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OSAKA Prefecture

Area: 1,899 km2
Population: 8,849 million
Region: Kinki
Capital: Osaka

photo by Calvin YC


Osaka Prefecture s a prefecture located in the Kansai region on Honshu, the main island of Japan. The capital is the city of Osaka. Osaka Prefecture is one of the two urban prefectures of Japan, Kyoto Prefecture being the other (Tokyo is considered a “metropolitan prefecture” rather than an urban prefecture).
Osaka Prefecture is home to many castles, shrines, museums and parks.

OSAKA CITY
Ōsaka is the third largest city in Japan, with a population of over 2.5 million people in its greater metropolitan area. It is the central metropolis of the Kansai region and the largest of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto trio.
It is known for its modern architecture, lively nightlife and its delicious food. Osaka is known for its food, in Japan and abroad and it has been referred to as the food capital of the world. Regional cuisine includes okonomiyaki (pan-fried batter cake), takoyaki (octopus dumplings), udon (a noodle dish), as well as the traditional oshizushi (pressed sushi), particularly battera (pressed mackerel sushi).
WHAT TO DO AND WHAT TO SEE
Most of Osaka’s main attractions are located within the city of Osaka.
The city offers a wide variety of tourist attractions and activities. Some of the best include Universal Studios, a very popular theme park located at Osaka’s waterfront, Abeno Harukas, the tallest skyscraper in Japan that has an observation deck ,Umeda Sky Buidling, a 173 meter tall skyscraper also with an observation deck, Shitennoji Temple, one of the oldest temples in Japan and the Dōtonbori canal entertainment area.
Similar but smaller than Tokyo's Akihabara, Den Den Town is Osaka’s electronics district. It is an extremely good place to buy Japanese electronics such as cameras.

Also within Osaka City is the Osaka Castle Park. The castle of Toyotomi Hideyoshi is in the center of the park which is an excellent and popular place to see the cherry blossoms in spring.
GETTING THERE
By plane
The main international gateway to Osaka is Kansai International Airport. The airport has two railway connections to Osaka city: JR West's Kansai Airport Line and the private Nankai Electric Railway.
Most domestic flights arrive at Osaka International Airport, also known as Itami Airport . Most convenient option for most are the Airport Limousine Buses, which run frequently from Itami to various locations within Osaka and elsewhere in the region.

By train
From Tokyo, Nozomi trains cover the one way ride in about 2.5 hours.
From Kyoto, JR offers fast shin-kaisoku (special rapid) trains to Osaka Station.
From Nara, JR offers trains to Tennōji and Osaka Stations, and Kintetsu offers trains to Namba.
From Nagoya, an alternative to the Shinkansen is Kintetsu's premium limited express service, the Urban Liner which goes directly to Namba. Trip times are as little as two hours each way.

By bus
As Osaka is a major city, there are many day and overnight buses which run between Osaka and other locations throughout Japan. The run between Tokyo and the Kansai region is the busiest in Japan. Trips take approximately 8-9 hours depending on the route and stops.
CLIMATE/ TEMPERATURE
Osaka is located in the humid subtropical climate zone, with four distinct seasons. Its winters are generally mild, with January being the coldest month and having an average high of 9.3 °C . The city of Osaka rarely sees snowfall during the winter. Spring starts off mild, but ends up being hot and humid and it tends to be Osaka's wettest season, with the rainy season occurring between late May to early July. Summers are very hot and humid. In the months of July and August, the average daily high temperature approaches 35 °C , while average nighttime temperatures typically hover around 25 °C. Fall sees a cooling trend, with the early part of the season resembling summer while the latter part of fall resembles winter.
WHAT TO WEAR
During summer, you should be fine if you wear a short-sleeved shirt, t-shirt or a dress, however a long sleeved shirt is highly recommended if you choose to go near water or to the mountains.
In the winter, be sure to bring warm clothes such as winter coat or jacket, hat, scarf and gloves.
For the spring and autumn a light jacket or a sweater should keep you warm.
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