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List of Contents: Introduction


About Osaka






MICE (Meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions)


Student Exchange


Filming Information


About the Osaka Government Tourism Bureau



Asian Gateway Osaka The Osaka Government Tourism Bureau's plan is to thrown open the doors of Osaka and show everyone in the world how wonderful the area is. In addition, we plan to constantly offer information about Osaka to the world. We have chosen the catchphrase "Asian Gateway Osaka" because it includes our deisires for Osaka to be a starting point for tourism in Asia as well as Japan. We want to give Osaka a position as an important city in Asia, not just one in Japan, and create an 'Asia? Osaka!' brand.

Venturing to Asia? Start in Osaka Establishing a business in Asia? Start with Osaka! Osaka has long been called a merchant town. It's is an extremely creative town with craftsmanship technology raked as top class even in Japan; many products made here utilizing this forte have gone forth sucessfully into the world. Tourism and business are two sides of the same coin; we'd like to tell the world that Osaka is a hot place at the moment regarding information, economics and business.

"OSAKA welcomes you with a smile"

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Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 Š Osaka Government Tourism Bureau

About Osaka

Overview Location & Population Osaka is located on the main island of Honshu, roughly in the center of Japan. Osaka City, which was incorporated in 1889, has a population of 2.6 million and an area of 221 square kilometers/85 square miles. Osaka Prefecture, which includes Osaka City (its capital) and 42 other municipalities, has a population of 8.8 million and a total land mass of about 1,890 square kilometers/730 square miles. Although Osaka is Japan's second smallest prefecture by size, its population represents 7% of the entire nation, making it the second most populous prefecture after Tokyo. Furthermore, 15.6% of all non-Japanese residents live in Osaka. The greater Osaka Metropolitan Area covers a total of 7,800 square kilometers/3,012 square miles and the population exceeds 17 million, making it one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the world. Osaka represents 18.9% of Japan's gross domestic product, the second largest in Japan. The scale of Osaka City's economy alone exceeds that of Hong Kong and Thailand.

Nearby Cities Roughly 40 minutes' travel will take you to many of Osaka's famous neighboring cities, such as: Kyoto, Nara, Kobe and Wakayama. Kyoto: Roughly 30 minutes (43 km/27 mile) from Osaka is the ancient city of

Kyoto. Because of its rich cultural heritage, Kyoto was not targeted in the air raids of World War II, and as a result is still home to numerous temples, and shrines. Nara: Some 53km/33 miles from Osaka lies the city of Nara, the center of the

great Japanese arts in the early 8th century. Today, the Nara area is a treasure chest of old temples and shrines such as Todaiji, and the Kasuga Grand Shrine. Kobe: Situated 33km/21 miles west of Osaka, the city of Kobe is the capital of

Hyogo Prefecture. It sits between the sea and the Rokko Mountains, and it's deep-water port was one of the first opened to foreign trade (after Osaka). Wakayama: At the mouth of the Kinokawa River, 72km/45 miles south of Osaka,

lies Wakayama City. With its own great castle, Wakayama continues to be a dynamic and distinctive city.

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Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 Š Osaka Government Tourism Bureau

About Osaka

Four Seasons, Climate and Dress Osaka can be different every time you come Osaka takes on a different mood, displays a different form of expression during each season of the year.

The Cherry Blossoms at Osaka Castle Park

Spring: After the plum blossoms have fallen, sumo comes to Osaka; the annual Osaka Tournament takes place at the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium in mid-March. At the end of March, and on through the beginning of April, the cherry blossoms burst into bloom. They can be seen at the Nishinomaru Japanese Garden in Osaka Castle Park, in Nagai Park, and at Yodogawa Riverside Park. The Osaka Mint also has a tunnel of cherry trees that bloom in late April. Summer: Summer in Osaka is hot and humid, similar to the rest of Japan. In June, irises bloom in Shirokita Park and exotic flowers bloom at the Sakuya Konohana Kan, the Great Conservatory. Summer also means Osaka's foremost festival, the Tenjin Matsuri, which is always held on July 24 and 25. One of Japan's three largest festivals, the Tenjin consists of colorful processions of barges on Osaka's rivers, lively performances and bright fireworks displays.

Fireworks at the Tenjin Festival in Summer

Autumn: Autumn is another colorful time of year, when the tall noble gingko trees that line Mido-Suji Avenue, Osaka's main thoroughfare, turn bright yellow,

The Ginko (maiden hair) trees on Midosuji Avenue in Autumn

and maple trees in Osaka Castle Park take on vivid shades of orange and red. Other autumn events are moon viewing ceremonies for the Harvest Moon and exotic chrysanthemum shows in Osaka Castle Park and Tennoji Park.

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Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 Š Osaka Government Tourism Bureau

About Osaka Winter: Visitors between December and February are advised to bring a winter coat, scarf and gloves. Christmas illumination brightens up the crisply cold winter evenings in many popular locations. During the New Year, Japanese people dress in their "Sunday best" as they visit shrines or temples to pray for good luck. Local merchants and businessmen pray for prosperity at the Toka Ebisu Festival in January.

The Toka Ebisu Festival in Winter

A moderate climate with strong seasonal variation Located at a latitude of 34 degrees, Osaka has a relatively mild climate with four distinct seasons. The average daily temperature, which varies from 6 degrees Celsius (42 F) in the winter to 28 degrees Celsius (86 F) in the summer, is 16 degree Celsius (61.3 F). Average precipitation (1,318 mm) peaks during the rainy season, which is usually between late June and late July, and in September during typhoon season.

