From the former capital to the metropolis of millions
According to DigoPaul, the city of Osaka, then still known as Naniwa, was founded nearly 1,500 years ago. The strategic location of the port city and good connections with China soon made it a major center and capital.
Although the status of the capital went from Osaka to the court with the move of Osaka in 745, the port of the city was a very central place of commerce until almost a millennium later. In the 17th century, however, the importance of the settlement center slowly began to wane.
However, especially with industrialization, Osaka returned to its old glory. Now, with about 16 million inhabitants, the city is the third largest and most economically significant in Japan.
The city took over parts
As can be deduced from the population, Osaka is huge in size. It is easiest for the city to take over one piece at a time.
Kita, the city’s modern city center, is a lively area occupied by department stores, shops and theaters, including the Umeda Tower. To the south of the city center is Minami, a district that became known as the cradle of trade and culture. In addition to shopping malls and trendy shops, there is Dotonbori Amusement Street.
The Tennoji area even further south is known for the Shitennoji Temple, while the western harbor area is like a massive amusement park. Instead, right next to the center of Osaka Castle, it is the cradle of history and a perfect place to relax with its magnificent gardens.
Even in the time of the emperors, when Tokyo was the military center of Japan and Kyoto as a massive administration, Osaka was known as the cuisine of the whole country because of its vast rice reserves. Although many things have changed, the city is still the culinary center of Japan.
Sushi, skewers and why octopuses do not pamper the taste buds all over the city, but the gourmet should be directed at least to the downtown restaurant centers and to the food dams on Dotonbori Street.
The best time to travel to Osaka is definitely spring, when the cherry trees are in bloom, the temperatures are pleasant and the rainfall is reasonable. Likewise, autumn is perfect for travel time if you are just ready to compromise on flower blooms.
Cold winters and usually very humid summers are not so popular with tourists. If you want to avoid the most popular seasons, you should of course consider these times as well.
FLIGHTS, ACCOMMODATION AND MOVEMENT IN OSAKA
Direct flight from Finland
From Finland, Osaka can be conveniently reached by a direct flight from Helsinki. Round-trip flights operated by Finnair lasting approximately ten hours cost approximately 800 to 1,000 euros.
Osaka is also well connected to the rest of Japan. If you come across cheap flights to Tokyo or Kyoto, for example, you should definitely book them and continue your journey by bullet train to your final destination.
Living in the center is expensive
Osaka is a huge metropolis that hides a wide variety of accommodation options. If the business is on time, you can get a good place to stay at bargain prices.
In addition to top hotels, living in the center, regardless of the level of accommodation, costs quite a lot, or at least more than in other areas.
The Shin-Imamiya area, on the other hand, has grown in popularity among budget travelers. The slightly poorer district is a cheaper place for a tourist to live than the city center.
By subway anywhere
The subway is by far the most convenient means of transportation during your vacation in Osaka. Most of the modern stations are also equipped with English texts, making everyday life in the land of foreign characters easier.
Not only within the city, but also between other cities, rail transport works excellently. Tokyo and Kyoto, for example, are easily reached by train.
History and entertainment in Osaka Castle
Although Osaka Castle, which is less than 500 years old, suffered quite a World War II bombing, and massive reconstruction work has not been able to fully preserve its original atmosphere, the castle is still the city’s most famous attraction.
The whole area of the castle is like a giant open-air museum, where the wings of history are felt. The historic milieu is also conducive to counterbalancing the ever-growing and modernizing city.
Although you can also enter Osaka Castle, it is worth taking the time to enjoy yourself, especially around the structure. Like the locals, you can take picnics and enjoy the greenery, for example. Especially when the cherry trees are in bloom, the views are fantastic.
Tsukenkaku takes you to the top of the city
The original Tsukenkaku tower was built as early as the early 20th century, but due to the destruction of the war, the new tower had to be erected half a century later. Now it symbolizes the reconstruction project that the whole city has gone through.
Externally, the structure is even confusing. Tsukenkaku is somewhat similar in structure to the Eiffel Tower, but with its Japanese texts and other protrusions, the tower exudes more futurism than history.
With the entrance fee, the tourist is rushed to the top of the tower to admire the scenery. The ferocious can also view the views from the other side of the observation deck glass, as long as the safety harness remembers to be worn.
Dotonbori is a full-blooded entertainment center
Dotonbori Street is a concentration of neon lights, countless restaurants and bars and nightclubs that attract tourists like a magnet.
However, although a large proportion of visitors are foreigners, the street along the canal has not declined into a mere tourist trap. For the gourmet, for example, Dotonbori is still one of Kyoto’s must-see attractions, and the city’s nightlife-winning city can’t be found.
THE BEST OF OSAKA
The best attractions
- Osaka Castle
- Tsukenkaku Tower
- Umeda Sky Building
- Museum of Peace
- Universal Studios