Osaka Castle Park
The construction of Osaka Castle (大阪城, Ōsakajō) started in 1583 on the former site of the Ishiyama Honganji Temple, which had been destroyed by Oda Nobunaga thirteen years earlier. Toyotomi Hideyoshiintended the castle to become the center of a new, unified Japan under Toyotomi rule. It was the largest castle at the time.
However, a few years after Hideyoshi's death, Tokugawa troops attacked and destroyed the castle and terminated the Toyotomi lineage in 1615. Osaka Castle was rebuilt by Tokugawa Hidetada in the 1620s, but its main castle tower was struck by lightening in 1665 and burnt down.
It was not until 1931 that the present ferro-concrete reconstruction of the castle tower was built. During the war it miraculously survived the city wide air raids. Major repair works gave the castle new glamor in 1997. The castle tower is now entirely modern on the inside and even features an elevator for easier accessibility. It houses an informative museum about the castle's history and Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
Shinsaibashi (心斎橋) is a district in the Chūō-ku ward of Osaka, Japan and the city's main shopping area. At its center is Shinsaibashi-suji (心斎橋筋), a covered shopping street, that is north of Dōtonbori and parallel and east of Mido-suji street. Associated with Shinsaibashi, and west of Mido-suji street, is Amerika-mura, an American-themed shopping area and center of Osaka's youth culture. Major stores and boutiques concentrates are found around the area. Shinsaibashi is easily accessed via the subway.
Dōtonbori or Dōtombori (道頓堀) is one of the principal tourist destinations in Osaka, Japan, running along the Dōtonbori canal from Dōtonboribashi Bridge to Nipponbashi Bridge in the Namba district of the city's Chuo ward. Historically a theater district, it is now a popular nightlife and entertainment area characterized by its eccentric atmosphere and large illuminated signboards. One of the area's most prominent features, a billboard for confectionery company Glico displaying the image of a runner crossing a finishing line, is seen as an icon of Osaka within Japan.
Umeda Sky Building Garden
The observation platform of this observatory is a bridge connecting the two towers of the Umeda Sky Building, whose roof features a doughnut shape that provides an unobstructed 360-degree view. While enjoying the breathtaking sights you can also directly feel the wind―which at 170 meters off the ground can get quite strong. From this observatory you can not only see all of Osaka but as far away as Awaji Island. The basement of the building houses the Takimi-Koji gourmet street with old fashioned images of Osaka from the 1920s.