One of the main interest point in Osaka is the Osaka Castle. Entry into the castle is ¥600 and the closest train is Osaka-jō Koen station on the JR Osaka Loop Line.
It is undisputedly one of Japan’s most famous castles playing a major role in the unification of Japan during the sixteenth century. The castle is built high with a surrounding moat. It’s actually best to come Osaka Castle during the cherry blossom viewing because there are as many as 400 cherry blossom trees in this 1km grounds of the Osaka Castle!
Just before you reach the main building of the castle you will come across a time capsule. In January, 1968, two Japanese companies, Panasonic Corporation and The Mainichi Newspapers, agreed to undertake a joint time capsule project in celebration of the Japan World Exposition 1970: EXPO ’70. After three years of planning, research and construction, two time capsules identical in every detail were buried adjacent to Osaka Castle. The lower capsule will remain buried for 5,000 years; the upper capsule will be opened for the first time in the year 2,000 and every 100 years thereafter.
The purpose of the project is to send forward in time a visual, aural and documentary record of life in the year 1970 AD. The scale of the project and the size of the capsules is unprecedented: each capsule contains 2,098 objects and recorded items representing the achievements of our civilization and the everyday experience of the Japanese people. The heritage left by our ancient and more recent ancestors is recorded through art, Iiterature and music. Even the ideals and aspirations of people today are expressed in written and recorded messages.
In the construction of the capsules and preparation of their contents nothing was left to chance. Every item was treated with the most advanced preservation techniques known to man at this time; some preservation techniques were devised specially for this project. The Japanese public, together with scientists and scholars from all over the world, took part in the selection process.
The castle has be featured in many period dramas but today it stands as a museum and a reminder to the impressive times when Japan had Shoguns and Samurai a plenty. You can give a museum a miss if you are short on time but do take time to enjoy the park, the birds and day dream about the edo period. The castle reminds me of the last anime I watch which was Samurai Champloo. I love cross genre animations but too bad there aren’t that many around.
My favorite photo of the Osaka Castle is the one below. Past or present, it is a sight to behold.