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. …WikiTravel
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.), . 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.), . 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), . 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
Among Japan’s 72 major cities outside of Tokyo, Kyoto retained its top spot as the metropolis with the greatest strengths for the second consecutive year, thanks to its allure as a tourism destination, a Tokyo-based think tank said Tuesday. (Japan Times)
Summer temperatures have yet to cool off, and meteorologists believe that this year’s scorching heat may have pushed back the arrival of autumn foliage season — predicting its start will likely be later than usual across almost all regions of Japan. (Japan Times)
A woman on Friday sued the operator of an Osaka hospital where she works, claiming she suffered undue emotional distress after her boss revealed to colleagues she had transitioned some years earlier due to her gender dysphoria. (Kyodo)
Tokyo has been ranked the world’s safest city for the third year running, followed by Singapore and Osaka, according to the latest report by the Economist Intelligence Unit released on Thursday. (Japan Today)
It has always been a mystery why Summer Sonic is not held in the relative cool of June or July, but at the very height of summer, when the August sun beats down upon the festival’s outdoor stages or typhoons power through the country, threatening disruption and cancellations to the event’s packed schedule. (Japan Times)
Although Nara has become a favorite of international tourists in recent years, the city, which served as the nation’s ancient capital from 710 to 784, has historically been a bit off the beaten path. (Japan Times)
Naomi Osaka almost topped the Forbes’ highest-earning female athlete list, slotting in at No. 2 behind fellow tennis star Serena Williams in the annual ranking of the top 10 paid sportswomen. (Japan Times)
Japanese beverage producer Suntory Holdings will spend about 6 billion yen ( million) to expand a domestic whisky-aging facility, the group’s latest effort to keep up with rising international demand for the spirit.
The overwhelming majority of middle and high school students in Japan are required to wear uniforms, and so it’s no surprise that Japanese schools tend to have lots of other rules governing students’ personal appearance. One that’s been attracting controversy in recent years, though, is a requirement at some schools that all students must have black hair. (Japan Today)
The Kyoto Prefectural Police have finished identifying all 34 of the people killed in last week’s arson attack on a Kyoto Animation Co. studio through DNA tests and plan to reveal their names soon, investigative sources said Thursday. (Japan Times)
Bowing and at times teary, the president of Japanese entertainment powerhouse Yoshimoto Kogyo Co said Monday he wants to withdraw punishment of two popular comedians over their paid appearance at a party for a group of swindlers and apologized to them for mishandling the aftermath.
Muneo Suzuki, a veteran politician with close ties to Russia, won a seat in Sunday’s House of Councilors election, returning to the Diet for the first time since being forced out by a conviction in 2010.
After reporting more than 5,000 cases in 2017, the first time that happened in more than 4 decades and nearly 7,000 cases in 2018, the first time since 1970, Japan continues to see the sexually transmitted infection, syphilis at high levels in the first half of 2019. (outbreaknewstoday.com)
After Sunday’s election, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party — along with its coalition partner Komeito — remains firmly in the saddle with a strong majority in both the Upper and Lower Houses of the Diet.