Osaka (大阪, Ōsaka)
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. Before the Nara Period,
when the capital used to be moved
with the reign of each new emperor,
Naniwa 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).
Getting in Osaka
Kansai International Airport (関西空港, Kansai Kūkō, KIX)
Itami Airport (ITM)
Access and Orientation
Osaka has two major city
centers and four major train
stations. The two city centers are
nicknamed Kita ("North")
around Osaka/Umeda Station and
Minami ("South") around Namba
Station. While Kita is a large
shopping and business area, Minami
is Osaka's most famous entertainment
JR Osaka Station is located in the center of the Kita district. Two other railway companies and three subway lines have their own stations in the vicinity of JR Osaka Station, however, these stations are named Umeda Station rather than Osaka Station. The shinkansen trains stop not at Osaka Station, but at Shin-Osaka Station, one station north of Osaka Station by JR train.
In the Namba area (Minami), three railway companies (JR, Nankai and Kintetsu) and three subway lines have their separate stations, all named Namba Station. The fourth of Osaka's major railway stations is Tennoji Station in the southeast of central Osaka. It is served by JR, Kintetsu Railways, the Hankai Tramway and two subway lines.
The city of Osaka is served by over seven different railway and subway companies. Most relevant to foreign visitors of Osaka are the subway lines and the lines operated by JR West. The lines operated by the other private railway companies are useful for accessing neighboring cities and regions.
Head shrine of all Sumiyoshi Shrines.
Museum of History
All Information above are from Japan-guide.com