OSAKA (大阪市, Ōsaka-shi) (Japanese pronunciation: ; listen
(help ·info )) is a designated city in the
Kansai region of Japan. It
is the capital city of
Osaka Prefecture and the largest component of
Keihanshin Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area
Japan and among the largest in the world with over 19 million
inhabitants. Situated at the mouth of the
Yodo River on
Osaka Bay ,
Osaka is the second largest city in
Japan by daytime population after
Tokyo\'s 23 wards and the third largest city by nighttime population
after Tokyo's 23 wards and
Yokohama , serving as a major economic hub
for the country.
Historically a merchant city,
Osaka has also been known as the
"nation's kitchen" (天下の台所, tenka no daidokoro) and served as
a center for the rice trade during the
Edo period . I
* 1 History
* 1.1 Prehistory to the
* 1.2 Asuka and Nara period
* 1.3 Heian to
* 1.4 19th century to present
* 2 Etymology
* 3 Geography and climate
* 3.1 Geography
* 3.2 Climate
* 4 Cityscape
* 4.1 Neighborhoods
* 4.2 Wards
* 5 Demographics
* 5.1 Dialect
* 6 Politics
* 7 Politics regarding the use of nuclear energy
* 8 Economy
* 9 Transportation
* 10 Culture and lifestyle
* 10.1 Shopping and culinary
* 10.2 Entertainment and performing arts
* 10.3 Annual festivals
* 10.4 Museum and galleries
* 10.5 Sports
* 10.6 Media
* 10.6.1 Newspapers
* 10.6.2 Television and radio
* 10.6.3 Publishing companies
* 11 Places of interest
* 11.1 Amusement parks
* 11.2 Parks
* 11.3 Temples, shrines, and other historical sites
* 11.4 Entertainment
* 12 Education
* 12.1 Libraries
* 12.2 Learned society
* 13 International relations
Twin towns and sister cities
* 13.2 Business partner cities
* 14 See also
* 15 References
* 16 Further reading
* 17 External links
Timeline of Osaka
PREHISTORY TO THE KOFUN PERIOD
Some of the earliest signs of human habitation in the
Osaka area at
the Morinomiya ruins (森ノ宮遺跡, Morinomiya iseki) comprise
shell mounds, sea oysters and buried human skeletons from the
6th–5th centuries BC. It is believed that what is today the
Uehonmachi area consisted of a peninsular land with an inland sea in
the east. During the
Yayoi period , permanent habitation on the plains
grew as rice farming became popular.
Kofun period ,
Osaka developed into a hub port connecting the
region to the western part of Japan. The large numbers of increasingly
larger tomb mounds found in the plains of
Osaka are seen as evidence
of political-power concentration, leading to the formation of a state.
ASUKA AND NARA PERIOD
Kojiki records that during 390–430 AD there was an imperial
palace located at Osumi, in what is present day Higashiyodogawa ward,
but it may have been a secondary imperial residence rather than a
Emperor Kōtoku built his
Naniwa Nagara-Toyosaki Palace in
what is now Osaka, making it the capital of Japan. The city now known
Osaka was at this time referred to as Naniwa, and this name and
derivations of it are still in use for districts in central
as Naniwa (浪速) and
Namba (難波). Although the capital was moved
to Asuka (in
Nara Prefecture today) in 655, Naniwa remained a vital
connection, by land and sea, between Yamato (modern day Nara
Korea , and
Naniwa was declared the capital again in 744 by order of Emperor
Shōmu , and remained so until 745, when the Imperial Court moved back
Heijō-kyō (now Nara ). By the end of the Nara period, Naniwa's
seaport roles had been gradually taken over by neighboring areas, but
it remained a lively center of river, channel, and land transportation
between Heian-kyō (
Kyoto today) and other destinations.
HEIAN TO EDO PERIOD
Jōdo Shinshū Buddhists established their headquarters in
the heavily fortified
Ishiyama Hongan-ji , located directly on the
site of the old Naniwa Imperial Palace.
Oda Nobunaga began a
decade-long siege campaign on the temple in 1570 which ultimately
resulted in the surrender of the monks and subsequent razing of the
Toyotomi Hideyoshi constructed
Osaka Castle in its place in
Osaka was long considered Japan's primary economic center, with a
large percentage of the population belonging to the merchant class
Four divisions of society
Four divisions of society ). Over the course of the
Osaka grew into one of Japan's major cities and
returned to its ancient role as a lively and important port. Its
popular culture was closely related to ukiyo-e depictions of life in
Edo . By 1780
Osaka had cultivated a vibrant arts culture, as typified
by its famous
Bunraku theaters. In 1837 Ōshio Heihachirō
, a low-ranking samurai , led a peasant insurrection in response to
the city's unwillingness to support the many poor and suffering
families in the area. Approximately one-quarter of the city was razed
before shogunal officials put down the rebellion, after which Ōshio
Osaka was opened to foreign trade by the government
Bakufu at the same time as Hyōgo (modern
Kobe ) on 1 January
1868, just before the advent of the
Boshin War and the Meiji
Osaka residents were stereotyped in
Edo literature from at least the
Jippensha Ikku in 1802 depicted Osakans as stingy almost
beyond belief. In 1809 the derogatory term "
Kamigata zeeroku" was used
Edo residents to characterize inhabitants of the
Osaka region in
terms of calculation, shrewdness, lack of civic spirit, and the
Edo writers aspired to samurai culture,
and saw themselves as poor but generous, chaste, and public spirited.