Average rainfall & average temperature over the year in Osaka

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Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 Š Osaka Government Tourism Bureau

About Osaka

Historical Overview Osaka's Origins Go Back to the 5th Century Naniwazu Port, the predecessor to the modern port of Osaka, became a gateway into ancient Japan for visitors from Korea, China and the Asian continent. These visitors brought with them knowledge and artifacts of advanced culture, and new technologies in ceramics, forging, construction, and engineering. As the introduction of Buddhism spread with these visitors, Prince Shotoku constructed (in 593 A.D.) Shitennoji Temple in Osaka, and the city became a base for international exchange with the Asian continent.

Hideyoshi's Castle Town Hideyoshi Toyotomi, a famous warlord, unified Japan from his base in Osaka and built Osaka Castle in 1583 during the Azuchi and Momoyama Periods (15741600). Rivers were excavated to expand Osaka's capabilities as a base for marine transportation. However, in battles that raged between the winter of 1614 and the summer of 1615 the castle town of Osaka was burnt to the ground. Osaka Castle

An Economic & Cultural Hub During the Edo Period (1601-1867), Osaka became known as "Japan's kitchen," because essential goods including rice were sent to Osaka from all over Japan for shipment to other parts of the country. This economic affluence helped Osaka create its own culture and style. Popular arts bloomed alongside traditional performance arts, such as Joruri puppet theater (the predecessor to today's Bunraku puppet plays), Noh theater and Osaka's own brand of Kabuki theater. Bunraku puppet plays

By 1925, Osaka was the largest city in Japan in terms of population and area, and the sixth largest in the world.

Devastation during the War Continuous air raids by American bombers during World War II leveled almost one third of Osaka. After the war, vigorous city planning restored the city to an economic prosperity exceeding prewar levels. Osaka was chosen to host Expo '70, the first world exposition held in Asia. Since then, Osaka has hosted an endless series of international expositions, conventions, trade shows and meetings, including the APEC summit in 1995.

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Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 Š Osaka Government Tourism Bureau

About Osaka

FAQ Q: How can I get to Osaka from Kansai International Airport? A: There are two convenient train services as well as comfortable shuttle buses that link the airport to central Osaka. The trip requires between 45 and 60 minutes, depending on what type of train you take or traffic conditions.

Q: What is the best way to get to Osaka from Tokyo? A: The Shinkansen bullet train is the quickest and most convenient way. A one-way ride on the fastest express takes only two and a half hours. Japan Airlines (JAL), All Nippon Airlines (ANA) and other domestic airlines fly between Tokyo's two airports (Narita and Haneda) and the two airports that serve Osaka. When booking a flight to Osaka, try and get one that lands at Osaka (Itami) International Airport. This is Osaka's domestic airport, which is closer to the city center than Kansai International Airport.

Q: Where can I get information in English or sightseeing, hotels and events? A: There are visitors’ information centers located throughout the city, in the main train terminal stations. Please see the following maps. Visitors' Information Centers in Osaka

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Umeda Visitors' Information Center

Shin-Osaka Visitors' Information Center

Tennoji Visitors' Information Center

Namba Visitors' Information Center

Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 Š Osaka Government Tourism Bureau

About Osaka

Q: What kinds of accommodations are there in Osaka? A: There is a wide variety of accommodation types and styles to fit all tastes and budgets. Western-style lodgings range from five-star luxury hotels to business class hotels. Those willing to try Japanese-style accommodations can try one of Osaka's ryokan inns.

Q: I will only be in Osaka for a short visit. What must I see? A: For a comprehensive overview of Osaka, you shouldn't miss Osaka Castle and the nearby Osaka Municipal Museum of History. The Dotombori Area offers the best in dining and entertainment.

Left: Osaka Castle. Right: The Dotonbori area at night.

Q: Is it safe to carry cash in Osaka? A: It is generally safe to carry cash as Japan has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Major credits cards (American Express, VISA and MasterCard) are accepted at most restaurants, hotels and large stores in the metropolitan area. However, smaller shops and stores in urban areas may only accept cash. Travelers checks are not accepted by most merchants except major hotels and banks authorized to exchange foreign currency

Q: What type of clothing should I bring? A: Temperatures vary throughout the year. Light clothing is suggested for the hot, humid summers in Osaka. A warm coat will be necessary during February and March, the coldest months of the year. And a raincoat and umbrella are a must during the rainy season, which starts in early June and ends in late July.

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Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 Š Osaka Government Tourism Bureau

About Osaka

Q: Can I use my mobile phone/smartphone in Osaka? A: Please note that the information here is intended as a guide only. Charges for using mobile phones overseas can be expensive, especially in the case of data (sending emails and accessing the internet). Please check details of costs, etc. with your operator or provider before you travel. We strongly reccomend turning off the "roaming" setting on your phone before hand. All 3G mobile phone work in Japan. Hiring a SIM card to put in your mobile phone that you bring with you is possible. Rental shops at which you can rent pre-paid cell phones can be found in Kansai International Airport.

Q: Are there any free Wi-fi spots in Osaka? Free wi-fi is generally unavailable throughout the city, however the JR-WEST FREE Wi-Fi service is in operation. Visitors can access Wi-fi available at ticket gates, waiting rooms, and waiting areas in some Japan Rail stations including JR Osaka Station, Shin-Osaka Station, Tennoji Stationn, and Kansai-airport station. To use the service, you must obtain a guest code (ID) beforehand.

Q: Where can I go for a family outing? A: Universal Studios Japan (USJ) is a reccomended attraction for the whole family. Osaka's Aquarium, or the Kaiyukan as it is known, is one of the world's greatest in size, and offers entertainment for all ages. Other museums such as the Science Museum and Kids Plaza Osaka are also good fun for children.

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Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 Š Osaka Government Tourism Bureau


UNESCO World Heritage in Kansai

Historic Monuments of Ancient

One of Osaka's greatest advantages is its proximity to the World Heritage sites

Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities) Kamigamo - jinja Shrine

scattered in the neighboring prefectures of Kyoto, Nara, Hyogo and Wakayama.

