Travel tips you can trust
This imposing stronghold in Osaka was once Japan's mightiest and grandest castle.
Today's keep (main tower)
It's the icon of Osaka city. Because the surrounding land is flat, the central tower (keep) can be seen from afar.
At night, it's illuminated, creating a magnificent scene for local residents.
The top floor rises 30 meters (100 feet). It offers a panoramic view of Osaka city and beyond.
Other floors feature an exhibition-style museum.
Moats and walls
The moat is wide and flanked with massive defensive walls made with mortar-less interlocking stones.
History in brief
Built by powerful ruler Hideyoshi Toyotomi
Destroyed in battle with the conquering Shogun Iseyasu Tokugawa
Rebuilt on even a grander scale by Tokugawa.
Destroyed by lightning, then slowly deteriorates through neglect and fighting.
Main tower reconstructed, but by using cement instead of original materials.
1997 - Site undergoes major needed repair work.
Osaka Castle is not
Japan's best castle
The somewhat similar looking Himeji Castle near Nara wins the "best" honor. It's a reconditioned original while the Osaka tower is mainly a 20th-century cement replica.
Location in Japan