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Osaka Prefecture

Osaka Prefecture in Kansai DistrictOsaka PrefectureOsaka Prefecture is the central prefecture of Kansai District (Kinki District). In Japanese, Osaka is pronounced as "Oosaka".

There are hilly area and mountains around the south, west and north prefectural borders, but the other area is flat.
The west coast faces Osaka Bay.

The large cities such as Osaka and Sakai occupy the central area in the prefecture, and many cities surround the large cities.
The climate is mild, but it is hot in summer and there are many days with sweltering night.

Around the 6th century, many ancient burial mounds were built in the south part of the prefecture.
This area is close to Kyoto, so it had been an important area since ancient times.

Osaka Osaka city is the prefecural capital and is the third largest city with a population of 2.6 million, after Tokyo and Yokohama. It is not only the center of Kansai but also the center of western Japan.
Many big companies base on Osaka, and the number is after Tokyo.
Since old time, Osaka has been a big business center.

In Edo Period (1603-1868), Osaka had created an original culture different from Edo (current Tokyo).
It is vibrant but grace, and is different from straightforward Edo culture.
The culture of Osaka is still one of the big forces in Japan.

Basically Osaka has two main downtowns, "Kita" and "Minami". They mean directly "north" and "south".

Kita is the area around Osaka and Umeda stations on the northern position of JR Osaka loop line.
There are many department stores and shoping facilities. Many underground malls run around this area.

Minami is the area around Nanba station, and is about 4 km south of Kita area.
There are many restaurants and pubs.We can see the brilliant signs there and find sometimes bizarre signs.
And the various theaters are in this area. Especially comedy from Osaka is well-known across the country.

Several rivers flow through the central Osaka city, then there are many bridge in the city.
So Osaka is often called "the city of water".
Some pleasure boats touring around the rivers in the city are operated.

Osaka-Info : Official website by Osaka Convention and Tourism Bureau




The climate in Osaka city
Average value 1981-2010 JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Highest Temperature (deg C) 9.5 10.2 13.7 19.9 24.5 27.8 31.6 33.4 29.3 23.3 17.6 12.3
Lowest Temperature (deg C) 2.8 2.9 5.6 10.7 15.6 20.0 24.3 25.4 21.7 15.5 9.9 5.1
Mean monthly rainfall (mm) 45 62 104 104 146 185 157 91 161 112 69 44

How to get to Osaka

From Kansai Airport

Kansai International Airport official website

It is the gateway from abroad to Osaka, then it has many flights from various cities in the world.
To go to central Osaka, there are some ways.

  • JR limited express train "Haruka" : About 35 minutes to Ten'noji, about 55 minutes to Shin-Osaka, about 1 hour and 15 minutes to Kyoto. (It doesn't stop Osaka station.)
  • JR rapid train : About 50 minutes to Ten'noji, about 1 hour and 10 minutes to Osaka station.
  • Nankai Electric Railway limited express train "Rapi:t" : About 36 minutes to Nanba.
  • Express bus : About 48 minutes to Nanba. It runs to other various destinations.

From Itami Airport

It is the main airport of domestic flights, and has many flights from various cities in Japan.
The formal name is "Osaka International Airport", but it has no flight from abroad.

  • Route bus : About 25 minutes to JR Shin-Osaka station, about 35 minutes to Nanba.
  • Osaka Monorail and subway : By monorail, about 12 minutes to Senri-Chuo. Then by subway (Kita-Osaka Kyuko Line and Midosuji Line) about 13 minutes to Shin-Osaka, about 19 minutes to Umeda, about 27 minutes to Nanba.

By Shinkansen

  • By Tokaido-Shinkansen, about 2 hours and 33-36 minutes from Tokyo, about 51 minutes from Nagoya, and 13 minutes from Kyoto.
  • By San'yo-Shinkansen, about 1 hours and 21-35 minutes from Hiroshima, 2 hours and 28-35 minutes from Hakata.