(Kamowakeikazuchi - jinja Shrine)

Many of the designated sites are only 30 minutes to one hour by express train

Shimogamo - jinja Shrine (Kamomioya - jinja Shrine)

from Osaka. Here are the World Heritage List from the Kansai region:

To - ji Temple (Kyo-o-gokoku - ji Temple) Kiyomizu - dera Temple Enryaku - ji Temple Daigo - ji Temple Ninna - ji Temple

Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-ji Area Horyu-ji Temple is the first site in Japan to be selected by UNESCO as World

Byodo - in Temple

Heritage. There are around 48 Buddhist Monuments in the temple grounds. The

Ujigami - jinja Shrine

introduction of these masterpieces of wooden architecture coincides with the

Kozan - ji Temple Koke - dera Temple (Saiho - ji

introduction of Buddhism into Japan making them not only important for the


history of art, but religion as well.

Tenryu - ji Temple Kinkaku - ji Temple (Rokuon - ji) Ginkaku - ji Temple (Jisho - ji) Ryoan - ji Temple Hongwan - ji Temple Nijo - jo Castle Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara

Himeji-jo Otherwise known as Himeji Castle, it is widely regarded as the finest surviving example of Japanese castle architecture. Dating from the beginning of the

Heijo Palace Site

Shogun period, it's 83 buildings are fine examples of defense and and ingenious

Todai-ji Temple

protection devices.

Kofuku-ji Temple Kasuga Grand Shrine Kasuga-yama Hill Primeval Forest Gango-ji Temple Yakushi-ji Temple Toshodai-ji Temple

Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities) Until the middle of the 19th century, Kyoto was the imperial capital of Japan. During this period of over 1000 years, Kyoto was immersed in the development of architecture and Japanese gardens, both which continue to influence the world today.

Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara From 710 to 784, Nara was the capital of Japan, and the remaining Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines and the remains of the ancient imperial palace give a glimpse into this period of political and cultural change.

Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range Three sacred sites—Yoshino and Omine, Kumano Sanzan and Koyasan—are linked by pilgramage routes to the cities of Nara and Kyoto, and reflect the fusion of Shinto and Buddhism religions, and continue to attract around 15 million visitors annually. page 10 / 33

Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 © Osaka Government Tourism Bureau


Day trip from Osaka: Far Osaka is located almost at the center of Japan. There are plenty of ways to get to and from Osaka. Depending on your destination and preferred traveling style, you can choose from planes, bullet trains, express trains, buses, cars and ferries, amongst other modes of transportation.

By Plane

There are flights from Itami and Kansai International Airports to all over Japan.

By Train or bullet train

Japan’s fastest train, the Shinkansen (bullet train), links major cities around the nation. The number of bullet train services is enough to service a large number of travelers to and from Osaka. The Shinkansen's gateway in Osaka is JR ShinOsaka Station, connected to Osaka Station by the JR and subway lines. Trains run every 5 to 10 minutes. Cities without Shinkansen train stations can be accessed by limited express trains on the JR and private railway lines. page 11 / 33

Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 Š Osaka Government Tourism Bureau


Day trip from Osaka: Near Many of Japan’s foremost sightseeing spots are located in Kansai, the region surrounding Osaka. Osaka features historic buildings, cultural attractions, and high-tech amusement facilities. Neighboring cities have great features as well; these include Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan; Kobe, a fashionable port city, and Nara with numerous World Heritage sites. These unique destinations form a culturally endowed urban region. From Osaka, these cities can each be reached in about 30 minutes by express trains.

To areas around Kansai by train

Discount Tickets for travelling around Osaka Many different tickets are available for travellers to use while travelling in and around Osaka, including the Kansai Thru Pass. This three-day or two-day ticket is convenient for taking trips in Kansai. It allows you unlimited rides on designated public transportation. Also, by showing a pass that you’ve used that day, you can get special treatment at special facilities along the railways. The Kansai Thru Pass

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Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 © Osaka Government Tourism Bureau


Culture & Entertainment When It Comes to Culture and Entertainment, Osaka Has Something for Everyone Osaka buzzes with energy at any time of day or night. Many forms of entertainment, such as live performances, begin once the workday is over. Trains and subways also run until late at night so there's plenty of time to enjoy the evening. For visitors interested in learning about Japan's traditional arts, there's Bunraku, Noh, Kyogen and Kabuki. For those who like humor, Osaka is famous for its comedy, which is presented in various forms. Hollywood movies are shown at movie theaters around the city, while virtually every variety of major dance, opera, symphony and concert can be enjoyed here.

Traditional Culture Osakans love on-stage entertainment. The city's economic affluence during the 18th and 19th centuries led to the development of many distinctive styles of performance such as Bunraku, Noh, Kyogen and Kabuki. Bunraku: Osaka is the birthplace of Bunraku, the most surprising and exciting puppet theater in the world. Bunraku is a combination of three artistic components: Traditional Japanese Bunraku theater is from Osaka City

the narration, the three-stringed shamisen, and the puppets. The large puppets are usually manipulated by three puppeteers, and such close control gives them the power to display an extraordinary gracefulness and human-like expressiveness. It was registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2003. Bunraku is performed regularly at the National Bunraku Theater, built in 1984. Noh Drama: Noh, the oldest remaining theater art in the world, is known for its simple and strictly defined movements, for its use of beautiful, artistically crafted masks, and for its unique form of dialogue reminiscent of a bygone age. A program of Noh always includes Kyogen, comedy plays that taught morality to the common people in medieval times and provided comic relief from the serious tone of the Noh plays themselves. Noh and Kyogen are performed at the Osaka Nohgaku-kaikan Theater and the Ohtsuki Noh Theatre; every

