I don’t do too well with crowds, so I chose to stay far away from the Shinsaibashi – Namba Area when I visited Osaka last September 2015. I found out that the area around Osaka Castle Park was my kind of place.
The Castle was walking distance from my hotel, so I made my way to the park first thing in the morning. As with most parks in Japan, it was already filled with old and young people on their morning jogs.
It was quite a big park, with two moats around the castle itself, as well as a garden, an event hall, several sports fields etc.
It’s also really pretty.
The Castle itself opens at 9AM. I was there early and was one of the first in line. I got myself the 2-Day Osaka Amazing Pass, which includes unlimited subway ride and entrance to a number of Osaka Attractions for two days. Osaka Castle was included in the pass so I took the chance to explore it.
The inside of the castle was a museum and was very modern. It has elevators! The exhibits showed the history of the castle (which was a very colorful history indeed – I won’t spoil). Photos were forbidden, but I couldn’t resist snapping a photo of this poster for an upcoming event. Because it looks so badass!
There was this really big cat (see human for scale) napping outside the castle, right next to the queue for tickets. Tourists kept bothering it.
By the time I reached the exit, the park was already filled with people, and the queue for the castle has gotten long. I checked out the concessionaires outside and had soft-serve. In the photo is blueberry from blueberry-growing prefecture (I forgot which one, LOL). They also have Cremia, which is a must-try.
The Osaka Amazing Pass included entrance to the Nishi no Maru Garden next to the castle, although there wasn’t much to see in the summer.
The Garden was the residence of Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s wife back in the day. In spring, this place comes to life with cherry blossoms. Of course, there’s a nice alternate view of the Castle Tower.
Sooo – I lied. The real reason I wanted to be near Osakajo-koen was because V6 concert was at Osaka Castle Hall. I didn’t have a ticket for this concert (I hit for Yoyogi), but I thought I would try and see if someone would sell me their tickets, or if scalper prices were reasonable. I spent the afternoon in the park with my sign. Five hours under the heat and 3 soft-serve cones later… nope, didn’t get a ticket. Oh well. I did get goods, though.