Eight months pregnant with our daughter, in the early August sweltering heat, we decided to spend a week in Osaka as one last getaway before she came into the world.
We stayed within walking distance of Osaka Castle, and after a quick Shinkansen ride down, we walked over to the castle for our first afternoon. Everywhere we looked was evidence of Osaka’s storied samurai history.
Osaka Castle is the site of one of Japan’s most storied battles and the current castle is a reconstruction as the original was destroyed several times over throughout the centuries. Even the approach to the outer guard walls felt pretty epic.
Here’s what a typical soldier might have looked like.
But I think this one’s cuter.
And pretty happy about his job in defense, too.
The castle was breathtaking.
Even from a distance, too. The grounds were gorgeous and it was so easy to picture how villagers and merchants might have surrounded it.
We toured the armory, which was also beautiful at twilight.
The castle features a beautiful mural of the battles of Sekigahara fought on the site. It was crazy to picture what this might have looked in real life around the castle.
Especially when you consider that this is the view from the top of the castle today.
But everywhere were reminders of what the castle once had seen.
Osaka Castle is definitely worth a stop if you’re traveling through the area. More information in English is here.