Surrounded by the historical cities of Kyoto and Nara to the east and Kobe to the west, Osaka is the cnter of finance, trade and cultural exchange in western Japan. The city presents visitors with an eclectic blend of the old, the new and the totally unique.
Sourced with thanks from Tourism City Osaka
Japan is a bow-shaped archipelago lying to the east of the Asian Continent. The local self-governing bodies of Japan consist of prefectures and municipalities. Osaka Prefecture, located at the approximate center of Japan, is divided into 33 cities, 10 towns, and 1 village.
Covering an area of approximately 1,890 square kilometers, or only 0.5 percent of the nation's entire land area, Osaka is the second smallest prefecture. However, it has a population of 8.8 million, or 7 percent of the entire population, making it the second most populous prefecture after Tokyo. Furthermore, approximately 210,000 foreigners, or 15.6 percent of all foreigners registered in Japan reside in Osaka.
Geographically Osaka extends from north to south, with a slight curve, open toward Osaka Bay on the west and surrounded by mountains on the other three sides. The weather is generally mild, with four distinct seasons. The annual average temperature is 61.3F, and average precipitation is 1,318mm.
Since the old days, Osaka has been called "kuidaore," literally meaning "bringing ruin upon oneself by extravagance in food," and known for its food culture.
This is not only due to Osaka's proximity to the sea and mountains, which makes all kinds of ingredients easily available, but also because various products were easily brought to Osaka from remote areas on ships via the calm Seto Inland Sea. Today, cuisine from around the world is enjoyed here; restaurants reputed for both fine taste and attractive prices line the streets downtown in the entertainment quarters.
Osaka, as the seat of the nation's oldest capital and a hub of marine transportation, has been an economic and cultural center of the nation since primitive times. Many historical and cultural properties remain in this prefecture. In addition, outstanding traditional performing arts known as the "kamigata," or Kyoto-Osaka culture, as well as many festivals of shrines, temples and communities have also been passed on from generation to generation.
Sourced with thanks from Pref Osaka
Graphic sourced with thanks from Charm.net