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
Temperatures rose across Japan on Saturday to highs usually not seen until the height of summer, causing hundreds of people to be taken to hospitals and prompting the weather agency to issue heatstroke warnings. (Japan Today)
A Japanese lawmaker said Monday he will not resign as a Diet member after opposition parties submitted a joint motion urging him to quit for alluding to Japan waging war with Russia to regain control of a group of disputed islands. (Japan Today)
Imagine you are a Chinese tourist visiting Japan for the first time. Your travels take you to Osaka and the 40-story Umeda Sky Building, with its fine views of the city. After awhile, you look for the exit and are confronted with the following sign in Chinese: “Ni tui chu.” (“You get out of here.”) (Nikkei)
A UNESCO advisory panel has recommended adding two ancient tumulus clusters in western Japan, including the country’s largest keyhole-shaped mound named after an emperor, to the World Cultural Heritage list, a Japanese government official said Tuesday. (Kyodo)
In November 2018, Kawasaki were crowned champions of the J-League for the second season running despite losing 2-1 to Cerezo Osaka. Sanfrecce Hiroshima’s last-gasp home defeat to Vegalta Sendai was enough to seal the title for Kawasaki with two games to spare. (newsonjapan.com)
Prosecutors have announced the non-prosecution of two male students at a school that teaches the art of picking up women over the alleged rape of a woman last year, reports Fuji News Network (tokyoreporter.com)
Osaka Prefectural Police last week arrested a 16-year-old boy over the alleged fatal beating of his grandfather at their residence in Ibaraki City, reports Mainichi Broadcasting System (tokyoreporter.com)
Tissue paper and other daily products sold at Osaka Prison are so expensive that inmates mostly cannot purchase them, a situation amounting to a human rights violation, according to local lawyers. (Japan Times)
British rock band Queen will perform in Japan next January as part of their 2020 Rhapsody Tour amid a wave of popularity after their biopic film “Bohemian Rhapsody” won an Academy Award, organizer Creativeman Productions Ltd. said Wednesday. (Kyodo)
The bridge connecting Kansai International Airport, on an artificial island in Osaka Bay, with the mainland, was fully reopened Monday with all six inbound and outbound lanes functional following months of repairs after it was hit by a tanker ship during a typhoon in September 2018. (Japan Today)
Seven-Eleven Japan will get a new leader as it struggles to find workers for its round-the-clock business. The new chief says he will be flexible in responding to the needs of individual outlets.
The president of a school that teaches the art of picking up women and two former students have been arrested on suspicion of rape, the seventh such case to emerge, police revealed on Thursday, reports Jiji Press (tokyoreporter.com)
Japan is relaxing work visa requirements in the food service industry to deal with a chronic labor shortage, but the number of workers who can take the first qualification exams will be limited because industry bodies responsible for developing the tests have not had enough time to prepare for the event. (Nikkei)
Osaka Prefectural Police have arrested two persons over the alleged assault of a man in Osaka City’s Nishi Ward on Thursday, an incident that was captured by a security camera, reports the Sankei Shimbun. (tokyoreporter.com)
Official campaigning for the Osaka mayoral election began Sunday, with Osaka Prefecture’s former governor, Ichiro Matsui, facing off against a ruling Liberal Democratic Party-backed challenger opposed to the controversial idea of restructuring the city into a metropolis. (Japan Times)