Osaka, Japan

Osaka is the historical trading capital of Japan and, at present, one of the main industrial centers and largest ports of the country. The city is located on the same island as Tokyo, 500 km away. The natives of this city and the prefecture are considered the most energetic, cheerful, restless and open in communication in Japan, Osaka is given the unofficial name “Japanese Italy”. See for Japan customs regulations and visa requirements.

During the Second World War, Osaka was practically destroyed, and all of its historical monuments were destroyed.

How to get to Osaka

The Tokaido Shinkansen superexpress from Tokyo runs to Osaka (2.5 hours on the way, arrives at Shin-Osaka station). The slower Nozomi trains also run (2-3 times per hour).

Osaka is also connected by rail to the ancient capital of Kyoto and the port of Kobe.

Osaka is served by two airports: Osaka and Kansai (Kansai Kokusai Kūkō, website), built by Renzo Piano on an artificial island. It was built as an alternative to Narita Airport. Surprisingly, a flight from Tokyo Airport to Kansai takes less time than a flight from Tokyo Airport to Narita Airport for many residents of Kanagawa Prefecture and southern Tokyo.

Entertainment and attractions

  • Kitaku (northern district) is the main business district of the city. Around Osaka Station, which lies here, there are many restaurants for every taste. The center of the district is Umeda: shopping arcades, modern architecture and the 40-story skyscraper “Umeda Sky Building” (173 m, opening hours: 10:00-22:00). To the east of the center is Osaka Castle.
  • Minami-ku (southern district) – the city of covered arcades, the most vibrant district of Osaka. Here is the Sumiyoshi Shrine, decorated with a magnificent arched bridge, in which the souls of dead sailors rest. And also: the ancient Buddhist temple of Shitennoji, built by Prince Shotoku taishi (admission is free, the adjoining museum is for a fee). Older than this temple in Japan is only the Asuka temple.
  • The northern part of the city, Shinsaibashi, is known as a hotspot for fashionable youth. America-mura and Yoroppa-mura (American and European Village), Dotombori, Namba are Osaka’s famous entertainment and shopping districts.

The main attraction of the city is the five-story samurai Osaka Castle (more precisely, its copy, restored after the Second World War). Around – Osakajo-Koen Park, a kind of symbol of the city.

Universal Studios Japan theme park: stunning rides inspired by Jaws, Jurassic Park, ET, Back to the Future and more. Universal City Station, the closest to USJ, is a 10-minute direct train ride from JR Osaka Station.

Osaka, Japan