Edo writers by contrast saw "zeeroku" as obsequious apprentices,
stingy, greedy, gluttonous, and lewd. To some degree,
are still stigmatized by
Tokyo observers in the same way today,
especially in terms of gluttony, evidenced in the phrase, "Residents
Osaka devour their food until they collapse" (大阪は食倒れ,
"Ōsaka wa kuidaore").
19TH CENTURY TO PRESENT
Sennichimae area in 1916
The modern municipality was established in 1889 by government
ordinance , with an initial area of 15 square kilometres (6 sq mi),
overlapping today's Chūō and Nishi wards. Later, the city went
through three major expansions to reach its current size of 223 square
kilometres (86 sq mi).
Osaka was the industrial center most clearly
defined in the development of capitalism in Japan. It became known as
the "Manchester of the Orient."
The rapid industrialization attracted many Korean immigrants, who set
up a life apart for themselves. The political system was pluralistic,
with a strong emphasis on promoting industrialization and
modernization. Literacy was high and the educational system expanded
rapidly, producing a middle class with a taste for literature and a
willingness to support the arts. In 1927,
General Motors operated a
Osaka Assembly until 1941, manufacturing Chevrolet,
Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and Buick vehicles, operated and staffed by
Japanese workers and managers. In the nearby city of Ikeda in Osaka
Prefecture is the headquarters office of
Daihatsu , one of Japan's
oldest automobile manufacturers.
Like its European and American counterparts,
Osaka displayed slums,
unemployment, and poverty. In
Japan it was here that municipal
government first introduced a comprehensive system of poverty relief,
copied in part from British models.
Osaka policymakers stressed the
importance of family formation and mutual assistance as the best way
to combat poverty. This minimized the cost of welfare programs.
World War II
World War II ,
Osaka came under air attacks in 1945 by the
United States Army Air Forces
United States Army Air Forces as part of the air raids on
Japan . On
March 13, 1945, a total of 329
Boeing B-29 Superfortress
Boeing B-29 Superfortress heavy bombers
took part in the raid against Osaka. According to an American prisoner
of war who was held in the city, the air raid took almost the entire
night and destroyed 25 square miles (65 km2) of the city. The U.S.
bombed the city again twice in June 1945 and again on August 14, a day
before Japan\'s surrender .
"Osaka" literally means "large hill" or "large slope". It is unclear
when this name gained prominence over Naniwa, but the oldest written
evidence for the name dates back to 1496.
The name is now written 大阪 in kanji , but it was written 大坂
until 1870, when the partisans for the
Meiji Restoration changed it,
apparently to avoid the second kanji being misinterpreted as 士反,
meaning "samurai rebellion". The older kanji is still in very limited
use, usually in historical contexts, but in Japanese the kanji
阪—pronounced han when standing alone—now refers exclusively to
Osaka City or
GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
The city's west side is open to
Osaka Bay , and is otherwise
completely surrounded by more than ten satellite cities, all of them
Osaka Prefecture , with one exception: the city of
Hyōgo Prefecture , in the northwest. The city occupies a
larger area (about 13%) than any other city or village within Osaka
Prefecture. When the city was established in 1889, it occupied roughly
the area known today as the Chuo and Nishi wards, only 15.27 square
kilometres (3,773 acres) that would eventually grow into today's
222.30 square kilometres (54,932 acres) via incremental expansions,
the largest of which being a single 126.01 square kilometres (31,138
acres) expansion in 1925. Osaka's highest point is 37.5 metres (123.0
Tokyo Peil in Tsurumi-ku , and the lowest point is in
Nishiyodogawa-ku at −2.2 metres (−7.2 ft)
Osaka is located in the humid subtropical climate zone (Köppen Cfa),
with four distinct seasons. Its winters are generally mild, with
January being the coldest month having an average high of 9.3 °C (49
°F). The city rarely sees snowfall during the winter. Spring in Osaka
starts off mild, but ends up being hot and humid. It also tends to be
Osaka's wettest season, with the tsuyu (梅雨, tsuyu, "plum rain")
— the rainy season —
occurring between early June (average:Jun.7) to late July
(average:Jul.21). Summers are very hot and humid. In July and August,
the average daily high temperature approaches 35 °C (95 °F), while
average nighttime temperatures typically hover around 25 °C (77 °F).
Osaka sees a cooling trend, with the early part of the season
resembling summer while the latter part of fall resembles winter.
Precipitation is abundant, with winter being the driest season, while
monthly rainfall peaks in June with the "tsuyu" rainy season, which
typically ends in mid to late July. From late July through the end of
August, summer's heat and humidity peaks, and rainfall decreases some.
