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Osaka is a designated city and the capital of Osaka Prefecture located in the Kansai region of Japan, being a major component of the Keihanshin Metropolitan Area. With its geographical situation is at the mouth of Yodo River at Osaka Bay, Osaka started off as a merchant’s city and became a centre of rice trade during the Edo period. In the present, it is the second largest city in Japan after Tokyo’s 23 wards and is known as tenka no daidokoro which literally translates as the “nation’s kitchen”.
Osaka has signs of the earliest human habitation at the Morinomiya ruins which consist of shell mounds, sea oysters and buried human skeletons from the 6th to 5th centuries BC. As rice farming became popular during the Yayoi period, people began to be drawn into a permanent habitation in the area. In the Kofun period, Osaka became the port that connected the region to western Japan. It later became a centre of political power concentration, which can be seen in the Kojiki records as well as the establishment of Naniwa-Nagara Toyosaki Palace by Emperor Kotoku in the year 645. Naniwa was the old name of Osaka, and it became the capital of Japan a couple times through the periods of Asuka and Nara. During the Edo period, Osaka grew into one of Japan’s major cities despite not being the capital. It also opened its doors to foreign trades much earlier during the rule of the Bakufu government prior to Boshin War and Meiji Restoration.
The modern Osaka is established since 1889 from the formation of the modern municipality and three major expansions that followed subsequently. Later, Osaka would undergo rapid industrialization to become an important industrial centre in the development of capitalism in Japan. In the present, Osaka remained one of the best places in the country to eat, drink and party, which attracted local and foreign visitors alike.
Osaka has a humid subtropical climate with four distinct seasons. It typically experiences spring from March through May which started off mild and ended up being hot and humid, but not as much as the summer. Next, summer is from June to August, with August being the hottest month. From December to February, it will experience winter. There are at least two rainy periods throughout the year, the first one from mid to late July and the second one in September and early October, with chances of the typhoon from the south or southwest.
In the context of language, Japanese is majorly practised in Osaka, albeit with a commonly spoken dialect known as Osaka-ben, which is a sub-dialect of Kansai-ben. All the city signs are still written in standard Japanese.
For those of you who want to visit Osaka, you can board a plane and set Kansai International Airport (IATA: KIX) as your destination. It is located on an artificial island in Osaka Bay which is about 40 km south of the Osaka city. The airport replaces the overcrowded Osaka International Airport in 1994, becoming an international hub for All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines, and Nippon Cargo Airlines, and also serves as a hub for Peach, the first international low-cost carrier in Japan. Meanwhile, Osaka International Airport or typically referred to as the Itami Airport would now handle only domestic flights.
Besides that, you can also come to Osaka from Tokyo via Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen train services arriving at Shin-Osaka station or even by a day or overnight buses. There is also the Osaka International Ferry Terminal that handles ferry trips between Osaka-Busan and Osaka-Shanghai.
Going around the area is easy with the purchase of Kansai Travel Pass that allows you to explore Osaka and other cities in west Japan. The Osaka Subway is the second most extensive subway network after Tokyo and JR Osaka Loop Line runs trains in a loop around town. It is also possible to rent a bicycle or a car if you have the license and would like to embark on a journey to go around Osaka on your own.
Osaka Castle has been around since its construction in 1583 to replace the Ishiyama Honganji Temple which was destroyed by Oda Nobunaga. It was the largest castle in the country during that time and survived through various periods of war and natural incidents. It was later restored in 1997 to give a new look. In its entirety, the castle is surrounded by secondary citadels, gates, turrets, stone walls and moats. There is also an impressive NIshinomaru Garden that charges a 600 yen entrance fee.
Located at the Tempozan Harbor Village of the bay area of Osaka, Osaka Aquarium is one of the most stunning aquariums in Japan, where marine lives are displayed in 15 tanks representing a specific region of the Pacific Rim. The main attraction is the whale shark that lives in the central tank which is nine meters deep.
Museum of Housing and Living
For travellers who are passionate about the history and architecture of Japan, Museum of Housing and Living is the destination you should visit. It is the perfect recreation of Osaka city landscape during the Edo period that is located at the northeastern Kita Area. The model of the entire city can be found inside the building, which makes it one-of-a-kind attraction in Japan. Nearby, there is Tenjinbashi-suji, which is one of the first shopping streets in Osaka and the longest shopping street in the country.
Shinsekai which literally translates to New World is a place of unique history and wonderful identity. It was developed rapidly in 1912 as a new neighbourhood with New York as a model for its southern half and Paris as a model for its northern half. At the centre, Tsutenkaku Tower stands tall as the ever-evoking symbol of Shinsekai, and it is also home to Spa World, a huge bath complex with European and Asian themed floors.
When travelling to Osaka, tourists should try the takoyaki here, which is the main speciality in Osaka. Typically made of octopus legs dipped in batter and cooked in special round mould, they are served together with savoury sauce and dried bonito flakes. There are a lot of takoyaki stands around the area, especially around Dotonbori. Most of the takoyaki made around the area is good. Hence you would not miss out too much if you skipped that famous stand with long lines for another stand which is more peaceful.
Yakiniku or literally translates as grilled meat is the best way to enjoy eating Kobe beef in Osaka. Part of the deliciousness involve grilling the said meat on a tabletop charcoal grill in the middle of the dining table with family and friends, sometimes enjoyed with wine or beer. Since Kobe is not that far away, it is easy to find an establishment that serves Kobe beef as the main ingredient for yakiniku, as well as other premium kinds of meat such as the Matsuzaka beef and other wagyu beef.
Just like any other regions in Japan, ramen is a serious business here, in which speciality broths are prepared to go with the wheat noodles. There are usually two kinds – one that mainly uses soy sauce and another that utilizes pork bone. Different ramen shops have a different style of doing this in Osaka, and it is certainly worth trying out one by one.
Regarded as one of the best hidden treasures of modern Kobe, Arima Onsen has attracted a lot of visitors who prefer tranquillity with beautiful surrounding nature. Situated behind Mount Rokko, it is also pretty accessible from Osaka via car or train. This onsen can be considered one of the oldest in the country, with documents dating since the 8th AD mentioning the onsen. Upon entering, one may notice there are two kinds of onsen, one being kinsen or gold spring which has yellow-brownish water from iron and salt and another being ginseng or silver spring which is colourless and contains radium and carbonate.
Fushimi-Inari Taisha Shrine
Fushimi-Inari Taisha Shrine is the most iconic treasure of Kyoto, which is about 45 minutes away from Osaka. Built in honour of the Shinto god of Inari, which is the god of rice, it has 10,000 vermillion shrine gates and one can spend almost a day wandering around the trails surrounding the network of ornate shrines. Before going through the Mount Inari trail, visitors can stop by at Omokaru Stones near the entrance to make a wish. One can also look forward to enjoying a magnificent view of Kyoto at the Yotsutsuji Intersection.
A popular theme park in Tokyo, Tokyo Disneyland is the first Disney park to built outside the United States, situated at a 115-acre area consisting of seven themed areas - World Bazaar; the four traditional Disneylands: Adventureland, Westernland, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland; and two mini-lands: Critter Country and Mickey's Toontown; all of these would mirror those in the original Disneyland which are based on American Disney films and fantasies. It has extensive open spaces and has hosted 16.6 million visitors as of 2017, making it the third most visited theme park of its kind.
With the flight and ticket package available at Traveloka Malaysia, you can visit Osaka more easily and cheaper. Choose a variety of tour packages that we offer, and modify as you like to get the combination you want.
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