Osaka is Japan’s third largest and second most important city with a population of 2.5 million. It has been the economic powerhouse of the Kansai region for many centuries. The city’s west side has the main port as well as a tourist destination with attractions such as Kyocera Dome, Universal Studios Japan, Osaka aquarium, Minami, Osaka castle, Umeda sky building and the Tempozan Harbour Village. Osaka is known for its food, both in Japan and abroad. Osaka is the second largest metropolitan area in Japan and serves a major economic hub. Historically a merchant city, Osaka has also been known as the “Nation’s Kitchen”.
Osaka is a large port city and commercial center on the Japanese island of Honshu. It's known for its modern architecture, nightlife and hearty street food. The 16th-century shogunate Osaka Castle, which has undergone several restorations, is its main historical landmark. It's surrounded by a moat and park with plum, peach and cherry-blossom trees. Sumiyoshi-taisha is among Japan’s oldest Shinto shrines.
Osaka’s culinary prevalence is the result of a location that has provided access to high quality ingredients, a high population of merchants, and close proximity to the ocean and waterway trade. In recent years, Osaka has started to garner more attention from foreigners with the increased popularity of cooking and dining in popular culture. The National Museum of Art (NMAO) is a subterranean Japanese and international art museum, housing mainly collections from the post-war era and regularly welcoming temporary exhibitions. Osaka Science Museum is in a five storied building next to the National Museum of Art, with a planetarium and an OMNIMAX theatre. The Museum of Oriental Ceramics holds more than 2,000 pieces of ceramics, from China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam, featuring displays of some of their Korean celadon under natural light.
Regular bus services are provided by Osaka Municipal Transportation Bureau (the City Bus), as well Hankyu, Hanshin and Kintetsu, providing a dense network covering most parts of the city.
Osaka is served by two airports outside of the city, Kansai International Airport (IATA: KIX) which handles primarily international passenger flights and Osaka International Airport (IATA:ITM) which handles mostly domestic services and some international cargo flights.
Due to its geographical position, Osaka's international ferry connections are far greater than that of Tokyo, with international service to shanghi, Tianjin, Korea, along with domestic routes to Kitakyushu, Kagoshima, Miyazaki and Okinawa.