Osaka City, Japan

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Osaka City

 

Japan’s 2nd most influential city and its 3rd largest with a population of over two and a half million,

Osaka has been the Kansai region’s economic powerhouse for several centuries.

Osaka’s former name was Naniwa and before the Nara era, it was the capital city of Japan at the time when the capital was usually moved to where the each new emperor reigned. Naniwa was the very first capital of Japan.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi decided to build his castle in Osaka in the sixteeth century. Osaka would have been the capital of Japan at that time had it not been for Tokugawa Ieyasu who ended the lineage of the Toyotomi’s with Hideyoshi’s death. It was then that the capital was moved to faraway Edo, present-day Tokyo.

Osaka has always been a place to hold meetings in ancient times. Situated at the point of convergence of an impressive system of sea routes and busy rivers, it predictably flourished into a center of economy and became the entry point to Japan for traders and travelers from different parts of Asia. It was in Osaka that world first saw Japan.

Known as the kitchen of Japan, Osaka became the “storage space” for produce from all over Japan such as rice and other staple foods. The goods were then shipped from this city to other areas of Japan as well as internationally.