After Tokyo, Osaka is perhaps the flashiest city of Japan. It is hard to imagine that the concrete box-like high rises and the nighttime dazzling illuminations of the city, has been built over the ruins of a city, which was devastated by the Allied bombings during the Second World War.
Osaka has two airports. The Kansai International Airport receives international and few domestic flights. The older Osaka Itami Airport handles only domestic flight. You can arrive in Osaka from other parts of Japan by buses, trains and ferries. It takes about ten hours to arrive in Osaka by bus from Tokyo. The ferry services operated by Japan China International Ferry Company and Shanghai Ferry Company enable travelers to arrive in Osaka from Shanghai.
Among the large number of attractions of this city, you should not miss Osaka-jo. This is a renovated 16th century granite castle. It is housed in a park adorned with cherry blossom trees. Every Sunday, local musicians enthrall the passersby along the road between Osaka-jo Hall and Osaka-jo-koen station.
Nestled between two rivers, about a kilometer to the northwest of Osaka-jo is Nakanoshima. This is a picturesque island with several riverside walking trails, picnicking facilities, the Osaka City Hall and the Museum of Oriental Ceramics. The Kaiyukan or the Osaka Aquarium is the world’s biggest aquarium. The aquarium is inhabited by a large whale shark, several smaller shark species and other fish.
Dotombori is the epicenter of Osaka’s nightlife. The neon lighted flashy streets are lined with chic shops and restaurants. The 112m high, Giant Ferris Wheel is perhaps the highest Ferris wheel in the world. Watching the city from the top of the wheel would be a memorable experience. Osaka has several popular museums, such as the open-air museum of eleven traditional Japanese farmhouses, Osaka Museum of History, Osaka Human Rights Museum and the National Museum of Ethnology.
The Shitenno Temple of Osaka is one of the oldest temples of Japan. If you want to rejuvenate yourself after undergoing the stress of travel, head to Spa World, the largest spa in the world.