Osaka’s development as one of the most important cities in Japan is due in many regards to its location. Since ancient times, Osaka has attracted many individuals in that it was the center of river and sea transportation. Osaka was established as Japan’s capital during the seventh century. During the Middle Ages, the town developed as a temple town where the Ishiyama Honganji Temple served as a key point for the itinerary of pilgrims.
Since that time, Osaka has set the tone of Japanese culture. Known as the Water Capital, Osaka was the birthplace in many ways of Japan’s popular culture as well as many of its enduring traditions including the tea ceremony, the art of flower arrangement, and the performing arts of Bunraku, Kabuki and Noh.
From the time the city was established, it has been a site of historical, cultural, and political significance. Historical attractions in the city include the Shitennoji Temple, the Sumiyoshi Grand Shinto Shrine, and the Osaka Castle. Along with its historical attractions, Osaka is home to the latest advances in technology including one of the world’s largest aquariums and the Great Conservatory. Other modern features of Osaka include the Osaka Business Park and the Asian version of Universal studios. The city took a huge leap in political significance when it was chosen as the site for the APEC meeting in 1995.
Osaka is a city characterized by busy streets and canals. It is a city of money-making, commerce, and manufacturing. Osaka is most attractive to those who like fast-paced action and constant activity, although peace-seekers will also find enjoyment in many of the city’s attractions. In 1934 Osaka was the place of many firsts. It was the home to the only government mint in Japan. It was also the city in Japan that handled the largest volume of foreign trade. The city was home to Japan’s two largest newspapers, the Osaka Asahi and the Osaka Mainichi . Osaka is the home to the Tekijuku, a school known for its advances in the teaching of medical science in Dutch, established in the mid 19th century. This school helped to spread the concepts of modern civilization to Japan.
The climate of Osaka is one of its most attractive features. The city experiences neither cold nor heat at the extreme the way many other parts of the world do. Most of the winter days are so mild that a coat is needed for ornament only. In the summer, only a couple of days are characterized by heat over 90 degrees Fahrenheit.