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 average price of all types of land in urban areas rose last year for the first time since 1992 as the growing influx of foreign tourists rejuvenated real estate investment, the government said Tuesday.
Chiba Prefectural Police on Friday announced the arrest of a 38-year-old man over the alleged theft of children’s slippers from schools across the country, reports the Asahi Shimbun (tokyoreporter.com)
A 7-Eleven convenience franchisee who shortened the store’s business hours to 6 a.m. – 11 p.m. on Feb 1 will continue to operate those hours after the company told him it would not cancel his contract or issue a penalty. (Japan Today)
The governor and mayor of Osaka tendered their resignations Friday to seek election in each other’s current position with the aim of reorganizing the major city into a metropolitan government system similar to Tokyo’s. (Japan Today)
The base concept behind the pick-up training industry is kind of strange On the one hand, customers are supposedly paying money to get lessons from experienced instructors in how to meet and seduce a romantic and/or sexual partner. But on the other hand, such extensive experience in picking up new people sort of implies that said instructors’ romantic connections aren’t of the quality that warrants repeat performances, and the techniques they’re teaching may not be so much putting your best foot forward, but relying on outright deception or other underhanded tricks. (soranews24.com)
A former school operator and his wife will go on trial on Wednesday at the Osaka District Court in western Japan. The former president of Moritomo Gakuen is at the center of a favoritism scandal that rocked the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
A 37-year-old truck driver has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after he injured another truck driver with a knife following a road rage incident on the Tomei Expressway in Shizuoka Prefecture. (Japan Today)
Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Thursday arrested two former employees of a hostess club in Edogawa Ward for allegedly dumping the corpse of a man who died after excessive drinking, reports the Sankei Shimbun (tokyoreporter.com)
Osaka Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura said Thursday he hopes the venue for the 2025 World Exposition in the city will be developed with public roads that could be used to subsequently host a Formula One motor race. (Japan Today)
Osaka Prefectural Police have arrested former professional boxer Tomoaki Hashizume over the alleged fatal assault of a male bar patron in Matsubara City over the weekend, reports the Sankei Shimbun (tokyoreporter.com)
Convenience store operator Family Mart Co. on Monday announced the dismissal of a male employee after the emergence of a video showing him licking items, the latest of several similar incidents involving a food-related company in the last week, reports TV Asahi (Feb. 12). (tokyoreporter.com)
The operator of one of Japan’s largest sushi restaurant chains said Wednesday that video footage recently uploaded to the internet showed one of its part-time kitchen workers throwing sliced fish into a trash can and returning it to a cutting board at an outlet in Osaka Prefecture. (Kyodo)
Japan’s swine fever epidemic is spreading, with local authorities in five central and western prefectures saying Wednesday they are struggling to contain the highly contagious virus that was first reported in September.