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OSAKA HIGHLIGHTS Print E-mail
Japan's second-biggest city, Osaka is located in the Kansai region of Honshu island, and is the capital city of the vast Osaka Prefecture. The city is sited next to the Yodo River and alongside Osaka Bay, being divided into two main areas, the northern Kita region, and to the south, the Minami area, separated by the Tosabori-gawa and the Dojimagawa rivers.
osaka-city-view
Osaka's Minami district is particularly tourist friendly and boasts plenty of entertainment, busy shopping arcades and many top nightclubs, which are centered around both Shinsaibashi and Namba. South of Minami lies another collection of sights to explore, being centered around the prominent Tenno-ji Station and incorporating the neighborhoods of both Den-Den Town and Shin-Sekai.
osaka-city-view2
It has quite a lengthy history and is teaming with spots of historical interest. To name just a few of the most important ones; Shiten-no-ji Temple, Sumiyoshi Shrine and Osaka-jo Castle. A highlights of Osaka include bunraku (traditional puppet show) and grand kabuki performances and a traditional Japanese artistic community. Osaka is also known its almost overwhelming dominance in producing comedians (manzai, a more contemporary form of stand-up comedy). On top of this, Osaka is known for its food as well, as is evidenced by the expression "Eat ‘til you drop in Osaka". Good restaurants which offer good food at budget prices are abundant in Osaka.
As Osaka is located in between Kyoto and KIX (Kansai International Airport), it is conveniently located as a side trip to a Kyoto visit. Another must see is Kobe which is within just 30 minutes of Osaka by train. Its scenic seaport is very famous (one of the largest in Japan). The population of Kobe is 1.5 million. Still further to the west (one hour by train) is the impressive Himeji Castle (a World Heritage Site).
 
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