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July, Noh plays are also shown after dark by torchlight in the Osaka Castle Nishinomaru Garden. Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 Š Osaka Government Tourism Bureau


Kabuki: Originally, Kabuki emerged as dances done by women at the beginning of the 17th century in Kyoto. They created such a sensation that the Tokugawa Shogunate banned them; these dances were then succeeded by dances performed by men, developing into Kabuki as it now exists. Kabuki plays, most of which date from the 17th and 18th centuries, became wildly popular with the general public because they combined colorful costumes, lavish sets, brilliant stage devices and superior acting skills of highly trained actors. In many ways Kabuki can be considered a Japanese form of the musical, due to its strong emphasis on dance, stylized libretto which resembles singing, and interesting stories of love, honor, loyalty and betrayal. Performances are held regularly by leading actors at the Osaka Shochikuza theater.

Modern Culture Osaka city is also home to and birthplace of a number of modern styles of comedy and entertainment. Rakugo & Manzai: Osakans love a hearty laugh. That's why in more recent times the Osaka-Kyoto area's unique style of entertainment, The Osaka Shochikuza Theater

called kamigata, diverged into rakugo and manzai, two types of comedy, both born in Osaka. Rakugo is a type of stylized comic monologue delivered by a single storyteller seated on the floor in front of a tiny desk. Manzai, on the other hand, is a vaudeville-like standup comedy routine put on by a pair of comedians. Rakugo, manzai and other comedic skits are performed on a daily basis at the Namba Grand Kagetsu Theater either

Rakugo, a storytelling style of comedy popular in Osaka

at Waha Kamigata (Museum of Kamigata Comedy and Performing Arts)

Concerts, Live Music & other Entertainment Osaka is a frequent tour stop for concerts by world-renowned rock musicians. Osaka also offers a highly-diverse mix of classical and contemporary live music, including everything from classical symphony to popular ballads. Concerts & Live Music: There are many concert halls in Osaka that showcase the best talent in rock, jazz and classical music. There is, of course, Festival Hall, the Kansai Region's preeminent music hall, which is located in Nakanoshima and seats more than 2,700 people. A wide range of musical performances are held here. Adjacent to Festival Hall is the smaller, multi-purpose Recital Hall, a page 14 / 33

Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 Š Osaka Government Tourism Bureau


fine 563-seat venue. There is also Osaka-jo Hall, an enormous oval, 16,000-seat multipurpose facility situated within Osaka Castle Park. The ORIX Theater is another

Osaka-jo Hall, located near Osaka Castle

multi-purpose venue, one that often hosts concerts by famous performers from overseas. Namba Hatch, located inside the main ward of the octagonal Minatomachi River Place, is one of the biggest music halls of its kind in Japan, with standing room for 1,500 people, and features both up-and-coming artists and famous big names. For classical music there is Symphony Hall, where many of the world's top musicians and soloists have performed. The 250-seat Ishihara Hall has its own string orchestra and shows premier performances. Izumi Hall, with its warm wooden interior, was designed after a famous music hall in Vienna. The remarkable Phoenix Hall is designated for chamber music, and has a large window at the back of the stage so viewers can see nighttime views of the Kita Area. For jazz lovers, there are a number of live jazz venues around the city, including Billboard Live OSAKA, which showcases the finest jazz talent from both overseas and Japan.

Namba Hatch and it's riverside at night

Opera & Ballet: Major opera and ballet companies from Europe and the U.S. visit Osaka on a regular basis. Most of their lavish productions are staged at Festival Hall. On occasion, traveling troupes put on Broadway musicals at Festival Hall or ORIX Theater. The spectacular Canadian show, Le Cirque du Soleil, makes regular visits and performs in a special tent in the Nanko area. Disney on Ice also visits Osaka every summer with dazzling shows at Osaka-jo Hall. The Takarazuka Grand Theater is home of the Takarazuka Revue, an all-female troupe that has performed to sold-out audiences overseas. Movie Theaters: Hollywood, European, Asian and nationally produced films are shown at many cinemas in Osaka. If you happened to miss a film while it was showing back home, you should have no problems seeing it in Osaka. There are three multiplexes in Umeda: the Navio Toho-plex; Brug 7; and Piccadilly Theater. Cinemas in Namba include the Shikishima Cine Pop. Arthouse films are shown at three cinemas in Umeda: the Garden Cinema; Cine Libre; and the Teatoru. You can also see the same at the Shinsaibashi Cinema Deux and Cine Nouveau in the Kujo area.

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Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 Š Osaka Government Tourism Bureau


Cuisine & Gastronomy Enjoy the Gourmet Capital of Japan It's said that the people of Osaka are happy and openhearted because they eat

Osaka is part of Délice, a network of Gourmet Cities advocated by the city of Lyon in France.

good food. Since ancient times, the best of the land and sea has found its way to the great city, spawning Osaka's "kuidaore" (eat until you drop) culture, and creating countless excellent places to eat.

Eating in the City of "Kuidaore" "Kuidaore," which literally means "eat until you drop" or "stuff yourself until you can't eat anymore," describes Osaka's food loving culture. Osaka chefs take great pride in their craft, and Osaka eaters take great pleasure in their eating. As a result, Osaka has great food. Whether it be traditional Japanese meals, local dishes or foods from other countries, you'll find a little bit of everything—at a wide range of prices. Osaka is famous for 'Konamon Gourmet', or flour-based food such as the Okonomiyaki pancakes.

