Osaka Castle (大阪城) is one of the famous landmarks in Japan. It is known as the token of the power and fortune of Toyotomi Hideyoshi (豊臣秀吉), one of the remarkable men in Japanese history. The castle now belongs to a park which is located in the center of the city. It is visited by millions of visitors every year and the number is even expected to rise in the future. In order to draw more visitors to the place, Osaka Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura (吉村洋文) permitted the opening of a new eatery and shopping complex called “JO-TERRACE OSAKA (ジョー・テラス・オオサカ).” It recently opened on June 22, 2017, and is currently the talk of the town.
Osaka Castle Park is a public urban park consisting of several historic structures such as the castle tower and the Nishinomaru Garden (西の丸庭園). It is also popular for music concerts and serves as a ground for Japanese archery or kyudo (弓道). Several annual events happen in the park such as the ever-popular cherry blossoms viewing.
Situated inside the park is Osaka Castle which played a significant role during the Azuchi-Momoyama period (安土桃山時代). The central castle building is five-storey-tall on the outside but eight-storey-tall on the inside. The castle ground consists of 13 structures considered to be important cultural assets. Inside the castle is a museum consisting of eight floors. Several historical artifacts are displayed in this area. Spectacular views of the whole city can also be enjoyed on the eight floor where you can find an observation deck.
JO-TERRACE OSAKA was established in order to attract more tourists to the area. It is a place where you can take a walk while enjoying the rich greenery of the castle town. It claims to be a new way of experiencing Osaka (大阪) through its relaxing terrace which has a blend of traditional and modern style.
The complex consists of two dozen outlets. It includes some of your favorite shops such as Starbucks Coffee, Ekimae Parlor (駅前パーラー), Italian Dining NATURA, KINJOTEI (錦城亭), Menkasoh (麺菓装), Takahiro, Meidai Chibo (名代千房), Aloha FOOD HALL SHO-GI, OSAKA JOKAMACHI (大阪城下町), Takoyaki Doraku Wanaka (たこ焼道楽わなか), Hysteric Jam (ヒステリックジャム), Taste of the LANDMARK SQUARE OSAKA, good spoon All Day Brunch & Dinner & BBQ Terrace, Bakery Ferdinand, SHIRONOMORI DINING (城の森ダイニング), Tully’s Coffee (タリーズコーヒー), and Castle Garden Osaka (キャッスルガーデン OSAKA).
The logo design of the complex is based on “nodategasa (野点傘),” a Japanese umbrella used for outdoor tea ceremonies. It embodies the concept of JO-TERRACE as a place where people gather together to relax and appreciate the surrounding nature. There’s a photo bench where you can take commemorative photos with your loved ones under some nodategasa. This is also an ideal area for you to take a rest while gazing into the rich scenery.
JO-TERRACE OSAKA is located near the JR Osakajokoen Station (大阪城公園駅). It is another exciting destination that local and foreign tourists can visit. The complex is built in a two-storey infrastructure which has a total space of 4,800 square meters. Another similar complex is scheduled to be built near the castle’s main tower this coming October 2017. Let’s just hope that these establishments are able to increase the number of tourists in the area.