Osaka, Japan - The Traveller


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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Osaka, Japan


Osaka – Economic Powerhouse of Kansai Region for Centuries

Osaka is located in the centre of Kinki region in the Midwest Japan covering the smallest prefecture land space in Japan. It boost of largest population with the highest population density immediately after the capital, Tokyo. It is the third largest and second most important city and has been the economic powerhouse of the Kansai region for several centuries.Osaka dates back to the Asuka and the Nara periods and was earlier known as Naniwas prior to the Nara period when the capital used to be moved with the reign of each new emperor. Naniwa once the capital city of Japan was the first one to be known.

Osaka continued to play an important role as a hub for land, sea and river-canal transportation, even after the capital had moved elsewhere.Surrounded on three sides of the prefecture are the mountains and towards the west, the arc-shaped Osaka Bay. Due to its proximity to the former capitals of Japan Kyoto and Nara, it has prospered as an important point for land and water transportation together as a commercial city. The Osaka Castle with a five layer donjon as its core on a lawn park which tends to extend to around 60,000 square meters is in the Osaka City.

Kaiyukan Aquarium – Largest Aquarium in the World

The park, during the cherry blossom season in spring is particularly crowded with hanami or cherry blossom viewing crowd. Umeda, Osaka’s north gate has a massive stretch of underground mall which accommodates several restaurants, fashion and sundry goods stores. When compared to Kita with Umeda at its core, Minami seems to be an area with core cities; Namba which is a famous business as well as shopping district together with Dotonbori has several restaurants on both sides of Dontonbori-gawa River.Minami is known as a town of public entertainments, having several theatres as well as cinemas.

The Tenpo-zan Harbour Village has a 112.5 meter high Ferris wheel, with shopping mall and Kaiyukan Aquarium which is one of the largest aquarium in the world and ATC – Asia Pacific Trade Centre, the largest outlet mall in Japan is also very popular. Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the 16th century had chosen Osaka as the location for his castle and the city could have been Japan’s capital had it not been for Tokugawa leyasu who terminated the Toyotomi lineage after the death of Hideyoshi and moved his government to distant Edo (Tokyo).

Osaka Served as Nation’s Kitchen

During the era of Tokugawa, when Edo served as the grim seat of military power and Kyoto was the home of the Imperial court together with its couriers, Osaka served as `the Nation’s Kitchen’. It was the collection and the distribution point of rice which was the most important measure of wealth. Therefore it was also the city where the merchants made and lost fortunes and happily ignored all warnings from the shogunate to lessen their noticeable consumption. Shiteennoji university in Osaka is famous for its courses.

Osaka’s courageous entrepreneurs took the lead in industrial development during the Meiji era, making it equal to Manchester in U.K. A thorough defeat in World War II had left little evidence of this magnificent past. The castle is also a Ferro concrete reconstruction till date and though not appealing and gruff on the surface, Osaka tends to remain Japan’s best place to eat, drink and be merry. In legend, Osakans continue to greet one another with mokarimmaka – are you making money?


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