Saturday, August 27, 2011

Osaka Japan

Osaka, Japan is Japan's second major city after Tokyo. The 'Venice of the East' as it is sometimes called because of its abundance of rivers, this industrial city is often ignored by travelers or merely passed through because most people prefer to see the ancient capitals of Kyoto and Nara located nearby. If one wishes to truly experience modern Japanese culture, look no further than Osaka itself. There are a number of fascinating cultural landmarks located in the city as well as excellent food that must be experienced here in what's known as the Nation's Kitchen (tenka no daidokoro in Japanese).

The most important place of interest is Osaka Castle. Originally built in 1583, it now houses a large museum of history relating to both the castle and the Osaka area as a whole. Cases line each floor with relics including swords, armor, and various objects used in the castle during its days of usage. The castle itself was destroyed on several occasions but was rebuilt each time.

Dotonbori Osaka Japan
Dotonburi is one of the top destinations for tourists in Osaka. This street is lined with shops and restaurants decorated with bright neon signs. The famous Glico Running Man sign as well as the drum playing clown doll Kuidaore Taro. Also found here is Kani Doraku, a giant mechanized crab built in 1960. Though these might seem like strange landmarks, they are famous throughout Japan as being Osakan.

Namba, the district that houses Dotonburi, is itself famous for the numerous shopping and commercial opportunities. Shops line every street. One notable shop is the Takashimaya department store, also famous throughout the country. Namba Parks is a new building containing offices and a shopping area as well as a rooftop garden. Food abounds in Namba and if one wishes to experience true Osaka cuisine they need look no further!

Osaka Castle
Osaka's main commercial district, Umeda, is famous for its department stores and theaters. Here you will find a number of fascinating places to shop, including the Yodobashi Camera electronics store, Hankyu Department Store, the Kinokuniya Book Store, and the Whitey underground shopping center that also connects the subway stations. Movie theaters and gaming centers also abound in Umeda. HEP Five and HEP Navio house a number of shops as well as the giant red ferris wheel that overlooks the entire city. The ferris wheel sits atop the building allowing patrons a magnificent view of this Japanese city's ocean of buildings and concrete.

Though these locations only scratch the surface of all there is to see in the Osaka area, one must not miss out on any opportunity to visit these historical and beautiful sights in Osaka, Japan

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