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Visit Osaka

Updated on March 31, 2015

Osaka, the Gourmet Capital of Japan

Osaka is a town in the Kansai region of Japan, 340 miles east from Tokyo. It is an ideal destination if you are visiting Japan, less crowded than Tokyo and the recognized gourmet capital of Japan. Geographically it is also a good choice as it is located roughly in the centre of Japan making it easy to travel around the country. For example, Tokyo is 340 miles East from Osaka and it is easily accessible by different forms of transport, it takes less than 3 hours by high speed train to travel from Osaka to Tokyo.

How to get there?

The easiest way to travel to Osaka is by plain to the Kansai International Airport (KIX) only 30 minutes to downtown Osaka. There is another airport, The Osaka International Airport but it is mainly for domestic flights.

Both airports are connected to major cites and are convenient for business and tourism.

Osaka Castle

Photo courtesy of Marcopolis at www.panoramio.com
Photo courtesy of Marcopolis at www.panoramio.com

Places to See in Osaka

National Museum of Art
National Museum of Art
Rose garden at Utsubo Park, Osaka city, Japan
Rose garden at Utsubo Park, Osaka city, Japan

Osaka Tourism, Places to See:

  • Osaka Castle: a magnificent construction that towers over the city standing on a stone rampart. This is one of Japan's most famous castles; it played a major role in the unification of Japan during the sixteenth century. The Castle grounds cover approximately 60,000 square meters (15 acres).
  • Osaka’s two major city centres Kita ("North") around Osaka/Umeda Station which is a shopping and business area and Minami ("South") around Namba Station, the entertainment district.
  • Osaka Aquarium, one of Japan's most impressive aquariums and the world's second-largest aquarium tank.

Osaka Aquarium

Osaka Aquarium, Kaiyukan (Ring of Fire Aquarium) in Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
Osaka Aquarium, Kaiyukan (Ring of Fire Aquarium) in Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan | Source

Japan Travel Guide

Japan (Eyewitness Travel Guides)
Japan (Eyewitness Travel Guides)

All aspects of modern Japan, as well as its history, art and ancient traditions are explained through informative text and spectacular photographs and illustrations.

 

More Places to See in Osaka

  • Tempozan Harbor Village Ferris wheel, located next to the aquarium. The wheel has coloured lights that provide a weather forecast for the next day.
  • The National Museum of Art, a subterranean museum for Japanese arts.
  • The Osaka Museum of History, a museum opened in 2001, located in a thirteen-storied modern building.
  • Utsubo Park a large public park with a beautiful rose garden, situated at Utsubo-Hommachi in Nishi-ku.
  • Shin-Umeda city – an innovative structure that has a floating garden observatory 170 m from the ground, which offers a 360-degree panoramic view of Osaka. There you also find an underground mall with restaurants styled in the early Showa period in the 1920s.
  • Shitennō-ji , the first Buddhist and oldest officially administered temple in Japan.


Shitennō-ji in Osaka

 Shitennō-ji in Osaka, Osaka prefecture, Japan
Shitennō-ji in Osaka, Osaka prefecture, Japan | Source

Osaka, modern buildings

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Umeda sky-building. from wikipedia.orgPhoto courtesy of Marcopolis at www.panoramio.comPhoto courtesy of Marcopolis at www.panoramio.comTempozan Harbor Village Ferris wheel in Osaka
Umeda sky-building. from wikipedia.org
Umeda sky-building. from wikipedia.org
Photo courtesy of Marcopolis at www.panoramio.com
Photo courtesy of Marcopolis at www.panoramio.com
Photo courtesy of Marcopolis at www.panoramio.com
Photo courtesy of Marcopolis at www.panoramio.com
Tempozan Harbor Village Ferris wheel in Osaka
Tempozan Harbor Village Ferris wheel in Osaka

Language:

Japanese is the official language but Osaka’s dialect is widely spoken because people in Osaka take special pride in the dialect which can express one’s delicate feelings.

English is also widely spoken as a second language.

Economy, some curious and interesting facts:

  • Historically, Osaka was the centre of Japanese commerce, especially in the middle and pre-modern ages.
  • Today, several major companies, such as Panasonic, Sharp, and Sanyo, are still headquartered in Osaka.
  • The gross regional product of Kansai (where Osaka is nestled) amounts to almost the same as GDP of Canada.
  • Recently, the city began a program, headed by Mayor Junichi Seki, to try to attract domestic and foreign investment.

