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 are seeking the whereabouts of the driver of a vehicle that slammed into the office of a criminal syndicate early Thursday, an incident that is believed to be connected to an ongoing dispute, reports the Sankei Shimbun (tokyoreporter.com)
An excavator rammed into pupils and teachers of a school for children with impaired hearing in Osaka on Thursday, killing an 11-year-old girl and injuring four others, police and rescuers said. (Japan Today)
The number of people who moved into the greater Tokyo area exceeded that of people moving out by 119,779 in 2017, marking a net population inflow for the 22nd straight year, the internal affairs ministry said Monday. (Jiji)
Japan is quickly becoming one of the hottest destinations to visit these days. Maybe you’re looking into flights to Japan and wondered where the best place to stay is? Forget Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto and journey to the heart of the Japanese countryside where fantasy-like scenery and legendary Japanese cuisine is prepared. Slumber in tatami rooms with views of the rivers, mountains, lakes and forests! Open air baths with waterfalls in snow! This could be you, too! (ONLY in JAPAN)
Japan will relax hotel regulations later this month to kill two birds with one stone — catering to international tourists’ desire to experience Japanese life and culture and making use of vacant old homes. (Nikkei)
The Japanese Finance Ministry’s Kinki Local Finance Bureau has stored documents of negotiations related to the controversial discount sale of a plot of state-owned land to school operator Moritomo Gakuen, it was learned Monday. (Jiji)
With the investigation into the rigging of arcade games widening in scale, Osaka Prefectural Police have re-arrested the president of a management company over the alleged fraud of additional persons, reports NHK (Jan. 13). (tokyoreporter.com)
Japan received a record number of overseas visitors in 2017 for the fifth straight year, with the greatest growth coming from Asian countries, where low-cost air carriers are expanding service. (Nikkei)
During the day, Yakiniku GyuuGyuu was like any other Korean barbecue restaurant found all over Osaka Prefecture, serving prime cuts of meat for the customers to grill to their liking on open flames right at their tables. However, on some nights this yakiniku restaurant took a dark, B-Movie-esque turn for one of its employees. (rocketnews24.com)
A joint research team of Kyoto University and Osaka University said Friday it has succeeded in repairing finger function in monkeys with spinal cord injuries using an antibody against a protein that blocks neural regeneration. (Jiji)
Japan reported in 2017 over 5,000 syphilis patients for the first time since comparable data became available in 1999, with the number rising particularly among women in their 20s, data by a national research center showed Friday. (Japan Today)
A Japanese couple who have been arrested after the death of their 33-year-old daughter were served with fresh arrest warrants on Tuesday for allegedly confining her for at least 15 years illegally before she froze to death. (Jiji)
About 10 outdoor surveillance cameras were installed at an Osaka home where a 33-year-old woman was found dead last week after being confined by her parents for around 15 years allegedly due to mental illness, investigative sources said Wednesday. (Japan Today)
Local assemblies around Japan are discussing or preparing to pass ordinances that will place strict limits on where minpaku (private lodging services) can be located, in advance of a national law that will go into effect in June regulating their use. (Japan Times)
A man and woman who were arrested after the death of their 33-year-old daughter confessed they confined her to a tiny room for around 15 years due to a mental illness they say made her violent, police sources said Monday. (Japan Today)
Police in Minoh, Osaka Prefecture, have arrested a 26-year-old woman, her 24-year-old common-law husband and his 20-year-old male friend on suspicion of killing the woman’s four-year-old son. (Japan Today)
As a part of the investigation into the rigging of arcade games, Osaka Prefectural Police have discovered a manual used by employees that detailed how to ensure that customers never won prizes, reports TBS News (tokyoreporter.com)