Osaka

Everything you Need to Know about Osaka

Osaka is a designated city in the Kansai region of Japan. It is the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and the largest component of the Keihanshin Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Japan and among the largest in the world with over 19 million inhabitants. Situated at the mouth of the Yodo River on Osaka Bay, Osaka is the second largest city in Japan by daytime population after Tokyo's 23 wards and the third largest city by nighttime population after Tokyo's 23 wards and Yokohama, serving as a major economic hub for the country.

 

Historically a merchant city, Osaka has also been known as the "nation's kitchen" and served as a center for the rice trade during the Edo period.

 

Central Osaka is roughly divided into downtown and uptown areas known as Kita(north) and Minami(south). Kita is home to the Umeda district and its immediate surrounding neighborhoods, a major business and retail hub that plays host to Osaka Station City and a large subterranean network of shopping arcades.Kita and nearby Nakanoshima contain a prominent portion of the city's skyscrapers and are often featured in photographs of Osaka's skyline. Minami, though meaning"south", is essentially in Chūō Ward and geographically central within the city. Well known districts here include Namba and Shinsaibashi shopping areas, the Dōtonbori canal entertainment area, Nipponbashi Den Den Town, as well as arts and fashion culture-oriented areas such as Amerikamura and Horie.

 

The business districts between Kita and Minami such as Honmachi and Yodoyabashi, called Semba, house the regional headquarters of many large-scale banks and corporations. The Midōsuji boulevard runs through Semba and connects Kita and Minami.

 

Osaka contains numerous urban canals and bridges, many of which serve as the namesake for their surrounding neighbourhoods.The phrase "808 bridges of Naniwa" was an expression in old Japan used to indicate impressiveness and the "uncountable". Osaka numbered roughly 200 bridges by the Edo period and 1629 bridges by 1925. As many of the city's canals were gradually filled in, the number dropped to 872, of which 760 are currently managed by Osaka City.

 

 

Excursions in Osaka

Osaka Tours

1.Universal Studios Japan
 
Universal Studios Japan(USJ) was the first theme park under the Universal Studios brand to be built in Asia. Opened in March 2001 in the Osaka Bay Area, the theme park occupies an area of 39 hectares and is the most visited amusement park in Japan after Tokyo Disney Resort. Universal Studios Japan currently has eight sections: Hollywood, New York, San Francisco, Jurassic Park, Waterworld, Amity Village, Universal Wonderland and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Visitors are able to enjoy many amusement rides, ranging from child-friendly carousels to thrilling roller coasters and simulators based on popular movies such as Spiderman, Back to the Future, Terminator 2 and Jurassic Park.
 
In addition to rides, the theme park offers many opportunities to take pictures with popular characters' mascots such as Snoopy, Hello Kitty and the puppets of Sesame Street. There are also various shows put on every day, including a night parade featuring illuminated floats that are paraded through the streets. Just outside the park's gates is Universal Citywalk Osaka, a shopping mall with multiple official Universal hotels and many restaurants and shops, including stores selling Universal Studios merchandise and Osaka souvenirs. Furthermore, the Osaka Takoyaki Museum, which is essentially a collection of several popular vendors of the local dish gathered under one roof, is located on the mall's fourth floor.
 
2.Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
 
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is located in the Tempozan Harbor Village of Osaka's bay area, and is one of Japan's most spectacular aquariums. It introduces various forms of life inhabiting the Pacific Rim in a well organized and impressive way. Marine life is displayed in 15 tanks, each representing a specific region of the Pacific Rim. The central tank, representing the Pacifc Ocean, is nine meters deep and home to a whale shark, the aquarium's main attraction. Visitors start their tour of the aquarium on the 8th floor and slowly spiral down floor by floor around the central tank. Some of the tanks stretch over several floors, making it possible to observe the animals from different depths and perspectives. New exhibition space was added to the aquarium in March 2013.
 
3. Osaka Castle(Osakajo)
 
The construction of Osaka Castle started in 1583 on the former site of the Ishiyama Honganji Temple, which had been destroyed by Oda Nobunaga thirteen years earlier. Toyotomi Hideyoshi intended the castle to become the center of a new, unified Japan under Toyotomi rule. It was the largest castle at the time. However, a few years after Hideyoshi's death, Tokugawa troops attacked and destroyed the castle and terminated the Toyotomi lineage in 1615. Osaka Castle was rebuilt by Tokugawa Hidetada in the 1620s, but its main castle tower was struck by lightening in 1665 and burnt down. It was not until 1931 that the present ferro-concrete reconstruction of the castle tower was built. During the war it miraculously survived the city wide air raids. Major repair works gave the castle new glamor in 1997. The castle tower is now entirely modern on the inside and even features an elevator for easier accessibility. It houses an informative museum about the castle's history and Toyotomi Hideyoshi.  
 

 

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