Best Places to Visit near Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle Park Osaka

Most people visiting Osaka for the first time, have two places on their must-go list: Dotonbori and Osaka Castle. These two spots are the most popular places to visit for tourists and locals alike. Osaka Castle is one of Japan’s most famous historical landmarks and is located on the east side of central Osaka. In the area around the Osaka Castle, there is also much more to do. Here we present you several places to visit in east Osaka. 

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1. Osaka Castle (Osakajo)

Osaka Castle was originally constructed in 1583 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi and was the largest castle at the time. Hideyoshi played an important role in quelling the wars which had continued for more than one century, thereby unifying the entire nation. However, a few years after Hideyoshi’s death, Osaka Castle was destroyed by Tokugawa troops. Fortunately, it was rebuilt by Tokugawa Hidetada in the 1620s. Today we can see some great architectural highlights such as gates and storehouses from the Edo period. However, the main building of the castle tower was built in 1931 and renovated in 1997. The inside of the castle tower looks entirely modern, it even has an elevator for accessibility. Inside there is a museum telling the history of the castle and Toyotomi Hideyoshi. On the 8th floor of the building, you can enjoy a panoramic view of Osaka city. 

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle is one of the main tourist attractions in Osaka, and for good reason. The impressive castle is beautifully located, standing out on the city’s skyline on the east. The greenery that surrounds the castle is also a welcome escape from the concrete buildings and the large crowd of people of downtown Osaka. You can enter the castle and enjoy the modern interior and the view from the top or admire the looks of the castle from the outside walking on the park grounds, or both! We recommend you reserve a full morning or afternoon for your visit!

Osaka Castle
9am – 5pm
Admission fee ¥600 (adult)

Access to Osaka Castle

  • 18 minute walk from Tanimachi Yonchome Station
  • 18 minute walk from Osakajo Koen Station

2. Osaka Castle Park (Osakajo Koen)

Osaka Castle Park, where Osaka Castle is located, is a large public park and historical site. This is Osaka’s second largest park (105,6 ha) and was opened to the public in 1931. Inside the park, there are large athletic fields for baseball and football, an open-air music theater and concert hall, Osaka Castle Museum, Nishinomaru garden, a plum orchard, and much more. 

Nishinomaru Garden

Nishinomaru Garden is a lawn garden with about 300 cherry trees, a tea house, and a great view of Osaka Castle. In the cherry blossom season, many people come here to enjoy a picnic underneath the cherry trees. The garden opens until 8pm during sakura season for night cherry blossom viewing.
Admission fee ¥200 

Hokoku Shrine

Hokoku Shrine is situated on the south side of the park. Three members of the Toyotomi family are enshrined here; Toyotomi Hideyoshi (who built the original Osaka Castle), his son Hideyori, and his brother Hidenaga. The shrine is worshipped for success and good luck because Toyotomi Hideyoshi started off as a low-ranking soldier and later became the most powerful and successful leader in Japan. Inside the shrine ground, there are two other small shrines: Shiratama Shrine and Wakanaka Shrine. Both of them are strongly associated with business prosperity. A large statue of Toyotomi Hideyoshi is also located by a torii gate, which is a popular photo spot for many tourists. 

Jo-terrace Osaka

Jo-Terrace Osaka, a shopping and dining complex, was opened in 2017 next to Osakajo Koen Station. There are different eateries, convenience stores, shops, and an information center that also sells some souvenirs. This is a great place to have lunch or to take out some snacks such as sandwiches, crapes, or takoyaki to have a picnic in the park. 

Access to Osaka Castle Park

There are several train stations that have easy access to the park. Osakajo Koen Station on JR Kanjo Line has direct access to the park. 

3. Osaka Tenmangu Shrine

This peaceful shrine is one of the most famous Tenmangu shrines in Japan. It is located in the Tenma district adjacent to Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street, which is claimed to be the longest shopping street in Japan (2.6 km). The Tenma district actually gets its name from the Tenmangu Shrine.

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The Osaka Tenmangu Shrine dates back over 1,000 years. The temple has been destroyed a number of times by fire and the current main hall and gate are constructed in 1845. Tenmangu shrines are dedicated to Sugawara no Michizane (854 – 903), who was a politician, scholar, and poet. Since his childhood, he was known as a gifted child and he has become a politician who gained influence within the Fujiwara clan dominated imperial court. This is why Tenmangu is worshipped as the god of education.

This shrine is often overlooked by tourists as it is tucked away among the big city buildings. It is a quiet shrine peaceful and relaxing place to pray or just to enjoy the plum and cherry flowers blossoming in springtime. However, since its’ construction, the temple hosts one of the most famous festivals of Japan: Tenjin Festival (Tenjin Matsuri), one of Japan’s top three festivals. Every year it takes place on July 24 and 25. During the festival, as many as 3,000 people dressed in traditional costumes parade down the streets of Osaka, and more than 1,000 illuminated boats sail down the river with fireworks in the evening.  

