Whenever I tell people back home in Canada that I live in Osaka, the castle here is one of the first things they mention. With its rich history and beautiful park grounds, it’s definitely a landmark visitors should not miss.
Once you are immersed from the history lesson from the museum inside, be sure to take a walk in the glorious park surrounding it. Warning: heat and humidity will be your company if you tour this site in summer. As a Canadian from the dry West, and, I admit, a wimp in temperatures above 20 Degrees Celsius, I simply wilt into a gross, sweaty mess if I don’t take regular breaks. Thankfully, during one of my many adventures around the castle, I came across the perfect spot for a scenic, peaceful rest out of the sun.
If you’re feeling tired and need to relax your feet, regulate your body temperature, or grab a cool refreshment, Blue Birds Rooftop Terrace has the most breathtaking view of not only of the whole park, but the castle. Located on the top floor of the newly renovated Maraiza’s Landmark Square Osaka, initially a historic government building built in the European Romanesque style as a civic commemoration of the enthronement of Emperor Showa. Here you can find my favorite, under-the-radar oasis. While you’re taking in the view, you can choose to partake in a refreshment or, if you’re ready for food, a luxurious Japanese-style BBQ.
Open from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm Monday to Sunday from March to October, Blue Birds Rooftop Terrace costs ¥1,000 to enter. This is a steal of a deal, considering you don’t just get a stunning view and comfortable seating, but also a beverage of your choosing. After that, additional alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages only cost ¥500. If you happen to meander inside the castle museum or shop at any of the Marizia stores, the entrance to the terrace is free by showing your ticket or receipt. The only requirement is that you buy a drink. One thing to note, though, is that Blue Birds does close between 4-6 pm to prepare for the dinner service.
If you are looking for more than a rest and a beverage, and willing to pay a little more, try the terrace’s luxury Japanese- style BBQ. The BBQ starts at ¥ 4,980 per person and goes up depending on your preferred view. Eating right next to the castle will be more expensive than if you sit on the other side of the terrace. The special seating provides you with the best view of the castle and a covering overhead to protect you from the sun, whereas standard seating is a tad further away without a cover at a less expensive price.
The castle grounds are the ideal spot to get a true feel of the personality of Osaka, and the Blue Birds Rooftop Terrace is my favourite place to relax, cool down, sip on a beverage, and take in the stunning view of the city, morning, noon, or night. Whether you are looking for a special place for a date, a viewing spot not yet crammed with tourists, or if you’re like me and just need a place to sit and feel classy while taking in the world, I highly recommend taking some time and stopping by.