You'll also find all sorts of restaurants, ranging from high-class establishments to local neighborhood shops that resemble British pubs. Family style restaurants offer menus with various dishes for adults and children alike. Noodle and beef bowl shops are the place to catch a quick bite when you're pressed for time. We also suggest you try a cup of coffee at a traditional Japanese kissaten. The widest selection of restaurants is in Osaka's main entertainment districts, with the highest concentration of all in the Umeda (Kita) and Dotombori (Minami)

Osaka-style sushi is as beautiful as a work of art

areas. Many restaurants display a menu with photographs and prices. Others have realistic-looking wax and plastic models of menu items with prices in their showcase windows.

Delicious and Inexpensive Since its beginnings, Osaka has had an entrepreneurial character, which in turn led to higher and higher demand for culinary skills. Daring chefs and restaurant owners always willing to take a chance and incorporate new and novel methods have created many unique dishes and exquisite delicacies. As a focal point of Shabu-shabu was born in Osaka

trade during the Edo Period, fresh food from all over Japan and the globe found its way to Osaka—and fueled the Osakan passion for great tasting food at reasonable prices.

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Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 © Osaka Government Tourism Bureau


Annual Events Every season of the year in Osaka has its festivals and events. From the beautiful cherry blossom viewing in Spring to the dynamic Tenjin Matsuri Festival in the summer and the festivities on Mido-Suji Avenue in Autumn, Osaka's annual events are like a clock, marking the passage of the year in the great metropolis.

Spring March • Sumo March Tournament (Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium): One of Viewers flock to the annual Sumo Tournament

the six major tournaments held throughout Japan. (Mid-march) • Spring Equinox Festival (Shitennoji): One of the Buddhist rituals held each spring and Autumn that attracts crowds of people. (18-24th) • Osaka Asian Film Festival April • April Bunraku Performance (National Bunraku Theatre) (early April) • Cherry Blossom Viewing (Late March - early April) • Japan Mint Cherry Blossom Viewing: This event has been running for more than 120 years. (early-mid April) • Spring Shipping Festival (Temmabashi): Good season to enjoy cherry blossoms at the waterside along the Okawa

Cherry Blossom Viewing at the Osaka Mint

river (Mid-Late April) • Memorial Ceremony for Prince Shotoku (Shitennoji): Bugaku is performed on the anniversary of the death of Prince Shotoku, one of Japan's famous sages. This ceremony features historical music and dance and has been carried out for more that 1,400 years. (22nd) • International Jazz Day: Osaka International music festival & Asian music Award ceremony, special event in 2014 (25-30th) May • Rose Garden Viewing (Nagain Botanical Gardens, Nakanoshima Park, Utsubo Park, Tsurumi-Ryokuchi, etc.) • Midosuji Festa / Kappo (Shinsaibashi-Namba intersections): Renowned for its beautiful ginkgo trees, the main street of Osaka is closed off to vehicles

Roses bloom at Hirakata Park

for use exclusively by pedestrians. • Shirokita Iris Viewing (Shirokita Garden)

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Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 © Osaka Government Tourism Bureau


Summer June • RED BULL X-FIGHTERS OSAKA 2013: The world championship, motocross free style action at Osaka Castle. (Special event, June 1st 2013) • June Bunraku Appreciation Seminar (National Bunraku Theatre) • O-Taue Shinji (rice planing ceremony) (Sumiyoshi-taisha Grand Shrine): An important event in Japan where the staple food is rice, this ceremony has been designated an important intangible

Celebrations at the Aizen Festival

folk heritage. • Hydrangea Viewing (Zama Shrine, etc.) • Lotus Viewing (Nagai Botanical Gardens) • Aizen Festival (Shoman-in Temple): This is the first of the summer festivals in Osaka and features women clad in traditional summer dress (yukata) being carried on long palanquins. July • Heisei OSAKA Legend of the Milky Way (Temmabashi Sta.): The Okawa River becomes the Milky Way on the night of the Star Festival: thousands of lights float on the water. • Ikutama Shrine Summer Festival: This is the summer festival of one of the

A view of Heisei OSAKA Legend of the Milky Way

most prestigious shrines in the city • Kumata Shirine Summer Festival: A dynamic festival where nine floats are pulled around the city. • Tenjin Matsuri Festival (Osaka Temmangu Shrine): One of the three largest festivals in Japan. On the evening of the 25th more than one hundred boats crowd the Okawa river in the climax of the event. • Special Summer Hoiday Bunraku Performance (National Bunraku Theater) • Sumiyoshi Matsuri Festival (Sumiyoshi-taisha Grand Shrine): The finale of the summer festivals, this event features a large thatched ring through which people pass in a cleansing ritual. August • Naniwa Yodo River Fireworks Display (near Jusu Ohashi bridge) • Osaka Takigi Noh by Torchlight (Ikutama Jinja Shrine) • Urabon-e (Buddhist All Souls Day) (Shitennoji): A candlelight memorial

Competitors in the International RedWhite Sining Contest join in chorus

service for those who have passed away. • Asian Youth Orchestra: International Concert Tour • The International Red-White Singing Contest: A karaoke-style contest where Japanese sing in foreign languages, visitors sing in Japanese.

