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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

OSAKA Osaka Castle & Around Some serious history in Japan's fun western capital

Some serious history in Japan's fun western capital

Osaka Castle and the pleasant park grounds surrounding it make for a relaxing escape from the city's concrete sprawl. Ascend to the top of castle keep tower to look over the expansive castle grounds and neighboring skyscrapers. Or bring a bento box and enjoy a picnic surrounded by groves of cherry and apricot trees which are amazing in bloom in the spring.

Don't Miss

  • Cherry blossom party time in the castle park
  • The many exhibits at the Museum of History

How to Get There

From Osaka/Umeda Station, take the JR Loop Line to Morinomiya Station. You will arrive directly adjacent to Osaka Castle Park.

A bloody past concluding in a long period of peace

The original castle was built between 1583 to 1598 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who re-unified Japan in 1590 after a century of civil war. His regime was replaced in 1603 by the Tokugawa Shogunate, located in Edo (Tokyo). The last of the Toyotomi line committed suicide here at the castle when it was burnt to the ground in 1615.

The current castle is a reconstruction of the castle that the Tokugawa built to replace Hideyoshi's castle. The castle was under the direct control of the Shogun, and the massive double moats and stone walls were a daunting obstacle for any would-be invaders. This history is still celebrated and remembered, as the fall of the castle corresponds closely with the start of the Edo Period — an altogether peaceful and prosperous time for Japan.

Springtime nostalgia

The early April cherry blossom season sees hordes of high-spirited locals spending the afternoon and evening hours drinking and partying under the pink canopy of the blossoms, with the illuminated castle adding historical depth to the scenery. Such parties are a significant part of Japanese culture, with the season and affiliated memories referenced throughout literature and film.

See the history firsthand at the adjacent museum

Learn more about the castle's history and Japan's Edo period at the adjacent Museum of History. The multiple floors and abundance of exhibits provide a stimulating look into how Japan flourished during the 260-year period of peace and suddenly rocketed onto the global stage, spurred by massive development starting in the late 19th century.

Explore the surrounding city

The swath of skyscrapers visible to the north of Osaka Castle is part of a business district called Kyobashi. Take an evening journey through the streets to find a slightly seedier, grittier version of Umeda's business district. There are a number of bars and restaurants to enjoy a meal in the company of white collar employees who have loosened their ties and rolled up their sleeves after a long day of work.

Planning a trip

Part of what makes Osaka so appealing is that the city is packed into a relatively small area within the JR loop line. Osaka Castle is easily accessible from both the north and south side of the city, meaning you can visit it for anywhere from an hour to a full day without needing to adjust your accommodations or concern yourself with the train schedules.

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