Cuisine:

Osaka is traditionally considered the "nation's kitchen", the gourmet food capital of Japan. It can offer you all kinds of Japanese and international dishes of exquisite taste at a reasonable price in a friendly atmosphere.


Tako-yaki: small octopus dumplings

Tako-yaki is made by heating a mixture of flour and water with pieces of boiled octopus, chopped scallions and other ingredients in a pan with small circular shaped molds. Served piping hot with a special sauce topping, each bite-sized morsel is a ta
Tako-yaki is made by heating a mixture of flour and water with pieces of boiled octopus, chopped scallions and other ingredients in a pan with small circular shaped molds. Served piping hot with a special sauce topping, each bite-sized morsel is a ta

Osaka - famous sights of Dotonbori a busy shopping and restaurant area

Shopping:

There is nothing you cannot find in Osaka, from inexpensive goods to hard-to-find specialties.

The Den-DenTown is the place to go if you are looking for manga related products and electric appliances; more than 200 shops are waiting for you with the latest technologies.  For luxury goods and fashionable department stores head towards Shinsaibashi.  For some good restaurants head towards the Namba area where you will also be able to shop ‘til you drop.

Would you travel to Japan?

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    • Jimmy Evola profile image

      Jimmy Evola 

      7 years ago from Australia

      Cool hub, I'ma big fan of japan, I lived there for a long time, and one of my favorite memories is osaka castle

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 

      7 years ago from Isle of Man

      A very well written and informative hub on a great place to go in Japan.Thank you.

    • Princessa profile imageAUTHOR

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      8 years ago from France

      hypnodude: Thanks for the "up rating". Osaka is one of those places where the most traditional ways of life mix with the most modern architecture and cultural changes. It is a place that must be visited at least once!

    • hypnodude profile image

      Andrew 

      8 years ago from Italy

      Very interesting. I haven't been in Japan yet but it's definitely a country I must visit one day or another. One of the things I find very interesting about it is that in the same place there are buildings like the Osaka Castle, wonderful, and the Umeda Sky-Building,impressive. But I prefer the first one anyway.

      Rated up and useful, and nice new avatar pic. :)

    • profile image

      Anna Li 

      8 years ago

      Hi,

      I am planning to visit Osaka for a conference. I was thinking of taking a one day trip to Tokyo from Osaka (start from Osaka on monday morning and have to be back at Osaka at 3pm next day). I am planning to buy a japan rail pass and plan to get one night hotel near Tokyo Tower and see rainbow bridge.

      Can you please help - My email anna.li66@yahoo.com

    • Princessa profile imageAUTHOR

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      8 years ago from France

      earnestshub: you are welcome, I hope you can visit one day, you will not be dissapointed!

      Joanna: you are a lucky girl being able to see Osaka!

    • Joanna Lark profile image

      Joanna Lark 

      8 years ago from London

      I have been living in Osaka for over a year, and your hub made me so sentimental now...

      Life there is exactely as you described, and I really fancy some tako yaki now. Oishi yo!

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 

      8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Wow! I have to go to Osaka. What a great city. Your hub gives excellent information, thank you.

    • vijaylvs profile image

      vijaylvs 

      9 years ago

      It is an interesting and descriptive message to the visitors. Geographically it is self explanatory with unique photography. From educational point of view the students are benefited.

    • profile image

      sisters oregon 

      9 years ago

      Lived in Okinawa for 4 years and I also got go to Tokyo 4 or 5 times but have yet to visit Osaka. Looks great!

    • mayhmong profile image

      mayhmong 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      I think you pretty much covered all the best sites to see in Osaka! And I didn't know that English was a second language there? Now, I'm really psyched! I always wanted to go see Japan one day!

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 

      9 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      A real handy guide. Informative and concise. Thanks for sharing a glimpse of this wonderful Japanese city :D

    • laringo profile image

      laringo 

      9 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      The world has so many beautiful cities. I am really fascinated with centuries old castles and other structures with the most wonderful architectural designs. Natural landscapes are also awesome. This is a great Hub and makes me want to pack my bags right now.

    • Princessa profile imageAUTHOR

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      9 years ago from France

      It is tempting, who could resist the park's allee of pine trees, tennis courts, rose garden, large open spaces with grass and clothed statues; all in the heart of urban Osaka?

    • ocbill profile image

      ocbill 

      9 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      I bet the parks and grounds are beautiful to see. Looks tempting.

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