Osaka experiences a second rainy period in September and early
October, when tropical weather systems, including typhoons, coming
from the south or southwest are possible.
CLIMATE DATA FOR OSAKA, OSAKA (1981–2010)
RECORD HIGH °C (°F)
AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F)
DAILY MEAN °C (°F)
AVERAGE LOW °C (°F)
RECORD LOW °C (°F)
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION MM (INCHES)
AVERAGE SNOWFALL CM (INCHES)
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION DAYS (≥ 0.5 MM)
AVERAGE SNOWY DAYS
AVERAGE RELATIVE HUMIDITY (%)
MEAN MONTHLY SUNSHINE HOURS
Japan Meteorological Agency
Osaka's sprawling cityscape has been described as "only surpassed by
Tokyo as a showcase of the Japanese urban phenomenon." Central
Osaka looking north from the
Abeno Harukas observation deck
Osaka skyline at night from
Umeda Sky Building
Umeda Sky Building
Nakanoshima, a boundary of Kita (right) and Semba (left)
A crowd in
Dōtonbori Soemoncho in Minami
Osaka is roughly divided into downtown and uptown areas known
as KITA (北, "north") and MINAMI (南, "south").
Kita is home to the
Umeda district and its immediate surrounding
neighborhoods, a major business and retail hub that plays host to
Osaka Station City and a large subterranean network of shopping
arcades. Kita and nearby
Nakanoshima contain a prominent portion of
the city's skyscrapers and are often featured in photographs of
Minami, though meaning "south", is essentially in Chūō Ward
(中央区, Chūō-ku) and geographically central within the city.
Well known districts here include
Dōtonbori canal entertainment area,
Nipponbashi Den Den
Town, as well as arts and fashion culture-oriented areas such as
Amerikamura and Horie.
The business districts between Kita and Minami such as Honmachi and
Yodoyabashi, called SEMBA (船場), house the regional headquarters of
many large-scale banks and corporations. The
Midōsuji boulevard runs
through Semba and connects Kita and Minami.
Further south of Minami are neighborhoods such as
Shinsekai (with its
Tsūtenkaku tower), Tennoji and Abeno (with Tennoji Zoo , Shitennō-ji
Abeno Harukas ), and the
Kamagasaki slum, the largest slum in
The city's west side is a prominent bay area which serves as its
main port as well as a tourist destination with attractions such as
Kyocera Dome , Universal Studios
Japan and the Tempozan Harbour
Village . East
Osaka is zoned as a separate city, although the east
Osaka city proper contains numerous residential neighborhoods
Korea Town, as well as the
Osaka Castle Park ,
Osaka Business Park
Osaka Business Park and the hub
Kyōbashi Station .
Osaka contains numerous urban canals and bridges, many of which serve
as the namesake for their surrounding neighbourhoods. The phrase "808
bridges of Naniwa" was an expression in old
Japan used to indicate
impressiveness and the "uncountable".
Osaka numbered roughly 200
bridges by the
Edo period and 1629 bridges by 1925. As many of the
city's canals were gradually filled in, the number dropped to 872, of
which 760 are currently managed by
Osaka has 24 wards (区, ku):
MAP OF OSAKA
Kita-ku (administrative center)
According to the census in 2005, there were 2,628,811 residents in
Osaka, an increase of 30,037 or 1.2% from 2000. There were 1,280,325
households with approximately 2.1 persons per household. The
population density was 11,836 persons per km². The Great Kantō
earthquake caused a mass migration to
Osaka between 1920 and 1930, and
the city became Japan's largest city in 1930 with 2,453,573 people,
outnumbering even Tokyo, which had a population of 2,070,913. The
population peaked at 3,252,340 in 1940, and had a post-war peak of
3,156,222 in 1965, but continued to decrease since, as the residents
moved out to the suburbs.
There were 99,775.5 registered foreigners, the two largest groups
being Korean (71,015) and Chinese (11,848). Ikuno , with its
Tsuruhashi district, is the home to one of the largest population of
Korean residents in Japan, with 27,466 registered
Zainichi Koreans .
The commonly spoken dialect of this area is Osaka-ben, a typical
sub-dialect of Kansai-ben. Of the many other particularities that
characterize Osaka-ben, examples include using the copula ya instead
of da, and the suffix -hen instead of -nai in the negative of verbs.