Access to Osaka Tenmangu Shrine

  • 5 minute walk from Osaka Tenmangu Station
  • 5 minute walk from Minami Morimachi Station

4. Osaka Museum of History

This informative museum opened in 2001, and is located just outside of the southwest corner of Osaka Castle Park, right next to the NHK building which is Japan’s national broadcasting organization. Exhibitions of the museum feature history and evolution of Osaka City.

Museum of History Osaka

The museum offers combo tickets for the museum and Osaka Castle which saves you ¥300. On the 1st floor, there is a ticket counter, a museum shop, and a big time capsule that was created at the time of the Osaka Expo in 1970. The permanent exhibitions are on display on the 7th to 10th floors. You start your visit from the top floor where the exhibitions begin from ancient times to the early Showa era as you go down the floors. Each floor displays several large models.  

From the top floors of the building, you can enjoy great views of Osaka Castle and Osaka Castle Park. The museum also offers workshops where you can learn about things related to the exhibitions such as dressing in ancient clothes and playing games that were popular in Edo or Meiji periods.

Osaka Museum of History
9.30am – 5pm (closed on Tuesday)
Admission fee ¥600 (adult)

Access to the Osaka Museum of History

  • Short walk from Tanimachi Yonchome Station Exit 9 or 2

5. Hirakata Park

This amusement park is located in Hirakata City, on the northeast side of Osaka City. The Hirakata Park opened in 1910, and it is the oldest existing amusement park in Japan. The park offers more than 40 kinds of attractions including several roller coasters, free fall rides, and splashy rubber boat rides. Many family-friendly rides are also available such as the Ferris wheel, Merry-go-round, and train ride. 

Hirakata amusement Park Osaka

The park offers seasonal events as well. In spring, many people come to enjoy a wide variety of flowers and blossoms including cherry blossoms and roses. In summer, swimming pools and water slides are available. In fall and winter, visitors can enjoy beautiful shows with many illuminations and music in the evening. The swimming pools turn into ice skate rinks during wintertime. In addition, the park offers various stage shows collaborated with popular TV shows and anime characters all year around. 

Hirakata Park
Irregular opening times
Entrance only ¥1,600
Entrance and rides ¥4,800

Access to Hirakata Park

  • A 23 minute train ride from Kyobashi Station to Hirakata Park Station. From there it is a short walk to the park.

6. Kema Sakuranomiya Park

Across the Ogawa, which is translated as O river, about 15 minutes by foot north of Osaka castle, you will find Kema Sakuranomiya Park. This riverside park boasts large bodies of water, plenty of greenery, and sakura trees. Because of its over 5000 sakura trees, this park is a popular cherry blossom viewing spot. Outside of the Sakura season, the park offers an amazing view of the river. Escape the buzzing city life and watch the boats passing by, while you stroll down the river or sit down for an afternoon picnic.

Okawa river Sakura Osaka

Access to Kema Sakuranomiya Park

  • A 15 minute walk north from Osaka Castle

Japan Wonder Travel Tours in Osaka

If you are planning on visiting Osaka and need some help organizing your trip, you came to the right place! We would be more than happy to help make your trip the best it possibly could be. We can advise you on where to go, or even better, hook you up with a local English speaking guide that can show you all of the best spots. Let us help you make fun, safe, and unforgettable memories in Osaka!

Osaka Highlights Private Walking Tour
On this full-day private tour of Osaka, we will take you to Osaka’s highlights that include Osaka Castle, Kuromon Market, the popular Dotonbori area, etc. Learn about the rich history of the area, local lifestyle, and of course delicious Osaka food!

Osaka tour

Kyoto Food and Drink Tour @Nishiki Street & Gion
If you’re planning on visiting Kyoto along with Osaka and are looking to learn more about the culture and local cuisine, this is definitely the perfect tour for you! Take part in this fun food and drink tour and explore the 400-year-old market and the famous Gion district.

Kimono Experience

Kimono Rental
Explore the exciting city of Osaka with a kimono, Japanese traditional clothing. You can choose the one you like the most from several patterns and colors at the rental shop. In Osaka, it’s located at the center of the city, accessible from the main tourist attractions which makes it easy to try it on and explore the city for a day!

Where to stay near Osaka Castle?

Experience the warmth and charm of the city’s culture and spend the night in Osaka too. Umeda is popular to stay in Osaka among luxury travellers thanks to the wide selection of the luxurious 5-star hotels. Here are some of our top picks in the Umeda area:

  1. Hotel the Lutheran – inexpensive hotel with large rooms, located close to Osaka Castle
  2. Hotel Keihan Kyobashi Grande – a family hotel with large rooms
  3. Imperial Hotel Osaka – luxury hotel located along the Okawa river
Osaka Castle

What do you think about our list of places to visit in east Osaka? We hope you enjoy visiting one of Japan’s most well-known castle, learning more about the history of Osaka, relaxing in nature, and visiting Japan’s oldest exiting amusement park. When you are visiting Osaka, the east side of the city should definitely be included on your to do list! We recommend your spend at least half day in the the Osaka Castle area and its’ park grounds to enjoy it to the fullest. Do you feel inspired to travel to the buzzing city? We hope you enjoy Osaka’s lively atmosphere and yummy foods. 

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