Basics of Osaka
Osaka is located on the main island of Honshu, roughly in the center of Japan. Osaka City, which was incorporated in 1889, has a population of 2.69 million and an area of 225.21 square kilometers.
Osaka Prefecture, which includes Osaka City (its capital) and 42 other municipalities, has a population of 8.84million and a total land mass of about 1,905 square kilometers. Although Osaka is Japan's second smallest prefecture by size, its population represents 7% of the entire nation, making it the second most populous prefecture after Tokyo. Furthermore, 10% of all non-Japanese residents live in Osaka.
HISTORY & CULTURE
From time immemorial, Osaka has been a town bustling with traders. Merchants came in from the east and the west, gathering in Osaka to buy and sell rice. Osakans' passion and discernment for food has remained unchanged for hundreds of years. After all, this is the city once called "tenka no daidokoro," "kitchen of the nation."
The importance Osakans attach to matters of dining is clear in an instant if you look around Shinsekai, Fukushima, and Tsuruhashi. Muster your courage and step forth for a culinary walking tour and you, too, can engage in the fine Osaka tradition of "kuidaore." "Kuidaore" as an expression meaning to seek out delicious food with determination, pouring money into eating until you are bankrupt (literally, "eat-yourself-broke.") This phrase originated in Osaka, so of course the flavors and tastes of Osaka have been stamped with many a seal of approval.
Can I smoke outside?
Osaka city has a regulation on smoking outside. Smoking on the streets and footpaths in "Non-Smoking Zones " is punishable by a 1,000 yen fine. Please try to avoid smoking in a manner that endangers or disturbs others.
I'm bringing a child to Osaka. Where can I go for a family outing?
Universal Studios Japan and the Osaka Aquarium "Kaiyukan" are the places to take the kids. Kids Plaza Osaka in the Kansai Television offices in Kita-ku's Ogimachi is also packed with local families on weekends, and is a perfect small theme park for children to learn and play at.