※ This article discusses the 23rd of December 2016.
Osaka Castle ( 大阪城 ) is a classic sightseeing point in Osaka. The castle is beautiful to look at, but it also features a moat around the castle and within the area of the moat there is plenty of space for sport activities and hanami viewing. Of course, the Shudokan training hall is also located there.
After the Aikido performance, we went to Osaka Castle. The moat provides a good element for photography. We headed to the entrance. 600 Yen is not much and we bought two tickets. Inside a large cannon greeted us in front of the castle. It illustrates how armor and weapons were stored inside the Castle for defense against intruders.
The most interesting story in history happened around 1600: Toyotomi Hideyori was in charge of the castle. Tokugawa Ieyasu won the Battle of Sekigahara and attacked Toyotomi Hideyori 14 years later beginning the Siege of Osaka. Tokugawa had twice the number of infantry, but Toyotomi was successful in defending the castle. In 1615, Tokugawa attacked Toyotomi again and successfully took over the Castle. This way, the famous Tokugawa family came into power. With the Tokugawa shogunate in charge, a long period of piece followed and Edo (now called Tokyo) was established as a center of governance.
The battles between the shogunates is illustrated in exhibitions on floors 2-4. On floor 5, a platform provides a nice view over Osaka. On floor 3 and 4, Samurai equipment is presented, but no photography and videos are allowed at all (which I think is very sad). Typically you go up to floor 5 with the elevator and descend down to each exhibition floor. Outside the Osaka Castle, the area is enjoyable for leisure time, but besides for photography, I think the moat is not that interesting. We have to wait for Sakura season to see something beautiful.
A nice experience. Great to do some sightseeing in Osaka.