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Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 © Osaka Government Tourism Bureau


Autumn September • Dance Delight 2013: The 20th year of the worlds largest and most well-known street dance competition, started in Osaka • Osaka Classic (Midosuji Area): A musical event that sees various locations along Midosuji Avenue turned into concert venues to delight fans of classical music. • Moon Festival (Osaka Temmangu and Sumiyoshi-taisha Grand Shrine) • Autumn Equinox Festival (Shitennoji): Please refer to the

Moon Festival at Sumiyoshi-taisha

Spring Equinox Festival October • Dango Chakai (Tamatsukuri Inari Jinja Shrine): Tea is served with sweet The waterfront during the Aqua Metropolis Osaka Festival

dumplings at this shrine which has long been associated with Hideyoshi Toyotomi, one of the most significant figures in Japanese history. • World Super Junior Tennis Championships (Utsubo Tennis Center): The gateway to success for the world's top junior players. • Aqua Metropolis OSAKA Festival (Nakanoshima, etc.): The festival's theme is urbanscape and waterfront. Walking and boat tours and many other experiences are available. • Osaka Marathon (INTEX Osaka etc.) November • November Bunraku Performance (National Bunraku Theater) • Shinno-sai Festival (Sukunahikona Jinja Shrine): People come to celebrate Japan's gods of medicine, the symbol of the festival is branches of bamboo grass with a hanging paper tiger. • Autumn Colours (Osaka Castle Park, Midosuji Avenue etc.): Enjoy the autumn foliage at various sites within the city. • Danjiri Matsuri: A special Danjiri festival in the

The spectacular autumn colours at Katsuo-ji temple

Osaka Castle Area. • Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, Asia

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Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 © Osaka Government Tourism Bureau


Winter December • Osaka Hikari-Renaissance (Nakanoshima and Midosuji areas): The area around Nakanoshima and Midosuji including the water is floodlit at night. • New Years Eve Celebrations (Shitennoji, Bay area, etc.): Events are held in various locations throughout the city (Noh Theater and various halls, etc.) to see in the New Year. Bells are rung and whistles are sounded at midnight. • Illumination in Osaka Castle

The Osaka Hikari-Renaissance displays of light on the Midosuji street

• OSAKA Great Santa Run January • New Year Visits to Temples and Shrines (Various locations throughout the city): Traditional Japanese New

The National Bunraku Theater puts on

Year Celebrations include seeing

a colourful display when shows are on

in the New Year at Shitennoji and visiting Sumiyoshi-taisha Grand Shrine the following day. • Early Spring Bunraku Performance (National Bunraku Theater) • Toka Ebisu (Imamiya-Ebisu Jinja Shrine, Horikawa-Ebisu Jinja Shrine): One of the many festivals in the city where people go to wish for prosperity in business for the coming year. • Doya-Doya (Shitennoji): A unique festival where young men fight for good luck. • Osaka Women's Marathon (Nagai Stadium): A grew opportunity to see top runners from throughout the world competing in marathons. February • End of Winter (Abiko Kannon, Various locations throughout the city): In Japan, February 4th historically marks the beginning of Spring. on the day before, people scatted beans to bring good luck. • Plum Blossom Viewing (Osaka Castle Park): People come from throughout the Kansai area to enjoy the beautiful and fragrance of the plum blossoms in

Plum Blossoms at Osaka Castle Park

page 20 / 33

Osaka Castle Park.

Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 © Osaka Government Tourism Bureau


Why Osaka? Known for its modernity and tradition in harmony, Osaka, a mega-city with nearly nine million people, has always been a magnet for those in search for new discoveries. Here are six reasons why Osaka is your ideal destination.

1. Excellent Access Reaching Osaka is easier than ever thanks to Kansai International Airport (KIX), which provides direct service to 73 cities in 27 countries and regions (2013 winter schedule). The KIX is also conveniently accessible to downtown Osaka within 30 minutes by train.

2. Top-notch Meeting Facilities and Accommodations Osaka is equipped with first-class meeting and event facilities, including the state-of-the-art Osaka International Convention Center, Osaka Central Public Hall, and INTEX Osaka, Asia-Pacific Trade Center, and Kyocera Osaka Dome.

3. Diversity of sightseeing attractions: center of World Heritage sites Having been the center of economic and cultural development for many centuries, Osaka has many traditional and modern sightseeing attractions. One of Osaka's greatest advantages is its proximity to the World Heritage sites scattered in the neighboring prefectures of Kyoto, Nara, Hyogo and Wakayama.

4. Enchanting Cuisine and Delightful Shopping Known for its rich food culture, Osaka has been a gourmet paradise offering the best from land and sea. Shopping is also a delight in Osaka.

5. Competitive, Safe and Friendly City Japan is not as expensive as you may think. Prices are extremely stable; airfares and hotel rates are globally competitive. Japan is also outstandingly safe, and a vast majority of Japanese people are extremely honest. People in Osaka are known for their friendliness and big hearts.

6. Professional assistance and support service by OGTB With our friendly and professional attitudes, attention to detail, and absolute commitment to providing top quality service, the Osaka Government Tourism Bureau (OGTB) will help you organize an unforgettable event. page 21 / 33

Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 Š Osaka Government Tourism Bureau


Support for meetings The Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau offers various types of assistance for those who wish to hold a conference in Osaka.

1. Designing the conference We can help you from the very beginning. No worries are necessary even if it is the first international conference you are hosting. We can help you from the very beginning; starting off from the basic planning, obtaining the estimate of expenses, and making arrangements for venue and accommodations. Also providing necessary information to relevant international organizations and coordinating site inspection tours is a part of our job as well. Full support from the preparation to the actual staging of the conference is what we provide. Such wide-range and strong support is possible because we have strong ties with Osaka's convention halls and hotels, and with government offices and private organizations. • We will make proposals for venues and accommodations that match the purpose of the conference, along with the estimate of cost. • Coordinate a site inspection of the proposed venue, hotel or reception hall. • Introduce travel agencies and conference organizers such as the Professional Congress Organizer (PCO). • Make contacts with international organizations and help invite key persons from overseas. Make arrangements for an official invitation letter from the Governor of Osaka Prefecture. And cooperating in producing material for overseas presentation is also a part of our service.

