Osaka Travel Guide 大阪
Osaka - Dotonbori
Credit: Nina Bernardi
Osaka - Shinsekai
Credit: Nina Bernardi
Osaka - Takoyaki
Osaka, The City of Gastronomy
As a famous saying has it, Osaka is 食い倒れの街 (kui daore no machi), meaning people here quite literally eat till they drop! Famous for all its local specialties, such as takoyaki, Osaka is a town bursting with flavour and a very distinct and unique Kansai flair; which can be said about more than just their food...
There are perceptions that remain throughout the ages; impressions that never fade away. Osaka always runs toward the future. A major hub for all innovative technologies, the economic capital of Kansai has a taste for money, audacity and hospitality.
Osaka is the third largest city in the country, with a port on the Inland Sea and famous for it's shopping. From the fourth century, throughout the feudal period and until the twentieth century, Osaka built its original shopping reputation on the manufacture of textiles, in particular cotton and its industrial creativity. It is also the birthplace of the Japanese pharmaceutical industry and the entry of large foreign companies wishing to open doors in the archipelago. Osaka boasts a high concentration of researchers, far more than London or Paris.
Osaka, The "Kitchen of the Empire"
But its charm remains elsewhere: in its lively streets, cozy cafés and local markets filled with all kinds of temptations. Always bubbling, a cosmopolitan and decadent city, dubbed the "Kitchen of Japan" has a myriad of restaurants and bars. This is also where takoyaki (bits of octopus cooked inside doughy balls) was born.
On the delta of the Yodogawa, this metropolis, nicknamed the "city with its feet in the water" because of the open sea waves and crisscrossed by canals, was largely devastated in 1945 by American bombs. Since then, it has risen from the ashes. The World Expo of 1970 revealed to the world its vitality and its many expensive skills to investors and its urban assets.
The neighborhood of Namba, dripping with lights, sets the tone. The aquarium, facing Osaka Bay, the amusement park Universal Studios - the third major Hollywood theme park- is comparable to the original in Orlando. The district of Dotonbori is synonymous with entertainment, replacing its former "flower district" with all kinds of delights. To the great satisfaction of urban residents and tourists, Osaka Castle, or Osaka-jo, though destroyed by wars and fires and rebuilt each time, watches over the city.
Here, people have a spirit of freedom, like the monk and poet Basho (1644-1694), master of haiku, and the playwright Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653-1724), author of famous works of bunraku (puppet theater ) and kabuki .