Ōsaka (大阪) is the third largest city in Japan, with a population of over 17 million people in its greater metropolitan area. It is the central metropolis of the Kansai region and the largest of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto trio.

If Tokyo is Japan’s capital, one might call Osaka its anti-capital. Whatever you call it, though, there are many opportunities for you to discover its true character.

Veiled much with a commercial-centric city touch, you may as well start from picking up the lively intonation of Osaka dialect, heard from the people as you ride on the escalators standing on the right, instead of the left in Tokyo; then discovering the contrast of popular food to eastern Japan, as you look for places to lunch. The deeper you get inside, and at the end of your stay, it is not completely impossible that you may have compiled your own original list of reasons covering from history, culture, sports, to business.

Osaka Castle (大阪城 Osaka-jō), (The park can be accessed on a number of lines, but the castle is closest to Osaka-jō Koen station on the JR Osaka Loop Line.), [16]. 09:00-17:00 daily, closed around New Year’s. Osaka’s best known sight, although it’s a concrete reconstruction that pales in comparison with, say, Himeji. Think of it as a museum built in the shape of a castle, rather than as an actual historical castle. Still, it’s pretty enough from the outside, especially in the cherry blossom season when Osakans flock to the castle park to picnic and make merry. Naniwa Palace Site Park or Naniwanomiya can also be found south to Osaka Castle Park (although it’s one of Japan’s oldest habitats and palace sites, today it’s little more than an empty grass field where the outlines of Naniwa’s palace foundations from around 643 AD have been partly recreated in concrete). The grounds are free, and the castle costs adults Y600, children free.

Universal Studios Japan, (At Universal-City Station on the JR Yumesaki Line, 10 minutes from Osaka.), [26]. Japan’s second-largest theme park. Expect much Japanese dubbing over your favorite characters and movies. (If you are coming here on a side trip from Tokyo Disney Resort, see that article’s Get out section for information on how to get here and return to Tokyo that same day.) One-day ticket for adults Y6200, children Y4100.

Umeda Sky Building (梅田スカイビル), 1-1-20 Oyodonaka, Kita-ku (10-min walk from JR Osaka or Hankyu Umeda), [19]. Built in an attempt to upgrade Osaka’s somewhat downbeat Kita district, the project wasn’t quite the hoped-for commercial success but this bizarrely shaped 40-story, 173-meter building is still a city landmark. Take the escalator through midair to the rooftop observatory for an open-air view of Osaka, which is particularly impressive on a clear night. There is a lover’s seat, where if you hold your partner’s hand, and each hold a metal button on the seat, the ground around you lights up into a heart. You can purchase an engraved heart lock (Y1000) and attached it to the padlock wall around the seat (padlocks only available after 7pm). Observatory admission Y700, 10AM-10:30PM daily. The basement features a recreation of a Meiji-era street, with a few small restaurants and bars in appropriate style. There is also a small store downstairs where you can purchase quality mochi on the cheap.…WikiTravel


22 May

Demand for vacation apartments is growing in Japan and companies are rolling out ways to make guests feel as welcome as possible. One recent entrant is convenience store chain FamilyMart. (NHK)

21 May

Osaka prefectural police on Sunday appealed to the public for any information that might help them find out what happened to a nine-year-old girl who went missing on May 20, 2003 in the town of Kumatori near Osaka Bay. (Japan Today)

20 May

Osaka Prefectural Police have arrested an organized crime member for allegedly referring customers to a business in the Tobita Shinchi pleasure quarter of Nishinari Ward, reports Nikkan Sports (

20 May

The head coach of Nihon University’s American football team, Masato Uchida, has accepted full responsibility for a serious foul committed by one of his players and says he intends to resign.

19 May

It was a sad day when the Evangelion Shinkansen made its last journey on the rails on 13 May. But where one door closes, another one opens, and that’s exactly what happened this week, as West Japan Railway finally let us all peek inside their new Hello Kitty Shinkansen, which is set to make its debut next month. (

19 May

Japanese teenage shogi chess sensation Sota Fujii has set a new record. The 15-year-old high school freshman has become the youngest player to achieve the rank of 7th-dan. (NHK)

17 May

Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a female professional wrestler over the alleged used of stimulant drugs, reports TBS News (

14 May

Osaka Prefectural Police have arrested a civic employee for allegedly molesting a woman on a train in Osaka City on Friday, reports Nikkan Sports (

12 May

A dead fire ant was found in Osaka Prefecture, the Environment Ministry has said. (Jiji)

9 May

Finance Minister Taro Aso on Tuesday repeated a controversial statement that appeared to downplay an incident of alleged sexual harassment by his ministry’s top bureaucrat, just a day after his earlier comments sparked protest demonstrations in a number of cities across the nation. (Japan Times)

8 May

Osaka Prefectural Police are hunting for a man who slashed the female manager of a beauty salon in Nishinari Ward during a robbery on Sunday, reports the Sankei Shimbun (

7 May

Legoland Japan is redoubling efforts to increase the number of visitors as the outdoor theme park is apparently fighting an uphill battle about a year after its opening. (Jiji)

6 May

Roads are congested and planes and trains are packed as people in Japan return home from their spring holidays. (NHK)

5 May

The population of children under 15 years old in Japan stood at an estimated 15.53 million as of April 1, down 170,000 from a year earlier and falling for the 37th consecutive year, the internal affairs ministry said Friday. (Jiji)

3 May

A 31-year-old mother was arrested Monday for killing her 2-year-old daughter by dropping her from the balcony of her apartment in Osaka, police said. (Japan Today)

2 May

A roller coaster at an amusement park in Osaka, central Japan, suddenly stopped on Tuesday afternoon. (NHK)

30 Apr

The likes of Tokyo and Kyoto may still be top of many visitors’ itineraries, but Japan’s tourism industry is changing as more and more people head west in search of new experiences. (Nikkei)

29 Apr

Japanese human national treasure Takemoto Sumitayu, narrator of traditional “bunraku” puppet plays, died of pneumonia at a hospital in the western city of Osaka on Saturday. He was 93. (Jiji)

27 Apr

A 69-year-old man from Osaka Prefecture filed a lawsuit Thursday against his deceased same-sex partner’s sister, seeking assets left behind by his late partner and damages for being barred from attending his cremation.
(Japan Times)

24 Apr

NHK has learned that prosecutors have questioned a former senior Finance Ministry official about a document-tampering scandal in connection with the discounted sale of state-owned land. (NHK)

22 Apr

Osaka has been considered something of a pioneer in LGBT rights in Japan. Back in 2013, Yodogawa Ward was the first government body in the country to officially declare support for LGBT communities. While merely a symbolic gesture at first, it has spread into a larger movement of sensitivity that now includes all wards in Osaka. (

21 Apr

Wakayama Prefectural Police have arrested a 29-year-old man over the murder of his wife during a diving excursion in the town of Shirahama last year, a case that he framed as an accidental drowning, reports the Yomiuri Shimbun (

17 Apr

Men wearing gold, full-body suits and costume hats, themed as taiyaki (a waffle-like cake shaped like a fish, typically filled with red bean paste), have started to appear in central Nagoya, attracting the attention of pedestrians. (Japan Times)

17 Apr

Tennis player Naomi Osaka, now living in the United States, has expressed her willingness to play in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as a member of the Japanese team. (NHK)

14 Apr

The Osaka District Court on Friday sentenced a 25-year-old man to 30 years in prison for stabbing a resident to death with a dagger and injuring his three children at their home in the prefecture in 2016. (Japan Times)