After eating breakfast earlier today, I immediately left the hotel looking forward to this full day ahead of me. My first stop is in Osaka Castle Park, easily reachable via Morinomiya station.
Osaka Castle Park, originally built in the 15th century, is so vast, covering an area of more than 106 hectares. It may take you around half an hour (or probably more) just to go to the main tower.
Walking inwards the park from the train station, I found myself standing in front of the fountain. Since it was still early, I stopped and relaxed a bit first while watching pigeons flying by and flocking in.
I continued my walking towards the main tower, passing through the inner moat. Very beautiful scene early in the morning!
I didn't expect that the castle and other parts of the park are covered and protected by high stone walls, surrounded by a moat. The walkway is becoming more steep and I started to get tired already.
There is a Road Train, if you came from the right entrances and a ride costs JPY200 for adults and JPY100 for kids.
Imperial Japanese Army 4th Division Headquarters
Osaka Castle. Inside, it houses a museum.
entrance ticket to the main tower (JPY600)
a closer look at the architecture, pillars and design of the main tower
main tower entrance
The tower has a viewing deck on the top floor and has a majestic view of the grounds and the city, as it is situated right at the heart of Osaka.
Traversing down the ladder, visitors pass by different displays of history and culture at the museum. A lot of miniatures were on display, mimicking the story behind its scenarios.
There is also an area where visitors may wear traditional and warrior clothes for picture-taking.
cannon, outside the main tower entrance
I saw a few people gathered around a well and a tube where water was flowing. A few were drinking water out of this and I'm not sure if there's a story behind this.
As I exited the Osaka Castle Park and go towards the train station, I happen to pass by the Hokoku-jinja Shrine, built in honor of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a daimyo who unified political factions in Japan during 1570s.
main building of the shrine
I noticed that there is a group of people lining up, it appears that there is a ceremony, or could be a wedding that was on-going.
Visiting the castle grounds made me admire the city more about its roots and origins. The story of the city and some key events in Japan are well detailed here and the view of the majestic castle in itself is inspiring!