The Mayor and the Council
Osaka City Hall
Toshifumi Tagaya (LDP)
89 councilors (1 vacant)
Liberal Democratic Party
and Citizen's Club (33),
Komei Party (20),
Democratic Party of
and Citizens' Coalition (19),
Japanese Communist Party
Japanese Communist Party (16)
SEATS BY DISTRICTS:
Ward (no. of seats)
* Abeno-ku (4),
* Asahi-ku (4),
* Chūō-ku (2),
* Fukushima-ku (2),
* Higashinari-ku (3),
* Higashisumiyoshi-ku (5),
* Higashiyodogawa-ku (6),
* Hirano-ku (6),
* Ikuno-ku (5),
* Jōtō-ku (5),
* Kita-ku (3),
* Konohana-ku (3),
* Minato-ku (3),
* Miyakojima-ku (3),
* Naniwa-ku (2),
* Nishi-ku (2),
* Nishinari-ku (5),
* Nishiyodogawa-ku (3),
* Suminoe-ku (4),
* Sumiyoshi-ku (6),
* Taishō-ku (3),
* Tennōji-ku (2),
* Tsurumi-ku (3),
* Yodogawa-ku (5)
Osaka City Council
Note: As of March 10, 2009
Local Autonomy Law , Municipalities of
Japan , and Politics
Osaka City Council is the city's local government formed under
Local Autonomy Law . The Council has eighty-nine seats, allocated
to the twenty-four wards proportional to their population and
re-elected by the citizens every four years. The Council elects its
President and Vice President. Toshifumi Tagaya (LDP ) is the current
and 104th President since May 2008. The Mayor of the city is directly
elected by the citizens every four years as well, in accordance with
the Local Autonomy Law.
Tōru Hashimoto , former governor of Osaka
Prefecture is the 19th mayor of
Osaka since 2011. The mayor is
supported by two Vice Mayors, currently Akira Morishita and Takashi
Kashiwagi, who are appointed by him in accordance with the city bylaw.
Osaka also houses several agencies of the Japanese Government. Below
is a list of Governmental Offices housed in Osaka.
Japan Coast Guard, Fifth Regional Headquarters
Japan Fair Trade Commission; Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku Office
* Kinki Regional Finance Bureau
* Kinki Regional Economy, Trade and Industry Bureau
* Kinki Regional Transportation Bureau
* Kinki Communications Bureau
* Kinki Regional Development Bureau
* Kinki Regional Police Bureau
* Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Osaka District Court
Osaka Family Court
Osaka High Court
Osaka Labour Bureau
Osaka Meteorological Observatory
Osaka Public Prosecutors Office
Osaka Regional Aerospace Bureau
Osaka Regional Law Bureau
Osaka Regional Taxation Bureau
Osaka Summary Court
In July 2012, a joint multi-party bill was submitted to the Diet that
would allow for implementation of the
Osaka Metropolis plan
Osaka Metropolis plan as pursued
by the mayor of
Osaka city, the governor of
Osaka and their party . If
Osaka City, neighbouring Sakai City and possibly other
surrounding municipalities would dissolve and be reorganized as
special wards of
Osaka prefecture – similar to former
Tokyo City 's
successor wards within
Special wards are
municipal-level administrative units that leave some otherwise
municipal administrative responsibilities and revenues to the
POLITICS REGARDING THE USE OF NUCLEAR ENERGY
On February 27, 2012 three Kansai cities,
Kansai Electric Power Company to break its dependence on
nuclear power. In a letter to KEPCO they also requested to disclose
information on the demand and supply of electricity, and for lower and
stable prices. The three cities were stockholders of the plant: Osaka
owned 9% of the shares, while
Kobe had 3% and
Kyoto 0.45%. Toru
Hashimoto, the mayor of Osaka, announced a proposal to minimize the
dependence on nuclear power for the shareholders meeting in June 2012.
On March 18, 2012 the city of
Osaka decided as largest shareholder of
Kansai Electric Power Co, that at the next shareholders-meeting in
June 2012 it would demand a series of changes:
* that Kansai Electric would be split into two companies, separating
power generation from power transmission
* a reduction of the number of the utility's executives and
* the implementation of absolutely secure measurements to ensuring
the safety of the nuclear facilities.
* the disposing of spent fuel.
* the installation of new kind of thermal power generation to secure
non-nuclear supply of energy.
* selling all unnecessary assets including the stock holdings of
In this action
Osaka had secured the support of two other cities and
Kobe , but with their combined voting-rights
of 12.5 percent they were not certain of the ultimate outcome, because
for this two-thirds of the shareholders would be needed to agree to
revise the corporate charter.
At a meeting held on April 10, 2012 by the "energy strategy council",
formed by the city of
Osaka and the governments of the prefectures, it
became clear that at the end of the fiscal year 2011 some 69 employees
Kansai Electric Power Company were former public servants.
Amakudari " was the Japanese name for this practice of rewarding by
hiring officials that formerly controlled and supervised the firm.
Such people included the following:
* 13 ex-officials of the: Ministry of Land, Infrastructure,
Transport and Tourism
* 3 ex-officials of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry,
* 2 ex-officials of the Ministry of the Environment,
* 16 former policemen,
* 10 former fire-fighters,
* 13 former civil engineers.
