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Disappointing elements to this otherwise magnificent castle
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The history of Osaka castle is fascinating, but it is a reconstruction and lacking in some areas. I was most disappointed with the inside architecturally, which they didn't even attempt to model on the original castle. Instead it houses a modern museum.
The castle is said to be, by many, the most formidable castle ever built in Japan. Externally the reconstruction completely looks the part and the workmanship is flawless.The views are spectacular and overall it is extremely impressive and worth a visit if you are in the area. The grounds are probably more interesting to a history buff as the layout of the original castle is pretty much intact and you can still see some of the original gates and stone walls.
There is a lot of walking in the castle and the grounds. I recommend wearing a comfortable pair of shoes and if you have children; leave the stroller in the car!
Osaka Castle Park
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When visiting Osaka, one of the first destinations should rightfully be Osaka-Jo Park. Take the JR Osaka Loop line and only four stops later it´s like you´re transported somewhere in the countryside. Trees everywhere and a magical looking castle in the middle.
The castle has a long history of being built and destroyed throughout history, but the current castle and castle grounds look magnificent and attract hundreds thousands of tourists every year with new events going on regularly.
Osaka-jo Hall is a large multi-purpose arena which holds concerts and many events. Last summer they had Disney´s Frozen-on-ice, a figure skating musical which was extremely popular. I urge you to visit on a day when no idol group like Arashi or Hey Say Jump are playing. Unless you enjoy walking through a crowd of middle-aged women fawning over their favorite Johhny`s.
Recently, the park´s popularity has increased, since the release of Pokemon Go. On a hot summer´s night, it was not uncommon to see large groups of people (including myself) sitting near the castle itself, catching Arbok´s and Psyducks. Now that the weather (and the game`s popularity) has cooled down, I suppose there are less people around. I wouldn`t know. I am inside, drinking hot chocolate.
Keep an eye out for the fat, orange cat that likes to walk around the castle. I named him Hideyoshi.
What are you waiting for? Go explore this enchanted place!