Osaka, a vibrant and culturally steeped city situated in the heart of Japan, is a captivating blend of modernity and tradition. As the capital of Osaka Prefecture and the third-largest city in the country, Osaka boasts a rich history that dates back centuries. Renowned for its delectable street food, lively entertainment districts, and iconic landmarks, such as Osaka Castle and the Umeda Sky Building, the city invites visitors to explore its diverse neighbourhoods and experience the warmth of its people.
Osaka | img via wikipedia commons
A few quick facts
As the largest city in western Japan, Osaka, with its population surpassing 8 million, is a historical and architectural marvel. Once a central hub for Japanese politics, finance, and culture, the city now showcases a blend of well-preserved historic sites, including the World Heritage Mozu-Furuichi Kofungun Tombs, alongside modern, towering office buildings in a flashy downtown landscape. The efficient Osaka City Metro subway lines seamlessly connect this architectural diversity.
Osaka through the seasons
Experience the beauty of cherry blossoms in spring at iconic spots like Osaka Castle Park, offering a picturesque view framed by blossoms. Summer, known for its heat, encourages indoor exploration, with attractions like Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan providing cool respites. Autumn’s calm weather invites outdoor sightseeing, featuring fiery foliage at Osaka Castle Park and golden ginkgo trees along Mido-suji. Winter transforms Osaka with enchanting illuminations, from the vibrant Shinsekai district to festivals at landmarks like Osaka Castle Park.
Travelling to and around Osaka
Osaka’s well-connected transport system facilitates easy travel both into and within the city. The swift and comfortable shinkansen from Tokyo takes approximately two and a half hours, offering an efficient option. Alternatively, air travel from Narita or Haneda Airport to Osaka International or Kansai International Airport is a quick choice. For budget travellers, the overnight bus from Tokyo to Osaka, starting at 3,000 yen, provides an economical alternative, making it relatively easy to reach comfortable accommodations like the Travelodge Honmachi Osaka.
The food of Osaka
Osaka, a culinary paradise, beckons gourmands with its iconic dishes like takoyaki and okonomiyaki. In Minami, around Namba Subway Station, explore Dotonbori for the best outlets, offering these delights with menus in English, Chinese, and Korean. For kushikatsu, head to the vibrant Shinsekai neighbourhood, accessible from Dobutsuen-mae Subway Station or JR Shin-Imamiya Station, where eateries serve delectable deep-fried skewered treats, although these are also available at many hotels in Osaka, Japan.