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Osaka (Osaka Prefecture)

Osaka is Japan's second largest metropolitan area after Tokyo. It has been the economic powerhouse of the Kansai region for many centuries. Osaka was formerly known as Naniwa and this name is still seen throughout the city and on the number plates of cars.

Before the Nara Period, when the capital used to be relocated with the reign of each new emperor, Naniwa (Osaka)  was once Japan’s capital city, the first one ever known.
In the 16th century, Toyotomi Hideyoshi chose Osaka as the location for his castle, and the city may have become Japan’s political capital if Tokugawa Ieyasu had not terminated the Toyotomi lineage after Hideyoshi’s death and moved his government to distant Edo (Tokyo).

Osaka has a very deep culture, but nowadays is known to be a more relaxing and laid back city when compared to that of Tokyo. The local dialect, soul and street food, food culture, fashion is also very different from Tokyo offering a different view into Japan.

Osaka is the birth area of Japanese Comedy, and the humor can be seen in all the locals. The locals are friendly and will go out of their way to make you experience the real Osaka.

Osaka is also a great place for those interested in Architecture. The Umeda Sky Building offers a great introduction and panoramic view of Osaka and the Osaka Station area is constantly becoming bigger, better and newer.  Osaka Castle is a popular location for all Overseas Visitors and if you like heights, you may like to take the elevator of Abeno-Harukas building which is 300 meters tall and the highest Industrial building in Japan. Close by is the all important Shitennouji Temple with a 5 Storied Pagoda.

Osaka has two baseball teams and one of these plays at the Osaka (Kyocera) Dome.  The atmosphere at Japanese Baseball Stadiums is something totally different from anywhere else in the World.     

   

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Scott and Experience Japan Travel planned the perfect trip for us. We decided to go to Japan for our honeymoon and thanks to Scott, I am confident that we made he right decision. We had a brief conversation with him initially and told him our interests and things and places that we would like to do and see, and he quickly developed an incredible itinerary that was EXACTLY what we wanted. We were only in Japan for 10 days, but we experienced SO MUCH! We had never been to Japan before, but were able to do so many things that we had envisioned ahead of time and so much more that we didn't even know about. From the gorgeous hotel accommodations and delicious food, to the breath-taking sight seeing and culture, this was truly a mind blowing vacation. Scott and his friend/coworker, Nao, even met up with us in Kyoto and showed us an incredible time. While in Tokyo, we had the rare opportunity to experience the Sanja Festival in Asakusa. The energy and enthusiasm of the crowd was absolutely intoxicating. The second we came out of the subway station, the streets were packed with people, shops, and food. The temple and shrines were beautiful, and the festival had these portable shrines and floats (I guess you would call them parade floats) that tons of people were carrying or pulling. Definitely a once in a lifetime experience! Nara was incredible. Not only are there thousands of deer that you can walk and mingle with (and feed!), the area is wonderfully spiritual. There were so many temples and shrines. Each one was so unique and so pretty. Arashiyama. MONKEYS!!!! Nowhere else have I ever been able to have so many monkeys just wandering around so close to me without a care in the world! We even got to feed them. They take the food right out of your hands! And the baby monkeys were freaking adorable! Drinking/Dining in Kyoto. The day that Scott and Nao met up with us was really cool. Scott took us to a whiskey distillery and beer brewery and Nao joined for sake and food/drinks after that. They took us to the Fushimi Inari Shrine (which was SO beautiful) and then to some local places after that. The local places I am sure we would never have had the opportunity to experience if it hadn't been for them. There was so much more that I want to share, but seriously, go see for yourselves! From the bottoms of our hearts, thank you guys! Best.... READ MORE

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