2. Financial assistance For those considering holding a conference in Osaka, we offer the following services. • Provide general information on convention facilities, hotels, etc. • Help to obtain conference pricing. • Provide or lend photos, slides or videos to promote Osaka. • Help to create a bid proposal. • Arrange to obtain an official invitation letter from the prefectural governments. • Coordinate a site inspection for convention organizers and meeting planners. page 22 / 33

Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 © Osaka Government Tourism Bureau


• Cooperate on promotional activities including bidding presentation. We can also recommend convention facilities, hotels and other sites, offer convention rates for accommodation, introduce PCOs/DMCs and travel agents, introduce other convention-related service providers, provide subsidies to hold a conference and liaise with prefectural governments.

3. PR and Publicity To increase the number of registrants or to increase the participants of open lectures for citizens. • Provide and/or lend photos, slides, posters or videos for circulars, posters or websites for the conference. • Cooperate with publicity campaigns (promote press releases, etc.) • Provide pictures of Osaka's tourist spots for the invitation and the registration form on the web page and other various PR media. Provide videos, posters and brochures for advance PR, especially in overseas countries.

4. Support for operating the conference: How can we help in having the guests enjoy the event? There are many socializing events besides the main conference such as receptions, live experience tours for accompanying persons, sightseeing tours, and closing ceremony. We will work together with the people of our local network for these socializing events to make them memorable ones for the participants. A) Hand out up to 500 copies of the free sightseeing maps of the city to the participants. (Postage to be paid by the applicant) B) You can enjoy hosting a convention by using the "Convention Supporting System". Available types of services are listed below. • Sending "Fukumusume (Daughters of Happiness)" from Imamiya Ebisu Shrine. *Schedule needs to be arranged beforehand for Fukumusume and for the performance of local entertainment by volunteers, please make an early application. • Sending the "Kimono Ladies" * The ladies will greet the guests at reception. • Offering specialties of Osaka (Japanese sake, wine, etc.) • Support hosting of attractions page 23 / 33

Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 © Osaka Government Tourism Bureau

MICE Conditions to be met to apply for the "Convention Supporting System" • More than 50 overseas registrants are required. • Conference needs to be held for more than 3 days. • A total number of 200 registrants are necessary to invite "Fukumusume" for an event. C) Introduce interpreters and voluntary tour guides. D) Make plans for tours before and after the convention, and programs for accompanying persons. We can arrange a wide variety of events, such as demonstrations of local entertainment, by using our ties with the local community.

page 24 / 33

Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 © Osaka Government Tourism Bureau


After Conventions Addition to the high quality of convention facilities, Osaka is proud of its fulfilling after-convention entertainment. People gather here from all over to this city which is the source of rich culture, tradition and fashion. Needless to say Osaka has an air of enthusiasm and has so much to offer. Come and experience Osaka for yourselves. Here, we recommend major tourist spots of Osaka, model courses, hot Springs, programs for spouse and etc. Courses are planned to meet the needs of various types of tourists, such as single persons, groups of tourists and families.

Recommended spots Osaka provides a dramatic setting for your visit that is sure to be filled with discovery. Abundance of originality, laughter, friendly people and delicious food are just some of the features awaiting you. Whether it is exciting things to do, places to have fun, or things to learn – you can't have enough because there is always something new. Osaka is truly one of Japan's greatest international tourist cities. Here are some of those recommended spots; • Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan • Osaka Castle • Herbis Ent • The National Museum of Art, Osaka • National Bunraku Theater • Hozenjiyokocho • Sumiyoshitaisha Grand Shrine • Minoh Quasi National Park

Recommended Model Courses Going shopping and trying out the food at various restaurants, visiting museums and art galleries, strolling around the Uemachidaichi Plateau, which is full of Osaka's historical and cultural sites, enjoying traditional performing arts, visiting classical buildings; these are all part of the courses that you can search and choose by theme. Please refer to the estimated time of course duration, admission fees, and type of course. Information on gourmet spots and souvenirs are provided by the locals, together with each course.

page 25 / 33

Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 © Osaka Government Tourism Bureau


Corporate Museums and Factory Tours Osaka is a city that has fostered workmanship for many years. Various types of corporate museums are scattered around Osaka. Types of museums include those for machinery, metal, food, drinks, electric appliances, bio, and robots, which have attracted attention lately. They all make you realize the close connection between Osaka and workmanship. Some companies offer study tours of their factories or opportunities to experience the manufacturing of products. Why don't you experience one?

Hot Springs Japan, a volcanic archipelago, is well known for the numerous hot springs found throughout the country. Hot springs with various mineral compositions are often used for medical purposes. There are many Japanese inns and hotels built near hot springs that have developed into large-scale resort complexes. Open air hot springs called "rotenburo" give a bather complete relaxation. Within 30 minutes to one hour from downtown Osaka, there are dozens of hot springs located along the valley or at the foot of the mountain. You can relax in the quiet natural settings served with delicious meals. Major hot springs in Osaka are; • Settsu Gorge Hot Spring (Takatsuki City) • Fushio Hot Spring (Ikeda City) • Ishikiri Hot Spring (Higashi Osaka City) • Minoh Hot Spring (Minoh City) • Ichinoyu Hot Spring (Kanan Town) • Amami Hot Spring (Kawachinagano City) • Okumizuma Hot Spring (Kaizuka City) • Taishi Hot Spring (Taishi Town) • Nagano Hot Spring (Kawachinagano City) • Ushitaki Hot Spring (Kishiwada City) • Inunakisan Hot Spring (Izumisano City) Beyond Osaka, there are other famous hot springs such as Shirahama Spa, Katsuura Spa (both in Wakayama Prefecture), Arima Spa, Kinosaki Spa (both in Hyogo Prefecture), and Yunohana Spa (in Kyoto Prefecture).

Spouse Programs The OGTB offers a wide selection of spouse programs that enable the participants of meetings and incentives alike to experience Japanese culture on first-hand. The selected programs are; page 26 / 33

Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 © Osaka Government Tourism Bureau


Noh or Kyogen Workshop Noh is the oldest extant theater art in the world with more than 600 years of tradition, while Kyogen is the comedy theater. You can learn and experience these traditional arts through the organized workshop.

