Osaka, Japan Feb. 21 Tues 7:20AM
Osaka is flashy, bright, and bustling. Osaka is all about creating enjoyment- especially food and shopping. Walking in Osaka is synonymous with being inundated by dazzling lights, shopping malls, stores, restaurants, and bars.
One of Japan’s economic powerhouses, Osaka has been a flourishing port since the 5th century. It was one of the earliest gateways into Japan from Korea, China, and the Asian continent beyond. These exchanges led to advancement in knowledge and technology, as well as the beginnings of Buddhism in Japan. For centuries, Osaka served as an important point between the two ancient capitals, Kyoto and Nara in addition to its role of international exchange.
Today, it’s Japan’s second-largest city. Rather than a smaller version of Tokyo, Osaka holds its own- Osaka even has its own distinct dialect and cuisine. Fiercely original and fun, Osaka is the place to let loose and enjoy. Bright lights are synonymous with Osaka. It is a city that reminds of Japan's progress and Japan's future. Ideally situated next to Kyoto, Japan's link to its history, Osaka is gleefully situated in contrast. Warm people, rich culture, and opportunity for growth and change define Osaka.
Most popularly, visitors enjoy Osaka Castle and its museum, the Nanba district, home to Osaka’s famous panorama of glittering signage and shops on the riverbank, and Umeda, where views from the tops of towers and ferris wheels allow for dynamic perspectives of the city.
Accessible and lively, Osaka seems like an urban jungle. Don’t be fooled, though- Osaka has its own hidden gems off the beaten track. Districts of the city remain almost untouched by time, and traditional townhouses, eateries, and mom-and-pop bars are abundant. Directly outside of the city, there are abundant climbing and hiking routes for all levels, flower parks and farms, onsen , waterfalls, and castles, and more.
When it comes to food- nowhere else in Japan does it like Osaka. Okonomiyaki, Japanese style pancakes filled with a savory batter, cabbage, pork, and other ingredients, all topped with mayonnaise and a sweet/savory sauce is a national favorite. Takoyaki also was born in Osaka- batter filled with bits of octopus and grilled is a favorite among Japanese. Kushi-age and kushi-katsu are meat, seafood, and vegetables, skewered and fried. Yakisoba, noodles fried with meat, seafood, and vegetables, and topped with a sweet and spicy sauce are a staple across the country. Osaka is named “Japan’s Kitchen” for a reason.