Besides this, it became known that Kansai Electric had done about 600
external financial donations, to a total sum of about 1.695 billion
* 70 donations were paid to local governments: to a total of 699
* 100 donations to public-service organizations: 443 million yen,
* 430 donations to various organizations and foundations: a total of
553 million yen
During this meeting some 8 conditions were compiled, that needed to
be fulfilled before a restart of the No.3 and No.4 reactors Oi Nuclear
* the consent of the local people and government within 100
kilometer from the plant
* the installation of a new independent regulatory agency
* a nuclear safety agreement
* the establishment of new nuclear safety standards
* stress tests and evaluations based on these new safety rules
Hanshin Industrial Region and
The gross city product of
Osaka in fiscal year 2004 was ¥21.3
trillion, an increase of 1.2% over the previous year. The figure
accounts for about 55% of the total output in the
Osaka Prefecture and
26.5% in the Kinki region. In 2004, commerce, services, and
manufacturing have been the three major industries, accounting for
30%, 26%, and 11% of the total, respectively. The per capita income in
the city was about ¥3.3 million, 10% higher than that of the Osaka
MasterCard Worldwide reported that
Osaka ranks 19th among
the world's leading cities and plays an important role in the global
Osaka Securities Exchange in the Kitahama district of
Osaka A map showing
Osaka Metropolitan Employment Area .
The GDP in the greater
Osaka area (
Kobe ) is $341 billion.
Osaka, along with
Paris and London, has one of the most productive
hinterlands in the world.
Osaka was the center of commerce in Japan, especially
in the middle and pre-modern ages.
Nomura Securities , the first
brokerage firm in Japan, was founded in the city in 1925, and Osaka
still houses a leading futures exchange. Many major companies have
since moved their main offices to Tokyo. However, several major
companies, such as
Panasonic , Sharp , and
Sanyo , are still
headquartered in Osaka. Recently, the city began a program, headed by
mayor Junichi Seki, to attract domestic and foreign investment. In
Global Financial Centres Index ,
Osaka was ranked as having
the 15th most competitive financial center in the world and fifth most
competitive in Asia (after
Hong Kong ,
Tokyo , and
Osaka Securities Exchange , specializing in derivatives such as
Nikkei 225 futures, is based in Osaka. The merger with
Osaka Securities Exchange become the largest exchange in
Japan for start-up companies.
According to global consulting firm Mercer,
Osaka was the second most
expensive city for expatriate employees in the world in 2009. It
jumped up nine places from 11th place in 2008 and was the eighth most
expensive city in 2007. However, it was not ranked in the top ten
places of the list in 2013. The
Economist Intelligence Unit
Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)
Osaka as the second most expensive city in the world in its
2013 Cost of Living study.
Main article: Transport in
Keihanshin Map of
Osaka has an extensive network of railway lines, comparable
to that of Greater Tokyo. Major stations within the city include Umeda
Shinsaibashi (心斎橋), Tennōji
Kyōbashi (京橋), and Yodoyabashi (淀屋橋).
Osaka connects to its surrounding cities and suburbs via the JR West
Urban Network as well as numerous private lines such as Keihan
Electric Railway ,
Hankyu Railway ,
Hanshin Electric Railway
Hanshin Electric Railway ,
Kintetsu Railway , and
Nankai Electric Railway .
Osaka Municipal Subway
Osaka Municipal Subway system alone ranks 8th in the world by
annual passenger ridership, serving over 912 million people annually
(a quarter of Greater
Osaka Rail System's 4 billion annual riders),
despite being only 8 of more than 70 lines in the metro area.
All Shinkansen trains including Nozomi stop at Shin-
Osaka Station and
provide access to other major cities in Japan, such as Kobe, Kyoto,
Nagoya, Yokohama, and Tokyo.
Regular bus services are provided by
Osaka Municipal Transportation
Bureau (the City Bus), as well Hankyu, Hanshin and Kintetsu, providing
a dense network covering most parts of the city.
Osaka is served by two airports outside of the city, Kansai
International Airport (IATA: KIX) which handles primarily
international passenger flights and
Osaka International Airport
(IATA:ITM) which handles mostly domestic services and some
international cargo flights.
Due to its geographical position, Osaka's international ferry
connections are far greater than that of Tokyo, with international
Korea along with domestic routes to
Kagoshima , Miyazaki and
CULTURE AND LIFESTYLE
A chef prepares for the evening rush in
Umeda The Glico
man among numerous signboards at
Dōtonbori Grand Front
Chayamachi district in Kita-ku
SHOPPING AND CULINARY
Osaka has a large number of wholesalers and retail shops: 25,228 and
34,707 respectively in 2004, according to the city statistics. Many
of them are concentrated in the wards of Chuō (10,468 shops) and Kita
(6,335 shops). Types of shops vary from malls to conventional
shōtengai shopping arcades, built both above- and underground.
Shōtengai are seen across Japan, and
Osaka has the longest one in the
country. The Tenjinbashi-suji arcade stretches from the road
approaching the Tenmangū shrine and continues for 2.6 km (1.6 miles)
going north to south. The stores along the arcade include commodities,
clothing, and catering outlets.
Other shopping areas include Den Den Town , the electronic and
manga/anime district, which is comparable to Akihabara; the Umeda
district, which has the Hankyu Sanbangai shopping mall and Yodobashi
Camera , a huge electrical appliance store that offers a vast range of
fashion stores, restaurants, and a Shonen Jump store.
