About Osaka

Japan’s second-largest city, Osaka’s reputation precedes it: home to straight-talking, downto- earth folk more than fond of a good time; the heartland of Japanese comedy; a street food hub; and a futuristic metropolis that inspired ‘Blade Runner’s dystopian cityscapes (although you don’t need to worry about bumping into replicants here). For centuries a business hub, Osaka’s attractions are the kind that appear when serious money is being made: from Osaka Castle through to Universal Studios, the Expo ’70 Park and the breathtaking ‘garden in the air’ on the Umeda Sky Building. The downtown Shinsekai neighbourhood, including the Tsutenkaku Tower, preserves the nostalgic vibe of Japan’s Showa era, while at the other end of the spectrum Shinsaibashi is a Mecca for upmarket shopping. The canal-side Dotonbori entertainment district, with its blazing neon signs, is a must-visit that really comes alive after dark.