Osaka Castle, which is a famous landmark, a popular sightseeing spot, and the symbol of Osaka, contains thirteen structures which have been designated as Important Cultural Assets by the Japanese government. Of special note are the grand gates and turrets along the outer moat. The steep walls that rise close to 30 meters high are made of huge blocks of stone that were transported to Osaka from quarries over 100 kilometers away. The sheer height of the walls and the wide moats they rise above make for a grand sight that can be matched by no other castle in Japan.
Also of interest are the tower’s eight roof dolphins and the ornamental roof tiles and reliefs carved in the shape of tigers, all of which are gilded with gold.
The castle tower underwent a major renovation in 1997. The outer walls were replastered, the ornamental fixtures were restored, and gold leaf was re-applied throughout. These repairs have brought back the structure’s stunning appearance of old—with pure white walls and striking accents of glittering gold. The re-engineered and refurbished Main Tower is illuminated both inside and out, highlighting the castle’s brilliance as the symbol of Osaka.