|Kimi and Elchi in front of Ôsaka Castle|
Ôsaka also has been known as the "country’s kitchen" (tenka no daidokoro, 天下の台所). This is not due to its rich cuisine; rather it refers to the fact that it was the center for rice trading during the Edo period (1603-1868). Many new businesses were first established in Ôsaka and spread from here across the nation. They include department stores, retail markets, and supermarkets. Still, Ôsaka retains a merchant lifestyle with an emphasis on practicality, informality, and pragmatism. Ôsaka was and is famous for its popular culture such as Kabuki, Bunraku or Karaoke, which originated here and became popular even overseas. On national television, comedians who speak the Ôsaka dialect – the only one which challenges the monopoly of the Tôkyô dialect – dominate entertainment programs.
In the air raids of WW II, Ôsaka was severely damaged. Today, Ôsaka is a modern city with few old houses but it contains numerous urban canals and bridges, many of which are prime examples of the latest bridge-building technologies. Thus, Ôsaka has a unique atmosphere, which explains why it is also dubbed “Ôsaka Aquapolis”.
(1) The north of Ôsaka: Ôsaka and Umeda Station area
|View from Hankyû Office Building|
|View from Umeda Sky Building|
|Sonezaki Ohatsu tenjin dori|
|Ohatsu Tenjin, Ôsaka|
|Kimi and Elchi in Nakanoshima|
(2) In the middle of Ôsaka: Ôsaka castle park area and its surroundings
|Plum blossoms at Ôsaka Castle Park|
|Japanese garden, Taikôen, Ôsaka|
|Kimi and Elchi in the Fujita tei ato kôen|
|Kyôbashi and castle moat, Ôsaka|
|Tsuruhashi, Korean Market, Ôsaka|
|Ikuno Korea Town|
(3) Shinsaibashi shopping district and Nanba area
|Fudô myôô, Hôzenji, Ôsaka|
|Hôzenji yokochô, Ôsaka|
Dôguyasuji Shopping Arcade (道具屋筋) is a one hundred and fifteen meters long shopping arcade, where you can buy everything associated with kitchen utensils. The arcade is lined with shops, selling exclusively kitchenware and there are several good shops where you can buy Japanese ceramics such as tea bowls or dishes.
|Nanba Yasaka Jinja|
(4) Shitennôji area
|Shinseikai, Tsutenkaku, ôsaka|
|Kimi, Elchi and Billiken san|
(5) In the South: Sumiyoshi taisha
|Sumiyoshi Taisha, Ôsaka|
|Sumiyoshi Taisha, Ôsaka|
West of Ôsaka
|View from Tenpôsan Harbour Village|
North of Ôsaka
Access: Take the Hankyû Takarazuka Line from Hankyû Umeda Station to Ishibashi Stn. (15 minutes) and transfer to the Hankyû Minoo Line to Minoo Stn. (5 minutes)
Since you have to change the train in Ishibashi (石橋) to the Minoo line, you can visit the shopping arcade in front of Ishibashi Station. It has some very nice traditional shops where you can try delicious Japanese sweets or other delicacies.
|Ikeda shiro ato kôen|
Access: Ikeda Stn, one station from Ishibashi on the Hanyû Takarazuka Line
|Kimi and Elchi at Nakayamadera|
|Plum garden, Nakayama dera|
Access: Yamamoto Stn, four stations from Ishibashi on the Hanyû Takarazuka Line
|Open Air Museum of Old Farmhouses|
Not far from here is the Expo ’70 Commemoration Park (Banpaku kinen kôen, 万博記念公園), the former site of the Japan World Exposition 1970. The park is known as a cultural park embracing natural environment. You can relax in the park which has a Japanese Garden, Natural and Cultural Gardens, cultural institution area and a sports and recreation area.
South of Ôsaka
|Gofuso teien, Kishiwada|
Access: Nakai Main Line to Kishiwada Stn.
Access: Kisei main line from Wakayama to Kainan Stn.