Tokaido-Shinkansen official website
San'yo Shinkansen (JR West Co. official website)


Tourist spots in Osaka Prefecture

Osaka city map

Osaka city

Umeda /1/
Osaka Tenmanguu shrine /2/
Japan Mint /3/
Osaka Castle /4/
Osaka Museum of History /5/
Ruin of Naniwa Palace /6/
Universal Studios Japan /7/
Kaiyukan aquarium /8/
Dotonbori /9/
Shinsaibashi /10/
Nipponbashi /11/
Nanba /12/
Shinsekai /13/
Shiten'nouji temple /14/
Sumiyoshi-taisha shrine /15/


Osaka Prefecture map

Other spots in Osaka Prefecture

Tomb of Emperor Nintoku /21/

Scenic or Nature / Park or Garden / Resort / City, Town or Village / Quarter or Street /
Temple or Shrine / Museum or Laboratory / Market or Commercial facility / Factory /
Other Building or Construction / Historic place / Remains / World Heritage Site

Main events in Osaka Prefecture

Tooka-EbisuTooka-Ebisu (January 9-11th)

Ebisu is one of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune. It is a god of fishery, and now is known as a god of business.
On January 10th, Tooka-Ebisu as a festival of Ebisu is held in western Japan. Especially, one held in Imamiya-Ebisu Shrine in Osaka city is popular. It is held for three days including January 10th.
"Tooka" means "10th day", and the people in Kansai area call this festival as "Ebessan" friendly.
Many people visit the shrine, and they are given bamboo branches with several lucky charms.
Lucky ladies give them to people, and it is said that the ladies are very beautiful.

Tenjin FestivalTenjin Festival (From late June to late July)

It is the annual festival of Osaka Tenmanguu Shrine. This shrine enshrines Michizane Sugawara who was a scholar in the 9th century.
For about a month, many rituals are held.
The highlight of the festival is the parade of illuminated boats in the river held in the last day (July 25th).
Thousand of people involved in the festival board many boats and parade.

Kishiwada Danjiri FestivalKishiwada Danjiri Festival (Mid-Septmber and mid-October)

It is the festival held in Kishiwada city located at the southwest part of Osaka Prefecture.
"Danjiri" is the beautiful festival float, and the musicians play music on the float. Tens of Danjiri appear in this festival.
This festival is exciting because hundreds of people pull a Danjiri and run at full power.
Particularly it is very exciting when the Danjiri turns at any intersection.

Local foods and products in Osaka Prefecture

TakoyakiTakoyaki

It is a popular Japanese dumpling made of batter, diced boiled octopus, tempura scraps (tenkasu), pickled ginger, and green onion, topped with okonomiyaki sauce, green laver (aonori), mayonnaise, and katsuobushi (fish shavings). "Tako" means "octopus", and it is the main ingredient.
We can eat at any city in Japan. But the birthplace was Osaka city, and Osaka has the most number of the shops making and selling Takoyaki in Japan.
To make takoyaki, iron mold with several hemispheric dimples is used. In Kansai area including Osaka, it is sold for household use.

OkonomiyakiOkonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki is a popular Japanese pancake containing a variety of ingredients such as grated yam, chopped cabbage, chopped green onion.
Two major places of okonomiyaki are Osaka and Hiroshima, and Osaka's okonomiyaki is called "Kansai-style ".
The okonomiyaki in other area in Japan is mainly Kansai-style.
In Osaka city, there are many Okinomiyaki restaurans.

Kushi-age (Kushi-katsu)Kushi-age (Kushi-katsu)

Kushi-age (Kushi-katsu) is a food that a piece of ingredient is skewered and it is fried after coating with bread crumbs.
The ingredients are very various, and vegitables, meats, fishes are used.
When we eat them, we hold the skewer and dip it into Worcestershire sauce. And coarsely-cut cabbage is served on the side.
There are many kushi-age reataurants in Osaka city.


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