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Osaka (大阪市) is a city in Japan located in the Osaka Prefecture. As reported in 2006, Osaka is the third largest city of Japan (behind Tokyo and Yokohama) with more than 2,629,252 residents. This high population is said to be the product of a greatly established city with special developments offered for those coming for a stay, long-term and short, in the city.

Since the earliest days of the city, many Japanese companies have rooted in Osaka. The Port of Osaka makes for great distribution as well as a thriving economy. In the late 90’s many companies transferred to Tokyo, the center of commercial business. However, there are still many early companies still calling Osaka the home of their headquarters.

Osaka also serves as the main educational division for the entire Osaka Prefecture, and surrounding areas. Many universities, high schools, and children's education facilities are located in the city. The dreams of many education driven residents from Japan include moving to this highly sought after education department.


History of Osaka

The history of the land known called Osaka is quite extensive with findings dating its beginnings as far back as the year 642. While many believe the land is much more significant in times before that; the whole history is quite controversial.

It wasn’t until 1496 that the land was officially called Osaka. According to the document written at that time, the city was actually titled Ozaka. Throughout time the (z) has been omitted, and replaced with an (s). The reason for this change is unclear.

From 1603 to 1867 Osaka was a main city of Japan based on its oversized and well developed port. Many moved to the city to find reliable work in the factories and distribution center of the Osaka Port.

In 1956, Osaka was designated a modern city of Japan when establishing a firm and solid government. While the city did convert to more modern practices many of the same Japanese traditions remain to be practiced.

Wards of Osaka

As a designated city area, Osaka is divided into 24 wards, including:


Osaka’s economy today remains one of the most vital in Japan with more than 55% of the total GDP of Osaka Prefecture and more than 26% of the Kinki Region. The major industries in Osaka include commerce, service, and manufacturing with 30%, 25%, and 11% totals. The average per capita income is around 3.5 million Yen, and Osaka is currently ranked in the top 20 of world cities economically.

Because of Osaka’s long history as a commerce center in Japan, the country has long been a large financial center. Today, it is still home to the first brokerage firm in Japan, and the future exchange of Japan. Many major companies such as Sanyo, Sharp, and Panasonic still operate out of Osaka as well.


Osaka has been the traditional home of many popular Japanese art forms including Buraku, Kabuki, and Manzai. In addition to rich fields of performers and theaters, Osaka is home to the following major attractions:


Osaka’s education is divided amongst the city and the prefecture, with the City of Osaka taking charge of the elementary and junior high schools and the Osaka Prefectural Board of Education taking charge of the high schools. Many universities in Osaka have recently started moving to suburban neighborhoods to take advantage of larger spaces. Some of Osaka’s many universities include:

Transportation To Osaka

  • The fastest Japanese trains (the Nozomi) between Tokyo and Osaka make the journey in approximately one hour and thirty minutes.
  • Osaka International Airport is the main airport serving the city of Osaka directly with both domestic and international flights arriving and departing daily.

Points of Interest

  • Osaka Castle - The Osaka Castle is referred to as “Japan’s Most Famous Castle” as it was a significant piece in the history of Japan uniting as a country. Built in the 16th century, the Osaka Castle still stands proudly drawing in millions of tourist interested in the real history of the country.
  • Bunraku - Traditionally, Osaka is known for its incredible displays of puppetry. Many famous puppet masters have been raised in this city and offer incredible shows in the theatres. This is actually the center of entertainment for the city of Osaka.

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