Osaka is known for its food, in
Japan and abroad. Author Michael
Booth and food critic François Simon of
Le Figaro have suggested that
Osaka is the food capital of the world. Osakans' love for the
culinary is made apparent in the old saying "Kyotoites are financially
ruined by overspending on clothing, Osakans are ruined by spending on
food." Regional cuisine includes okonomiyaki (お好み焼き,
pan-fried batter cake), takoyaki (たこ焼き, octopus in fried
batter), udon (うどん, a noodle dish), as well as the traditional
oshizushi (押し寿司, pressed sushi), particularly battera
(バッテラ, pressed mackerel sushi).
Osaka is known for its fine sake, which is made with fresh water from
the prefecture's mountains. Osaka's culinary prevalence is the result
of a location that has provided access to high quality ingredients, a
high population of merchants, and proximity to the ocean and waterway
trade. In recent years,
Osaka has started to garner more attention
from foreigners with the increased popularity of cooking and dining in
Other shopping districts include:
* American Village (Amerika-mura or "Ame-mura") – fashion for
Dōtonbori – part of
Namba district and considered heart of the
Namba – main shopping, sightseeing, and restaurant area
Shinsaibashi – luxury goods and department stores
Umeda – theaters, boutiques, and department stores near the
ENTERTAINMENT AND PERFORMING ARTS
Kamigata The National Museum of Art , a subterranean
museum for Japanese and international arts
Osaka is home to the National
Bunraku Theatre , where traditional
puppet plays, bunraku , are performed.
Osaka Shochiku-za , close to
Namba station, kabuki can be
enjoyed as well as manzai .
* At Shin-kabuki-za , formerly near
Namba and now near Uehommachi
area, enka concerts and Japanese dramas are performed.
Yoshimoto Kogyo , a Japanese entertainment conglomarate operates a
hall in the city for manzai and other comedy shows: the
* The Hanjō-tei opened in 2006, dedicated to rakugo . The theatre
is in the
Ōsaka Tenman-gū area.
Umeda Arts Theater opened in 2005 after relocating from its former
Umeda Koma Theater. The theater has a main hall with 1,905
seats and a smaller theater-drama hall with 898 seats.
Theatre stages various type of performances including musicals, music
concerts, dramas, rakugo, and others.
* The Symphony Hall , built in 1982, is the first hall in Japan
designed specially for classical music concerts. The Hall was opened
with a concert by the
Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra , which is based in
the city. Orchestras such as the
Berlin Philharmonic and Vienna
Philharmonic have played here during their world tours as well.
Osaka-jō Hall is a multi-purpose arena in Osaka-jō park with a
capacity for up to 16,000 people. The hall has hosted numerous events
and concerts including both Japanese and international artists.
* Near City Hall in
Nakanoshima Park , is
Osaka Central Public Hall
Neo-Renaissance -style building first opened in 1918. Re-opened in
2002 after major restoration, it serves as a multi-purpose rental
facility for citizen events.
Osaka Shiki Theatre is one of the nine private halls
operated nationwide by the Shiki Theatre , staging straight plays and
* Festival Hall was a hall hosting various performances including
noh , kyōgen , kabuki, ballets as well as classic concerts. The
Bolshoi Ballet and the Philharmonia are among the many that were
welcomed on stage in the past. The hall has closed at the end of 2008,
planned to re-open in 2013 in a new facility.
Tenjin Matsuri The Sumiyoshi-matsuri festival in the 16th
One of the most famous festivals held in Osaka, the Tenjin Matsuri,
is held on July 24 and 25 (
Ikukunitama Shrine ). Other festivals in
Osaka include the Aizen Matsuri (June 30–July 2, Shouman'in Temple),
the Sumiyoshi Matsuri (July 30–August 1, Sumiyoshi Taisha ),
Shōryō-e (April 22,
Shitennō-ji ) and Tōka-Ebisu (January 9–10,
Imamiya Ebisu Jinja). The annual
Osaka Asian Film Festival takes place
Osaka every March.
MUSEUM AND GALLERIES
See also: Museums in
The National Museum of Art (NMAO) is a subterranean Japanese and
international art museum, housing mainly collections from the post-war
era and regularly welcoming temporary exhibitions.
Museum is in a five storied building next to the National Museum of
Art, with a planetarium and an
OMNIMAX theatre. The Museum of Oriental
Ceramics holds more than 2,000 pieces of ceramics, from China, Korea,
Japan and Vietnam, featuring displays of some of their Korean celadon
under natural light.
Osaka Municipal Museum of Art is inside Tennōji
park , housing over 8,000 pieces of Japanese and Chinese paintings and
Osaka Museum of History , opened in 2001, is located
in a 13-story modern building providing a view of
Osaka Castle . Its
exhibits cover the history of
Osaka from pre-history to the present
Osaka Museum of Natural History houses a collection related to
natural history and life.
Osaka Dome , home to the
Orix Buffaloes and
Osaka hosts four professional sport teams: one of them is the Orix
Buffaloes , a
Nippon Professional Baseball
Nippon Professional Baseball team, playing its home
Osaka . Another baseball team, the Hanshin
Tigers , although based in
Nishinomiya, Hyōgo , plays a part of its
home games in
Osaka as well, when their homeground
Koshien Stadium is occupied with the annual National High School
Baseball Championship games during summer season. There are two
Gamba Osaka , plays its home games at
Football Stadium . Another club
Cerezo Osaka , plays its home games at
Kincho Stadium . The city is home to
Osaka Evessa , a basketball team
that plays in the
B.League . Evessa has won the first three
championships of the league since its establishment.
