The instant you get out of the station, you can spot Osaka Castle. It’s raised up high above the mote and stands several stories high. You can’t help but stare at it as you stroll through the park towards it. But as you wander around the corner, your eye gets taken by a large torii gate. This is the gate to Hokoku Shrine.
Just through the torii you can see a large statue of the man the shrine’s dedicated to: Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the second great unifier of Japan and the man who built Osaka Castle.
Toyotomi Hideyoshi wasn’t born a samurai. He started off as a commoner and joined the Oda clan. Through victory in battle, he worked his way up to be one of Oda Nobunaga’s most trusted men. Because of his amazing rise in status, many people visit Hokoku Shrine to pray for life advancement.
I highly recommend visiting here if you have the chance to go to Osaka Castle. The whitish-gray walls and green roof compliment the neighboring castle perfectly, making them seem like a set.