Japan’s second largest metropolitan area after Tokyo, Osaka is an enormous industrial city which offers modern architecture, and the latest technology from across the world. As a central metropolis of the Kansai region, stylish shopping areas with great cuisines awaits you. On top of this, Osaka is home to much history and culture – from shrines and temples, and even ancient tombs.
The symbol of Osaka, Osaka Castle is one of Japan’s most popular tourist attractions, with millions of people visiting the iconic landmark each year. Construction of Osaka Castle began in 1583 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who intended for Osaka Castle to become the centre of a new, unified Japan under Toyotomi rule around 16th century. This site is especially popular during cherry blossom season.
© Osaka Convention& Tourism Bureau
Umeda Sky Building is a 40-storey skyscraper, which features the Floating Garden Observatory on top of the building. You can visit the garden by taking skeleton escalator straight up, which offers a panoramic view of the whole of Osaka. This landmark was selected by the UK publisher Dorling Kindersley as an entry in the “Top 20 Buildings Around the World” in 2008.
The 70 metre tall tower was created by Japanese artist Taro Okamoto for Osaka’s Expo ’70. The curious creature, sporting three-faces on both its front and back has been open to interpretation for decades. Now it has become the symbol of the Expo’70 Commemorative Park and of the energy and optimism that surrounded the event.
Located in Higashiosaka City, Hiraoka Shrine was the long-established shrine of the ancient Kawachi-no-kuni province, and its name was listed in Jinmyocho (shrine list) in the ancient statute book, Engishiki. On every eleventh of January, the shrine holds the ritual Kayuura-shinji, in which the year’s rice harvest is foretold through rice porridge with azuki beans. Visitors can enjoy the autumn festival while watching processions of futon daiko (floats mounted with drums), as well as the grand and gorgeous danjiri floats.
Located in Higashiosaka City, at the foot of Mt. Ikoma in the eastern of Osaka plain, Ishikiri-Tsurugiya Shrine has been familiar to people in Osaka since olden times as the home of a deity who cures dembo (tumors and boils), called “Ishikiri-san.” The name “Ishikiri-Tsurugiya” is derived from the enshrined objects of worship: a sword and arrow (tsurugi and ya) that are able to cut (kiri) and penetrate any rocks (ishi). Ishikiri-Tsurugiya Shrine attracts worshippers from all over Japan, some of whom practice the faith healing, or are performing Ohyakudo-mairi (ritual of visiting and praying at the same shrine a hundred times).
Higashiosaka is also the birthplace of world-famous sushi train restaurants. This began with the restaurant “Genroku Sushi”, which eventually expanded to over 250 restaurants all across Japan. To this day, sushi can be enjoyed at the flagship restaurant in Higashiosaka.