“Large Hill”, “Old Naniwa, one of the Imperial Capitals of Japan”, “The nation’s kitchen”
Osaka, the second largest city in Japan during the day time, and third at night time, is only comparable to be second after Tokyo. A massive very modern agglomeration where a tourist should not be expecting to find old structures, ancient shrines, historical temples and overall, old Japan. Well, of course here and there you will come across some of these sites, but what you will come across at great scale is a thriving city day and night, a massive economic power in the country and huge in culture and the arts, entertainment and overall, food. This city has by nickname “the nation’s kitchen”, and that’s for a very well earned reason: its favorable location along the coast within easy access to the world and high quality ingredients, coupled with wealthy merchants and its people with somehow a keen desire for good and expensive products. For some, Osaka is the food capital of the world.
There is a phrase used to kindly describe its inhabitants with regards to their fame for food: “Residents of Osaka devour their food until they collapse”. I do believe with such an expression there is no further need to continue writing anything about food. It’s great everywhere as you will experience it, easy to find anywhere however it could be as “complicated” as is in Tokyo, where you need to prepay at machines where not even a sign in English exist, only images of the dish and of course the Japanese description, to then hand over the waiters the receipt. It’s really fun, believe me, and part of the emotion in not really knowing for sure what you’ve ordered until coming to your table!.
Like almost anywhere in Japan, World War II took its toll not only in loss of lives, but the lost of traditional architecture. Osaka was one of the worst, destruction here was on mass, hence why it is such modern today and very few historical places remain. Even the ones still standing are in majority reconstructions like the castle. Still, it’s an awesome city to visit, explore and enjoy, you can never be wrong at anywhere you are in Japan anyway. Continue reading