Kintetsu Liners ,
a rugby union team, play in the
Top League . After winning promotion
in 2008-09, they will again remain in the competition for the 2009-10
season. Their base is the Hanazono Rugby Stadium .
The Haru Basho (春場所, "Spring Tournament"), one of the six
regular tournaments of professional sumo , is held annually in Osaka
Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium
Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium .
Another major annual sporting event that takes place is
Osaka International Ladies Marathon . Held usually at the end of
January every year, the 42.195 km (26.219 miles) race starts from
Nagai Stadium, runs through
park, and returns to the stadium. Another yearly event held at Nagai
Stadium is the
Osaka Gran Prix Athletics games operated by the
International Association of Athletics Federations
International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in May. The
Osaka GP is the only IAAF games annually held in Japan.
Osaka was one of the host cities of the official Women\'s Volleyball
World Championship for its 1998 , 2006 and 2010 editions.
Osaka is the home of the 2011 created
Bandy Federation and the
introduction of bandy , in the form of rink bandy , was made in the
city. In July 2012 the first
Bandy Festival was organised.
Osaka serves as one of the media hubs for Japan, housing headquarters
of many media-related companies. Abundant television production takes
place in the city and every nationwide TV network (with the exception
of TXN network) registers its secondary-key station in Osaka. All five
nationwide newspaper majors also house their regional headquarters,
and most local newspapers nationwide have branches in Osaka. However
major film productions are uncommon in the city. Most major films are
produced in nearby
Kyoto or in
Tokyo . The Ad Council
Japan is based
All the five nationwide newspaper majors of Japan, the Asahi Shimbun
Mainichi Shimbun ,
Nihon Keizai Shimbun ,
Sankei Shimbun and Yomiuri
Shimbun , have their regional headquarters in
Osaka and issue their
regional editions. Furthermore,
Shimbun, its newspaper press. Other newspaper related companies
Osaka include, the regional headquarters of FujiSankei
Business i.;Houchi Shimbunsha;
Nikkan Sports ;
Sports Nippon , and
Jiji Press ;
Bloomberg L.P. .
Television And Radio
The five TV networks are represented by Asahi Broadcasting
Corporation (ANN ),
Kansai Telecasting Corporation
Kansai Telecasting Corporation (FNN ), Mainichi
Broadcasting System, Inc. (JNN ), Television Osaka, Inc. (TXN ) and
Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation
Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation (NNN ), headquartered in Osaka. NHK
has also its regional station based in the city. AM Radio services are
NHK as well as the ABC Radio (Asahi Broadcasting
Corporation), MBS Radio (Mainichi Broadcasting System, Inc.) and Radio
Osaka Broadcasting Corporation ) and headquartered in the city.
FM services are available from NHK,
FM OSAKA ,
FM Cocolo ,
the last providing programs in multiple languages including English.
As of February 2009, the city is fully covered by terrestrial digital
Osaka is home to many publishing companies including: Examina, Izumi
Shoin, Kaihou Shuppansha,
Keihanshin Elmagazine, Seibundo Shuppan,
Sougensha, and Toho Shuppan.
PLACES OF INTEREST
Tourist attractions include:
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
Umeda Sky Building
Umeda Sky Building
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan – An aquarium located in
containing 35,000 aquatic animals in 14 tanks, the largest of which
holds 5,400 tons of water and houses a variety of sea animals
including whale sharks . This tank is the world's second-largest
aquarium tank, behind the Georgia
Aquarium , whose largest tank holds
approximately 29,000 tons of water.
Tempozan Ferris Wheel - A 112 m tall Ferris wheel located next to
the aquarium in the bay area.
* Universal Studios
HEP Five - A shopping/amusement plaza in
Umeda featuring a Sega
Joypolis and rooftop Ferris wheel offering views of the city.
Umeda Sky Building
Umeda Sky Building – Twin 173 m skyscrapers bridged by a rooftop
"Floating Garden" observatory presenting a 360-degree panoramic view
of Osaka. Popular for photographs, the structure also houses an
underground mall with restaurants styled after the early Showa period
of the 1920s.
Nakanoshima Park : About 10.6 ha . In the vicinity of the City
Osaka Castle Park: About 106 ha. Includes Osaka-jō Hall, a
Japanese plum blossom (Ume) garden, a Cherry Blossom garden, and more.
It is a hotspot for migrating birds in the spring and autumn.
Tennōji Park : About 28 ha. Includes Tennōji Zoo; an art museum
(established by contribution from Sumitomo family in 1936); and a
Japanese garden, Keitaku-en (慶沢園). Keitaku-en was constructed in
1908 by Jihei Ogawa (小川治兵衛, Hiragana: おがわ じへえ),
an illustrious gardener in Japan. This was originally one of Sumitomo
family's gardens until 1921.
