Osaka is distinguished by its nightlife and straightforward demeanor. While Tokyo functions as a global center of commerce and Kyoto specializes in ancient traditional customs, Osaka’s primary appeal is its thriving culinary culture—the term kuidaore, meaning "eat yourself into bankruptcy," is a distinctly Osaka phenomenon—along with the unpretentious attitude of the locals and its brash, fun-loving atmosphere. Many of Japan's comedians come from Osaka, and a new style of Kabuki arose here as well. And yet this packed prefecture and city by the same name have plenty of history and culture to explore, including such sites as Osaka Castle and Shitennoji Temple. This place has been a political and economic force since the fifth century, trading with Korea and China, and powerful warlords such as Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi made Osaka their base of operations, with the latter unifying Japan from here.
From Tokyo Station, take the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen to Shin-Osaka Station. The trip takes approximately two and a half hours. From Shin-Osaka Station, transfer to the JR local line and ride to Osaka Station. From Kansai International Airport, take the Nankai or JR lines to Tennoji or Namba stations.
Osaka is an excellent base for exploring the greater Kansai and Kinki region, which includes Kyoto, Nara, Kobe and Wakayama. Each of these areas is a one-hour train ride from Osaka’s central transportation hubs (Osaka Station in the north, and Tennoji Station in the south). Kansai International Airport (KIA) is rivaled only by Narita Airport in Tokyo in size and scope, and is serviced by all major airlines. Many direct flights shuttle between KIA to and from many major cities in the US and Europe.
Osaka Kongo Bamboo Blinds
Bamboo blinds predate the Heian period (794-1185), and were first used inside the Imperial palace and the residences ...
Iwa okoshi are candied puffs made from millet. Theyve been produced in Osaka since 1185. Think of them as cereal bars...
Okonomiyaki are savory pancakes made with shredded cabbage, flour, egg and dashi, and either cooked at your table for...
Bits of octopus combined with pickled ginger and green onions mixed in a batter and grilled in a special mold. The re...
A sea of pink fills the city’s parks and boulevards, and the city comes out in full force to celebrate the gorgeous views at Yodogawa Riverside Park, the Osaka Mint and elsewhere.
Festive spirits and outdoor amusements ease the heat, and Osaka's foremost festival, the Tenjin Matsuri, thrills crowds. People head for the city's southern beaches, and summer fireworks displays brighten the night.
As summer's humidity dissipates, the leaves turn fiery and provide a pleasant impetus for outdoor adventure. The Midosuji Parade brings a vibrant procession of floats and marching bands down Osaka's grand boulevard.
Warm spirits battle the cold weather, with holiday illuminations and end-of-year festivities. Runners from the world over gather for the Osaka International Women's Marathon.