“Hiraoka Festival of Hiraoka jinja”
Feisty and Proud in its Individuality. Osaka Prefecture is Japan’s third most populous prefecture, behind Tokyo and Kanagawa, despite it being one of the smallest in actual area. The capital is Osaka City, and Osaka Prefecture is the core of the Kansai region, widely considered to be the cultural and historical “heart” of Japan.
The many historical landmarks here include Osaka Castle, Shitennoji Temple (the first and oldest Buddhist temple in Japan), and the Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine (prominently featured in the world’s firstnovel The Tale of Genji).
Osaka also has had a significant historical role in being the doorway to the Asia continent; it was known as the gate to the ancient Silk Road for Japan.
Osaka is also well-known as an industrial and commercial center, headquarters for leading Japanese companies in such categories as pharmaceuticals, trade, electronics, foods and construction.
“The Umeda Sky Building was selected of the Top 20 BULDINGS AROUND THE WORLD”
Osaka Castle serves as a symbol of Osaka's prosperity, both old and new. The Umeda Sky Building was selected of one of the Top 20 BULDINGS AROUND THE WORLD, while Abeno Harukas and Tsutenkaku offer a beautiful panorama views. Higashiosaka City is also home to Hiraoka Jinja, a temple renowned for its red and white plum blossoms in spring, and Ishikiri-Tsurugiya Jinja, a temple known nationwide for its ability to "cure" swellings and lumps.
“1000-year old Tenjin Matsuri (one of Japan's three main festivals)”
The Festival of the Lights in Osaka brightens up the major thoroughfare of Midosuji Avenue and other areas around town with magical winter illumination. The city is also famous for the 1000-year old Tenjin Matsuri (one of Japan's three main festivals) and the Futon Daiko (Moon Viewing Festival) and Danjiri Matsuri that dynamically celebrate the autumn harvest.
Culturally and socially, Osaka and the Kansai region has maintained an identity very distinct from Tokyo and the Kanto region to the east. This distinction manifests itself across expressions and dialect to favorite foods.
In fact, Osaka had long been the “kitchen of Japan” for its role as a food distribution center for the entire country. Some of the most cherished items include the ubiquitous takoyaki battered octopus snacks, okonomiyaki “pancakes” made on your own table’s griddle, and kushikatsu deep-fried skewers of bite-sized vegetables, meats and seafood. Food lovers will also appreciate Osaka’s role as the birthplace of instant noodles, cup noodles and conveyer belt sushi.
“The birthplace of conveyer belt sushi”
Osaka is a food paradise with many Japanese dishes getting their savory flavor from a kombu-based stock. The famous Osaka Mon brand of gift foods is highly recommended. Higashiosaka City has popularized a curry bun (a deep-fried bun with curry filling) in the shape of a rugby ball, while the world's very first conveyor-belt sushi shop, Genroku Sushi, is still in business.
Higashiosaka City, located in the eastern part of Osaka Prefecture, was formed in February 1967 with the merger of the three cities of Kawachi, Fuse and Hiraoka. It is known for its strong industrial base, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises.
Also in Japanese rugby terms, Higashiosaka is one of the country’s rugby hotbeds and can be proud of a long tradition in the sport.
Built in 1929,Japan’s oldest dedicated rugby stadium is located here, the Higashiosaka Hanazono Rugby Stadium.
Hanazono is the site of Japan’s National High School Rugby Tournament, held annually, and draws teams from all 47 prefectures. Participants have gone on to distinguished player careers at the university, national team and professional Top League levels.
For more information on Osaka Prefecture and Higashiosaka City and their attractions, please see the following links:
Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau
Osaka Rugby information