Japan-Osaka Activities

This port city was an industrial boomtown in the early 1900s, and though its now been eclipsed in size by Tokyo to the north, lively Osaka hasnt lost its charm. Known as Japans food capital, its easy to eat your way through the city. Be sure to try the local specialties: takoyaki (dough balls filled with octopus) and okonomiyaki (savory pancakes stuffed with your choice of meat and vegetables).

Some of Japans most fascinating samurai history can be found here. Behind moats and massive stone walls stands Osaka Castle, first established in the 16th century by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a powerful general who hoped to unite Japan under his familys rule. The tall castle tower now houses a museum dedicated to the general and samurai life and times, and the grounds have been transformed into gardens and parkland.

If youre craving more history, nearby Kyoto, with its narrow streets and geisha heritage, is an easy side trip from Osaka.