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
The suspect in a deadly arson attack in July on a Kyoto Animation Co studio has been questioned by police for the first time as he recovers from severe burns, investigative sources said Saturday. (Japan Today)
Toyota Motor Corp. and weather information provider Weathernews Inc. have started tests to improve the accuracy of rain forecasts by using real-time data from networked cars’ windshield wipers. (Japan Times)
The town of Kutchan, part of the Niseko tourism zone that includes a number of popular ski resorts in Hokkaido, introduced a 2 percent levy Friday for stays at all lodging facilities in its jurisdiction, marking the first such accommodation tax system in Japan. (Japan Today)
Central Japan Railway plans to expand its ticketless boarding service for the Tokyo-Osaka shinkansen bullet train line as early as April, allowing more foreign visitors to pay for seats in advance abroad. (Nikkei)
Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka rank among the world’s best 10 large cities — with the Japanese capital topping the list for a fourth successive year — according to U.S. luxury and lifestyle travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler. (Japan Today)
Yakiniku restaurants, establishments where customers grill their own meat on tattoo inspiring little BBQs, are extremely popular in Japan. Here, customers can quickly cook up whatever cuts of meat they like from tongues to tails and everything in between. (soranews24.com)
A Japanese comedy duo and their management company have apologized after the pair reportedly said during a live event that Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka, who just won the Pan Pacific Open at the weekend, “needed some bleach.” (Japan Today)
A new terminal for low-cost carriers opened at Chubu Centrair International Airport near Nagoya on Friday, raising expectations of growth in the number of foreign visitors to the Chubu region. (Japan Times)
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)