Osaka – Japan’s Liveliest City
A government designated city located in the Kansai region of Japan, Osaka is a major port city and a commercial center on the Japanese island of Honshu. The city is the second largest metropolitan in Japan and largest component of the Keihanshin Metropolitan Area. Osaka is in inhabited by more than 19 million people, making it one of the largest cities in the world. A major economic hub, Osaka spreads on an area of 223.00 km2 and is situated at the mouth of the Yodo River on Osaka Bay. Also referred as 'nation's kitchen', Osaka has been a major center of rice trade during the Edo period and is known for being a historic merchant city. The history of the city goes back to the times of the Morinomiya people who lived here somewhere between 5th–6th centuries BC. While Japanese is the official language spoken by the people, a local variation of the language known as Osakaben is also spoken widely.
All flights coming to Osaka land at the Kansai International Airport or Osaka International Airport, which are the two airports serving Osaka. While Kansai International Airport handles international flights, Osaka International Airport caters to domestic tourists and cargo. Located in the humid subtropical climate zone, the climate of Osaka can be classified into four distinct seasons – the city is gripped by mild winters from December till February, and snowfall is a rare occurrence. Spring begin from March and stays till April. The city experiences hot and humid summer from May till August and the maximum rainfall occur between May and July. Fall stretches from September till November. While the spring season is the major tourist season for Osaka, the city can be visited all year round, except for the summer months. Tenjin-matsuri in July, Sumiyoshi-matsuri in August, Shōryō-e in April, Tōka-Ebisu in January, Cherry Blossom Festival in April and Golden Week in May are among the major local as well as international festivals celebrated in Osaka.
When in Osaka, begin your city tour by visiting the Osaka Castle, which is the city’s prime attraction. When it was built by Japanese warrior and politician Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1586, it was Japan's largest castle and the Osaka Castle Park and Hokoku Shrine are the major attractions located in vicinity. Shitennō-ji Temple, the best known temple in Osaka is believed to be the first Buddhist temple in the country. Five-story pagoda and numerous sculptures and statues that adorn the temple are a must see attraction in Osaka. Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, among the world’s biggest water attractions offers unique tours to a number of marine habitats, including the Pacific Ocean and Antarctica along with the Great Barrier Reef and Monterey Bay.
The Tempozan Ferris Wheel (among the largest Ferris wheel in Asia and offers best views over Osaka), Tsūtenkaku and the Kobe Port Tower (the popular twin towers), The National Museum of Art (an underground museum showcasing large collection from some of the leading international artists), Tennōji Park and Zoo (popular picnic spot), Osaka Science Museum (displaying hands-on and interactive exhibits), The Umeda Sky Building (finest example of modern architecture) and Universal Studios Japan (the busiest tourist destination) are among the major attractions one should not miss in Osaka.
Eating and Shopping
Often called as the ‘food capital of the world’, Austin has a perfect mix of fine dining restaurants to eating joints for travellers on budget. Some of the local dishes which you can try here are - Sushi, Okonomiyaki, Takoyaki, Kobe Beef, Udon, Fugu, Hiyashi Ame, Otoro, Tako Tamago, Amao Strawberries and oshizushi. Kuromon Ichiba Market, neon-laden Dotonbori district near Namba Station, Osaka Station City, Kitashinchi and Shinsekai district are the major places to enjoy some of the most lip smacking delicacies. A vibrant street food culture dominates the city and in a place where people are known to spend more on food than anything else, it surely is a foodie’s heaven. If you are not a fan of the Japanese food, then there are numerous restaurants across the city serving international cuisines as well.
Laden with large number of retail as well as wholesale shops; Osaka is among the major shopping destinations in Japan. From malls to conventional shōtengai shopping arcades and underground shopping areas, everything is available to please travellers of all budgets. Having some of the longest markets in Japan, Osaka is also a haven for the brand conscious. Den Den Town is the best place to buy cheap electronics. Visit the Hankyu Sanbangai shopping mall which houses Yodobashi Camera - a huge electrical appliance store. Kuidaore Taro Pudding, Nikuman from 551 HORAI, Japanese-themed keychains, Gozasoro, Kendama, Hair accessories, Tenugui, Electronics, Bâton d’or, Yukata sets, Train goods, Japanese pottery and porcelain, Japanese amulets and Chopsticks in variety of designs and colors are some of the things you should buy in Osaka.
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Airports near Osaka Kansai International
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