Economic Power House of the Kansai Region

By: Douglas Scott

Osaka is Japan's third largest and second most important city. It has been the economic power house of the Kansai region for many centuries. Located in the Far-East of Asia, Osaka is a dream of every poet. Osaka resides in the heart of hearts of the Japanese archipelago

Although much of the city centre was burnt to the ground during World War II, the private and public sectors came together to reconstruct the city and its industries.

The folks of this city are very cosy and practical. They enjoy lives at their fullest and look for venues to celebrate the spirit of zest and fun through music culture food, sports and shopping. Osaka is filled with heritage significance as well as cultural richness.

Tsuruhashi is the centre of Japans Korean community. The area around Tsuruhashi station is a complex maze of covered shopping arcades and streets. It is a great place to buy fresh produce and also Korean craft.

Entertainment in the city can be of a wide-range. You can explore the culture of the country by watching Kabuki theatre or you can go to the various music clubs in the city. Although it is rude to eat on the street, it is legal to drink on the street. You can buy alcohol from some vending machines before 11pm.

One of the best ways to eat is to drop into a Japanese tavern. Noticeable by the large, red lanterns hanging out side, izakaya or akachochin establishments, Japanese tavern serves a wide selection of local and foreign dishes.

The lively Irish music enchants both the Japanese and foreigners a like. Darts and televised football add to the unrestrained merry making. The Pig and whistle in Osaka is an English style pub and is a huge attraction amongst foreigners. Fish-and-chips is offered with Guinness, bottled beers, and a fine selection of liquors.

Osaka Castle is one of the two best castles the Kansai area. Himeji Castle is the other. Japanese castles, like most things, observe the law of diminishing returns. The first castle you visit will entertain you for hours.

The castle is situated on a plot of land roughly one kilometre square. It is built on two raised platforms of landfill supported by sheer walls. Each overlooking a moat. The central castle building is five stories on the outside and eight stories on the inside,

Osaka's Tenjin Matsuri has been celebrated for over 1000 years and over a million people come every July to enjoy the festival on the river and marvel at the fireworks display.

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