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Osaka city

March 13, 2015, 09:12, views: 554

Osaka is a designated city in the Kansai region of Japan. It is the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and the largest component of the Keihanshin Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Japan and among the largest in the world with nearly 19 million inhabitants. Situated at the mouth of the Yodo River on Osaka Bay, Osaka is Japan’s second largest city by the daytime population after the Tokyo 23 wards, and serves as a major economic hub.

Historically a merchant city, Osaka has also been known as the “nation’s kitchen” and served as a center for the rice trade during the Edo period.

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Economy

The gross city product of Osaka in fiscal year 2004 was ¥21.3 trillion, an increase of 1.2% over the previous year. The figure accounts for about 55% of the total output in the Osaka Prefecture and 26.5% in the Kinki region. In 2004, commerce, services, and manufacturing have been the three major industries, accounting for 30%, 26%, and 11% of the total, respectively. The per capita income in the city was about ¥3.3 million, 10% higher than that of the Osaka Prefecture. MasterCard Worldwide reported that Osaka ranks 19th among the world’s leading cities and plays an important role in the global economy.

The GDP in the greater Osaka area (Osaka and Kobe) is $341 billion. Osaka, along with Paris and London, has one of the most productive hinterlands in the world.

Historically, Osaka was the center of commerce in Japan, especially in the middle and pre-modern ages. Nomura Securities, the first brokerage firm in Japan, was founded in the city in 1925, and Osaka still houses a leading futures exchange. Many major companies have since moved their main offices to Tokyo. However, several major companies, such as Panasonic, Sharp, and Sanyo, are still headquartered in Osaka. Recently, the city began a program, headed by mayor Junichi Seki, to attract domestic and foreign investment.

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The Osaka Securities Exchange, specializing in derivatives such as Nikkei 225 futures, is based in Osaka. The merger with JASDAQ will help the Osaka Securities Exchange become the largest exchange in Japan for start-up companies.

According to global consulting firm Mercer, Osaka was the second most expensive city for expatriate employees in the world in 2009. It jumped up nine places from 11th place in 2008 and was the eighth most expensive city in 2007. However, it was not ranked in the top ten places of the list in 2013. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranked Osaka as the second most expensive city in the world in its 2013 Cost of Living study.

Shopping and culinary

Osaka has a large number of wholesalers and retail shops: 25,228 and 34,707 respectively in 2004, according to the city statistics. Many of them are concentrated in the wards of Chuō (10,468 shops) and Kita (6,335 shops). Types of shops vary from malls to conventional shōtengai shopping arcades, built both above- and underground. Shōtengai are seen across Japan, and Osaka has the longest one in the country. The Tenjinbashi-suji arcade stretches from the road approaching the Tenmangū shrine and continues for 2.6 km (1.6 miles) going north to south. The type of stores along the arcade includes commodities, clothing, and catering outlets.

Other shopping areas include Den Den Town, the electronic and manga/anime district, which is comparable to Akihabara; the Umeda district, which has the Hankyu Sanbangai shopping mall and Yodobashi Camera, a huge electrical appliance store that offers a vast range of fashion stores, restaurants, and a Shonen Jump store.

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Osaka is known for its food, both in Japan and abroad. Author Michael Booth and food critic François Simon of Le Figaro have both suggested that Osaka is the food capital of the world. Osakans’ love for the culinary is also made apparent in the old saying “Kyotoites are financially ruined by overspending on clothing, Osakans are ruined by spending on food”. Regional cuisine includes okonomiyaki (pan-fried batter cake), takoyaki (octopus dumplings), udon (a noodle dish), as well as the traditional oshizushi (pressed sushi), particularly battera. Osaka is also known for its fine sake, which is made with fresh water from the prefecture’s mountains. Osaka’s culinary prevalence is the result of a location that has provided access to high quality ingredients, a high population of merchants, and close proximity to the ocean and waterway trade. In recent years, Osaka has started to garner more attention from foreigners with the increased popularity of cooking and dining in popular culture.

Other shopping districts include:

  • American Village (Amerika-mura or “Ame-mura”) – fashion for young people
  • Dōtonbori – part of Namba district and considered heart of the city
  • Namba – main shopping, sightseeing, and restaurant area
  • Shinsaibashi – luxury goods and department stores
  • Umeda – theaters, boutiques, and department stores near the train station

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Ferris Harris say

2015-03-15 02:20

Tokyo

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Connell Brown say

2015-03-15 02:12

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn

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Connor Miller say

2015-03-15 02:06

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. –Benjamin Franklin

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Connell Brown say

2015-03-15 02:12

The only way to do great work is to love what you do. –Steve Jobs

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Jasper Walker say

2015-03-15 01:41

If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else. –Booker T. Washington

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Jonathan Hall say

2015-03-15 01:33

Believe you can and you’re halfway there. –Theodore Roosevelt

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Logan Campbell say

2015-03-15 01:28

You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. –Christopher Columbus

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Darcy Taylor say

2015-03-15 01:50

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. –Confucius

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Logan Campbell say

2015-03-15 01:28

You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. –Christopher Columbus

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Gabriel Thompson say

2015-03-15 01:23

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. –Alice Walker

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