Nagai Park : The 2007
IAAF World Championships in Athletics
IAAF World Championships in Athletics were
held at the
Nagai Stadium , located in this park.
* Tsurumi-Ryokuchi Park with the
Sakuya Konohana Kan was the site of
the flower expo in 1990 .
TEMPLES, SHRINES, AND OTHER HISTORICAL SITES
Osaka Castle, destroyed in 1868 and rebuilt in
Abeno Harukas in the background
Shitennō-ji – The oldest Buddhist temple in Japan, established
in 593 AD by
Sumiyoshi taisha One of the oldest Shinto shrines, built in 211
Tamatsukuri Inari Shrine
Ōsaka Tenmangū Shrine
Osaka Peace Pagoda, built by Nipponzan Myohoji in 1963.
* Imamiya Ebisu
Dōtonbori - Osaka's primary tourist and nightlife area
Shinsaibashi districts - Located side by side in Minami,
offering shopping, restaurants, bars and nightclubs running 24/7
* Higashi-Dori area - A network of shōtengai in
Umeda with numerous
restaurants, bars, and nightlife options
* Shin-michi/Kitashinchi district - Well known for its upscale
dining and hostess clubs, also offers more reasonably priced izakaya
as well as bars and nightclubs that cater to tourists and foreigners
Shinsekai - Earthy eating/drinking district, built around the
Tsūtenkaku Tower and famous for cheap kushikatsu
* Den Den Town - An electronics/anime district analogous to Tokyo's
Akihabara, Den Den Town also features maid cafes, bars, and other
venues of entertainment
* Sankaku Koen (Triangle Park) - A popular youth meeting spot in
Amerika-mura. Eccentric fashions and local skateboarders abound
Jūsō - Popular working class bar/nightlife district
* Kyobashi - A commercial area and shotengai with a diverse variety
Osaka - A live stage venue in the
Osaka Bay area that hosts
many big-name musical acts and events
* Doyama - Considered a hub for Osaka's LGBT community
* Tobita - A red-light district
Osaka City University
Osaka City University
Public elementary and junior high schools in
Osaka are operated by
the city of Osaka. Its supervisory organization on educational matters
Osaka City Board of Education. Likewise, public high schools are
operated by the
Osaka Prefectural Board of Education .
Osaka city once had a large number of universities and high schools,
but because of growing campuses and the need for larger area, many
chose to move to the suburbs, including
Historically foreign expatriates in the
Kansai region preferred to
Kobe rather than Osaka. As a result, until 1991 the
has no schools catering to expatriate children.
School of Kwansei Gakuin , founded in 1991, is located in nearby Minoh
, and it was the first international school in the
Osaka area. The
Great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake of 1995 caused a decline in demand for
international schools, as there were about 2,500 U.S. nationals
Osaka after the earthquake while the pre-earthquake number
was about 5,000. American Chamber of Commerce in
Japan (ACCJ) Kansai
chapter president Norman Solberg stated that since 2002 the numbers of
expatriates in Kansai were recovering "but the fact is there is still
a persistent exodus to Tokyo." In 2001 the city of
Osaka and YMCA
YMCA International School .
Colleges and universities include:
University of Medical Sciences
Osaka City University
Osaka City University
University of Economics
Osaka Institute of Technology
Osaka Jogakuin College
University of Arts ,
Minamikawachi District, Osaka
University of Comprehensive Children education
University of Education
* Tokiwakai Gakuen
* International Institute for Children\'s Literature,
Osaka Municipal Central Library
* The Japanese Academy of
Tsūtenkaku , a symbol of Osaka's post-WWII rebuilding See
also: List of twin towns and sister cities in
TWIN TOWNS AND SISTER CITIES
This section NEEDS ADDITIONAL CITATIONS FOR VERIFICATION . Please
help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources .
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how and when to remove this template message )
Osaka is twinned with the following cities around the world.
San Francisco ,
United States (since 1957)
São Paulo ,
Brazil (since 1969)
United States (since 1973)
China (since 1974)
Australia (since 1978)
Saint Petersburg ,
Russia (since 1979)
Italy (since 1981)
Germany (since 1989)
Osaka also has the following friendship and cooperation cities.
Buenos Aires ,
Argentina (since 1998)
Hungary (since 1998)
Busan , South
Korea (since 2008)
BUSINESS PARTNER CITIES
Osaka's business partnerships are:
Auckland , New Zealand
Bangkok , Thailand
Ho Chi Minh City , Vietnam
Jakarta , Indonesia
Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia
Manila , Philippines
Melbourne , Australia
Mumbai , India
Seoul , South Korea
Shanghai , China
Tianjin , China
* Expo \'70
List of metropolitan areas by population
* List of metropolitan areas in
Japan by population
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Kabuki Heroes on the
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Look up 大阪 or ŌSAKA in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to OSAKA .
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for OSAKA .
Osaka City official website (in English)
Osaka Tourist Guide
* "Osaka". The New Student\'s Reference Work. 1914.
* Geographic data related to
Osaka (capital )
WARDS OF OSAKA
WARDS OF SAKAI