can try on a helmet, surcoat and casual kimono, and take photos with your camera on the second floor. (JPY300 per person per time)


Osaka Castle has some mysteries.
1. There is a deep well just in front of the castle, and it is said that golden nuggets are sunk by Hideyoshi Toyotomi, however, they have not discovered yet... try looking into the well!

2. It is said that the castle has a secret underground passage.

3. In front of the Sakura Gate, you can see a giant rock, Tako (octopus) stone. It is amazing that people in 400 years ago could cut and bring such a big stone here. Furthermore, look at the left side... can you see some creature? Yes, it is octopus! It is more clear when you look on the rainy day. 
Osaka Castle
1-1, Osakajo, Chuo-ku, Osaka
Open Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(Last admission at 4:30 p.m.)
Opening hours are extended during certain
periods in spring and summer.

Admission: JPY600 per adult

Experience Japan!

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