Osaka is the third most populated city in Japan, which is historically the country’s commercial capital and is currently one of the country’s main industrial centers and largest ports. The first large trading houses, the kabuki theater and the bunraku puppet theater were born here. Today’s Osaka, with an abundance of elegant boutiques and supermarkets, arcades and underground shopping streets, is a huge modern world-class city.
The former name of the city is Naniwa. Until the Nara period, when the capital used to move from city to city with each new emperor, Naniwa was Japan’s very first capital. An urban settlement arose here no later than the 4th century AD. e.
Osaka is served by 2 airports. Kansai International Airport receives most of the scheduled international flights, some domestic and most cargo. The airport is located on an artificial island in Osaka Bay. Osaka International Airport handles mostly international cargo flights and charter flights. Osaka has several railway lines, 7 subway lines. In addition, the city has a well-developed network of trams and city buses; you can take a taxi at any time of the day. Osaka is connected by rail to the ancient capital of Kyoto and the port of Kobe.
The main attraction is Osaka Castle, which played a big role in the history of Japan from the 16th century to 1868; part of it is turned into a barracks. Other attractions include: An extensive European-style mint, many Buddhist and Shinto shrines, the world’s largest aquarium, Kaiyukkan, and more.
And although Osaka is a modern industrial city, there are unique corners of nature that are harmoniously woven into the urban landscape. So one of the natural attractions of Osaka is the Shanin Kaigan National Park. On its territory there are many land and sea caves, sand dunes and magnificent beaches. The prefecture’s tallest waterfall, Tottori, is also located here.
In Osaka, you will find all kinds of restaurants, ranging from upscale establishments to fast food eateries. For example, on the Tenjinbashi-suji shopping street, there are establishments specializing in noodles or sushi, as well as various cafeterias. In total, there are about 600 restaurants in this area.
Kyoto has been the capital of Japan for more than a thousand years, during which time it has become the repository of the best achievements of Japanese art, culture, religion and thought. Pavilions with curved roofs are reflected here in the immovable surface of the ponds, coniferous trees grow neatly, it seems, right out of the rocks, and there are more than enough attractions for more than one eastern country.
Kyoto is located in the valley of the Yamashiro region, in the eastern part of the mountainous region known as the Tamba highlands. The city is surrounded on three sides by mountains: Higashiyama, Kitayama and Nishiyama. Their height is slightly more than 1000 meters above sea level. This location causes hot summer months and cold winters. It often snows here in winter. The Golden Pavilion of Kinkakuji looks especially beautiful in the snow.
An accidental combination of circumstances made it possible to save many buildings during the Second World War. Local residents took care of their safety. And now we have a great opportunity to see this unique corner of the earth with our own eyes. About 20% of the National Cultural Treasures are located in Kyoto. There are 17 objects included in the UNESCO list as World Heritage Sites.
There are about 400 Shinto shrines in Kyoto. The most famous are Heian jingu and Yasaka jinja. Three temples are included in the UNESCO heritage list – Kamigamo, Shimogamo and Ujigami. But there are also very small shrines scattered throughout the city.
There are over 1,600 Buddhist temples in Kyoto, many of which are active monasteries. The main schools to which the temples belong are Shingon, Rizai-zen, Jodo-shu, but other directions are also represented.
The city hosts many events and festivals, which are watched not only by local residents, but also by guests from other Japanese cities. There are also many foreign guests. Holidays in temples and city streets, as a rule, have a long history. For the Japanese, this is not only entertainment. The main thing is a good reason to remember your ancestors. Many residents participate in the preparation of the holidays completely voluntarily without any payment. Moreover, some families consider it their family responsibility to prepare for the festivals.
It’s just that it’s customary to carefully preserve traditions here, so the ongoing events can be considered an integral part of the cultural heritage of the nation.
The most famous festivals in Kyoto are: Aoi Matsuri, Gion Matsuri, Jidai Matsuri, Fire Festival, Daimonji.