Osaka

Osaka:

Kobe Tower Panorama

Kobe Tower Panorama

Osaka was formerly known as Naniwa. Before the Nara Period, when the capital used to be moved with the reign of each new emperor, Naniwa was once Japan’s capital city, the first one ever known. In the 16th century, Toyotomi Hideyoshi chose Osaka as the location for his castle, and the city may have become Japan’s capital if Tokugawa Ieyasu had not terminated the Toyotomi lineage after Hideyoshi’s death and moved his government to distant Edo (Tokyo).

Osaka is a designated city in the Kansai region of Japan. It is the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and the largest component of the Keihanshin Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in 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 by the daytime population after Tokyo’s 23 wards and the third largest city by the nighttime population after Tokyo’s 23 special wards and Yokohama in Japan, serving as a major economic hub.

Osaka bay at dusk, Tilt–shift angle, Osaka Japan

Osaka bay at dusk, Tilt–shift angle, Osaka Japan

Historically a merchant city, Osaka has also been known as the “nation’s kitchen” and served as a center for the rice trade during the Edo period.

History:

Some of the earliest signs of human habitation in the Osaka area at the Morinomiya ruins comprise shell mounds, sea oysters and buried human skeletons from the 5th–6th 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.

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Places Not To Miss:

  • Universal Studio Japan:
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  • Osaka Castle:
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Sumiyoshi Taisha:

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Osaka Museum Of History:

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Modern architecture in Osaka, Japan.

Modern architecture in Osaka, Japan.

The Osaka Museum of History opened in 2003 in a tall building next to NHK Osaka and just across the street from Osaka Castle. The building offers excellent views of the castle from its top floors. Each of the other floors introduces a different Period in Osaka’s past, using exhibit models and going from ancient days to more recent times as you move down. The museum is designed to give visitors a multi-dimensional experience of the 1,400-year history of Osaka, with life-size reconstructions, scale models, and key photographs and movies.

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National Bunraku Theater:

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Osaka has been the capital for bunraku, traditional Japanese puppet theater, for many centuries. The popularity of the theater form had grown in the city during the Edo Period when bunraku was a rare kind of art entertainment for the common public rather than the nobility. The theatre has two halls. The Large Theatre has a capacity of around 700 seats depending on stage setup, and is primarily used for performances of bunraku, as well as Buyo and stage plays. In the Small Hall are performed other type of traditional arts such as, rakugo, manzai and Japanese music.

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