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
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)
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 (tokyoreporter.com)
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. (soranews24.com)
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)
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)
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.
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. (soranews24.com)
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 (tokyoreporter.com)
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)
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)