I dropped in at Osaka today to capture the stunning Osaka Castle in the evening light.
Osaka, Chūō-ku is the second largest metropolis of Japan. It’s a bustling city with over 19 million inhabitants. The city is well-connected by the subway. During my first few days in Osaka, I used to feel very lost making my way through the confusing subway. But I have made progress in the last few months and now am able to understand the routes better.
We started from Nara after lunch.
Nara to Osaka Castle
We reached the Tembabashi Station at about 4 pm. In my opinion its the easiest route to the Castle while coming from Nara. From the station its just a 10 minute walk to the castle.
A wide moat surrounds the grounds encircling the castle. In the center of the park, surrounded by the moat, the castle is built atop a tall stone foundation to protect its occupants from attackers.
Osaka Castle was built by the hegemon Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who ruled Japan in the latter half of the 16th century, on the site of a temple called Ishiyama Hongan-ji. The construction work began in 1583 and most buildings including the castle tower were completed by 1585. Tens of thousands of people were contracted for the construction which lasted nearly two years.
The stone foundation itself is said to consist of about 40,000 stones. There is an interesting story that powerful daimyo from all parts of Japan competed in sending the large rocks for the castle, to display their loyalty to the Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
The castle was destroyed in the forthcoming years and then rebuilt in 1931. The current structure is a concrete reproduction of the original and the interior functions as a museum. The central castle building is five stories on the outside, sitting on a high stone foundation. The castle’s interior consists of eight floors devoted mainly to exhibits. The castle tower has large golden dragon fish ornamental shining on the rooftop. Just below the rooftop viewpoint, the exterior walls are decorated with golden tigers.
Small packets of clouds went floating by the castle as we walked around the garden. After a bit of wandering about the castle grounds we came across some weeping Sakura trees on the north side of the garden.
The evening at Osaka Castle
A small bridge on the north side connects the castle with the grounds, over the moat. Evening was gradually setting in and the sky had begun to change into a multicolored canvas.
Beside the bridge, over the moat, a couple of pleasure boats were tied up. Business hours had closed by then and the boats floated nonchalantly over the moat as the sun was just about to hide behind the tall trees.
After a few minutes the sun went to sleep and we started our walk towards the viewpoint I had decided upon to take the evening shot of Osaka Castle.
Osaka Castle at Night
Finally, the moment for which I came here. The light was perfect. I set up my gear on the high stone wall and took this stunning view of the Osaka Castle. For the next 10 minutes the Osaka Castle looked like a fantasy structure from the mythical age of dragons.
Once the lights came on, the castle was illuminated in a burst of bright white light. I packed up my gear and we head back towards the Tembabashi Station.
It was a lovely evening at the castle. The exteriors of the Castle are stunning. There is always a good breeze blowing on the grounds. Many locals use the grounds for jogging in the evenings. Overall its a good place to spend an evening.
Thanks for sticking around to read my journal. If you have any questions, please use the comments section below. If you are in Osaka, you must visit the Kaiyukan Aquarium, the best aquarium I have seen in Japan or if you are looking for a quite evening, just wander around the Osaka Bay.
9:00 to 17:00 (entrance until 16:30)
Closed: December 28 to January 1