The one major landmark you can be sure people in Kansai hold in high pride is Osaka Castle, perched upon a raised platform and surrounded by a large moat it stands tall in its restored green and golden glory, in the middle of its 1-kilometre square grounds.
Construction commenced in 1583 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi the visionary of the project, and he completed his dream by 1597, only to die a year later. The original design comprises a main structure 5 levels high, with a 3 level basement underground. The castle was destroyed in 1615 but then reconstructed in 1620. By World War II, the castle flourished operating as one of the largest armouries in the Japanese military, but come August 1945 and most of its military hardware had been destroyed. What tatters remained of the building was given the approval for restoration in the mid-1990s.
Now, the structure stands as a modern building with its main hall intact, inside you can also find a complete museum about the castle itself and it comes with a fully functioning elevator.
The grounds surrounding the castle include a huge moat, stone walls and turrets. There is also an abundance of Cherry blossom trees, which are a popular site for revellers looking to do hanami in the Osaka area. On the outer limits of the area is you can find a multi-function hall, sporting facilities and a whole bunch of green turf.
Inside the castle, you can find a whole museum dedicated to the history and construction of this famous landmark. Inside features a detailed timeline, including 3D holograms and other photos. Climb to the top of the main tower, and you can a panoramic view, not only of the mythological golden fish atop the corner of each roof, but also the sweeping cityscape and the grounds below.
You can access the castle via the JR West Osaka Loop Line, with the closest station being Osakajokoen. From the station, the castle can be directly accessed on foot in a couple of minutes. You can also find Osaka Castle via google maps.