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Osaka City Profile

Osaka is the third largest city in Japan. It may lack natural beauty, but it is an industrial center of great economic importance.

Teaching opportunities abound here because of the many university students and business people. Osaka has a lively cultural and entertainment scene and young people congregate here from a forty-mile radius. If you don't like the chaos and crowds of Tokyo, but enjoy urban life, Osaka is the place for you.

Population

2.9 million

Location

Osaka is a port city between Kyoto and Kobe.

Weather

Osaka is humid and warm in summer, with temperatures exceeding 80° F/26° C at times. June is a particularly rainy month, and winters are mild with daytime highs in December and January around 48° F/9° C.

Transportation

Osaka is a major regional and national hub for the railway system. Trains run to Osaka from Toyko and other cities on a frequent basis. The bullet train, the quickest but also the most expensive level of train service, runs from Osaka's Shin-Osaka station. The trip to Toyko takes about three hours (look up the latest costs online - Google has the answers!).

The subway and Japanese Railway (JR) train service in Osaka are the easiest and most convenient way to get around the city.

Fortunately, all stations have signs in English and Osaka Tourist Information distributes a guide to the subway system.

Places of Interest

Osaka offers an interesting mix of sites that represent the old and new in Japan. Among Osaka's major attractions are the Osaka-jo Castle, the Shitenno-ji Temple, Tennoji-koen Park, and the Kita-Ku district, which provides insight into modern Japan with its skyscrapers and shopping complexes. Other attractions to include on your list are the Simiyoshi Shrine, the National Banraku Theater, the Minami-Ku district including the Amerika-Mura or American village, the Dotomburi district with its many restaurants, and the Osaka Aquarium. Check with the Osaka Tourist Association for more information on the festivals held in Osaka throughout the year.

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