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Tomodachi Winter 2019
 

PORTRAITS OF JAPAN:

Vibrant Osaka

In 2019, the G20 Summit will open in Osaka. Japan’s major city is gaining more attention as it also gets ready to host the World Expo in 2025

 
Ikoma | NARA  奈良

The scene of futuristic highrises clustering next to a feudal castle is quintessentially Osaka!

 
Ikoma | NARA  奈良

Castle Among the Highrises

Located in the city center, Osaka Castle, built in 1583, is Osaka’s symbol. The Main Keep, rebuilt in 1931, is adorned with gold at every turn and offers a commanding view of the city from the top floor. More than 10 million people visit the popular Osaka Castle Park, in which the castle takes center stage, to enjoy such seasonal visual treats as plum and cherry blossoms and autumn leaves.

 

A Long History of Merchant Culture

Called the “city of merchants,” lively Osaka has been flourishing for more than four centuries as Japan’s hub of commercial trade. In as far back as 1730, futures trading in rice was already operating in Osaka.

Ikoma | NARA  奈良

"Junkei machi Yomise no Zu" by Hiroshige Utagawa (Osaka Prefectural Nakanoshima Library)

 

Hanazono, Japan Rugby’s Hallowed Ground

Ikoma | NARA  奈良
 

The Higashiosaka Hanazono Rugby Stadium, opened in 1929, is Japan’s first rugby-dedicated stadium. In preparation for holding the Rugby World Cup in 2019, it has been revamped to become an even more state-of-the-art facility. Just like it has throughout its illustrious past, we can expect the stadium to stage many more dramas.

 

Backstreet Monodzukuri Boosting Japan’s Industry

In Osaka, where monodzukuri (Japanese manufacturing) has flourished since ancient times, there are currently close to 10 thousand SME-operated factories. Every one of the small components produced at these places is supporting high-tech industries in which Japan is a global leader. When SMEs in Osaka join forces, they can even launch satellites.

Ikoma | NARA  奈良
 

Savoring Unique Food Culture of Retro Downtown

Due to its role as an important hub for logistics and trade in the Edo Period, Osaka developed its own unique food culture under the identity of “Japan’s Kitchen.” Dishes known throughout the world, such as takoyaki (octopus balls) and kushikatsu (fried skewer cuisine), are some of Osaka’s major appeals.