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
An American man accused of manslaughter in the death of a 27-year-old woman and dumping it last year admitted to the allegations at the opening of his trial on Tuesday, reports the Asahi Shimbun (tokyoreporter.com)
All Nippon Airways Co. said Tuesday an internal probe had found that last week one of its pilots caused domestic flight delays after drinking alcohol before flight duties despite the company’s 12-hour ban, and that he also asked a co-pilot to lie about it.
The arrested driver of a car that plowed into a New Year crowd in Tokyo’s Harajuku district has said he was planning to spray kerosene at people at a popular Shinto shrine and set them ablaze, investigative sources said Friday. (Japan Today)
Two death row inmates who killed a company president and an employee at the firm were hanged Thursday morning in Osaka, the Justice Ministry said, bringing the number of executions in the country this year to 15. (Japan Times)
An officer who was on duty when a 30-year-old suspect escaped from a police station in Tondabayashi City earlier this year was watching an adult video (AV) clip, it was learned on Thursday, reports Nikkan Sports (Dec. 13). (tokyoreporter.com)
SoftBank’s mobile service outage Thursday across much of Japan disrupted operations ranging from flights and trains to amusement parks and logistics companies, illustrating both corporate and consumer dependence on wireless communications networks. (Nikkei)
The rate of rental car accidents involving foreign drivers in Osaka Prefecture is four times higher than those involving Japanese drivers, according to recent data released by the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry. (Japan Times)
Cases of syphilis infections this year totaled 6,096 as of Nov. 18, exceeding an annual amount of 6,000 for the first time since 1970, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases said Wednesday. (Japan Times)
Kyoto, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan, is aiming to attract travelers to lesser-known spots to ease “overtourism” that has increased complaints among visitors and local people. (Japan Today)
The transport ministry will prohibit passengers of all trains in Japan from carrying unpacked knives onto trains from next April under new security measures following a fatal stabbing on a shinkansen bullet train in June, officials said Tuesday. (Japan Today)
Osaka Prefectural Police have sent papers to prosecutors on a man who allegedly drove a vehicle at 220 kilometers over the speed limit on a road in Higashiosaka City earlier this year, reports NHK (Nov. 5). (tokyoreporter.com)
Japan’s government-affiliated financial institution says the 4 major natural disasters that hit the country this year are expected to have a negative impact on the country’s economy of more than 10 billion dollars.