City Tour and Shopping The City's Minami (South) district is full of real Osaka color with busy shopping streets and popular gourmet arcades.

Museum Tour Major museums include the Museum of Oriental Ceramics, the National Museum of Ethnology, the National Museum of Art, the Maritime Museum, the Science Museum, and Osaka Museum of History. The Museum of Oriental Ceramics has the largest collection of oriental ceramics in the world.

Sushi, Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki making Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki are Osaka's specialties. The number of restaurants serving Okonomiyaki in Osaka is as many as 4,000, the biggest in Japan. Try not only to taste it, but also make one!

Zen meditation at Katsuoji Temple The history of Katsuo-ji Temple is marked by faith in the winner's luck, to be a winner in every aspect of life. Situated in the Minoh Quasi-national Park, the temple can offer you a quiet moment to meditate.

Bay and River Cruise – Running through Osaka Osaka is known as a water metropolis. From the deck of an open-roofed cruiser will give you a fresh perspective and a close-up view of historical and lively Osaka.

Flower Arrangement, Tea Ceremony and Kimono fitting Experience traditional culture such as flower arrangement, tea ceremony and kimono fitting on first-hand. Enjoying these activities will lead you to greater understanding of the Japanese culture.

page 27 / 33

Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 Š Osaka Government Tourism Bureau

Student Ex.

Student Trips & School Exchange Programs Osaka is a hub of international interaction bustling with unique character. The city offers you the opportunity to make your school trip a memorable one.

Osaka School Exchange System Osaka Government Tourism Bureau aims to make educational travel a meaningful experience for the children participating by coordinating with us to identify local schools available to A student gives a speech of welcome

interact with traveling parties.

5 reasons to choose Osaka 1. Travel safety 2. Historical cities surrounded by (Kyoto, Nara of UNESCO World A school choir sings for guests

Heritage) 3. Variety of tourist spots 4. Variety of accommodations 5. Hospitality Osaka offers the right interaction and experiences to develop truly international young adults. Coming together to talk, play sports and share in a range of traditional Japanese activities are very effective ways of promoting international understanding. Learning and working together helps students build close ties

Exchanges between student clubs are common

and share enthusiasm. Osaka is proud to offer the right forum for students to communicate with each other.

Contact us: Mr. Tadashi OSTUKA (Coordinator, Educational Tour) Email: A Volleyball sports exchange

Ms. Makiko NISHIMURA Email:

Guest students experience playing the Japanese 'Koto' page 28 / 33

Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 Š Osaka Government Tourism Bureau

School Trip Statistics

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page 29 / 33

Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 Š Osaka Government Tourism Bureau


Shooting in Osaka OSAKA FILM COUNCIL The OSAKA FILM COUNCIL was established in February 2000 in collaboration with the Osaka Prefectural Government, Osaka Municipal Government and Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry—representing the regional administration and business world— as the very first film commission in Japan. The Council has been making every effort to contribute to smooth and effective filmmaking in Osaka, by not only introducing suitable locations but also helping provide the required staff, equipment, hotel accommodation and transportation facilities. Osaka extends a hearty welcome to filmmakers visiting Osaka to shoot their films.

Features the OSAKA FILM COUNCIL has supported

page 30 / 33

Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 © Osaka Government Tourism Bureau


Special features of the area • Osaka holds a large number of companies in the filiming business. Most of the equipment/staff necessary for shooting can be obtained easily. • Osaka has a range of diverse locations. From Osaka signature spots and urban buildings to the natural scenery of mountains and the sea, all locations are assembled in a compact layout. • The film council has over 9,000 registered volunteer extras.

Filming location selection In cooperation with local governments in the prefecture and private companies with location services, such as railway companies, Osaka itself is a support network. If a suitable location spot cannot be found anywhere in the city, an alternative location can be provided through information exchange.

Recent Business • Movie "Princess Toyotomi" • 200m of a 4-lane thoroughfare in Osaka city was completely closed off for 13 hours, and shooting was carried out with over 5,000 volunteer extras in one night.

Locations A Database of Facilities and Landscapes in Osaka for Film Shooting can be accessed on the Osaka Film Council website (

page 31 / 33

Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 © Osaka Government Tourism Bureau



Select your desired location by category


Browse a selection of related locations.


Click to see more specific and varied location shots.

Contact Information Osaka Film Council Tel:

(+81) 66282 5905


(+81) 66282 5915

Email: URL:

page 32 / 33

Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 Š Osaka Government Tourism Bureau

About the Osaka Government Tourism Bureau (OGTB) The Osaka Government Tourism Bureau (OGTB) is a newly reborn organization in the world of Osaka tourism, and was founded on the 1st April 2013. For the first time combines its city and prefectural tourism institutions and has regrouped under one new entity; Osaka Government Tourism Bureau (OGTB). Under the leadership of former Hong Kong Tourism Board's Kunio (Ken) Kano, OGTB will further promote Osaka's historical, socio-cultural, and geographical assets to increase the number of visitors and upgrade the Osaka brand as a great tourist and business destination. OGTB plans to bring many local and international sources together to create business drive for Osaka. The two new campaign logos designed for these goals are as follows:

OGTB looks forward to re-energizing relations and hopes all those involved will enjoy making Osaka a wonderful place to be.

For inquiries, please contact Koichiro NAKAJIMA OGTB PR Media Director Tel:


(From overseas: +81-6-6282-5914)



(From overseas: +81-6-6282-5915)


page 33 / 33

5F Resona Semba Bldg. 4-4-21, Minamisemba,

Chuo-ku, Osaka 542-0081, Japan

Official Press Kit for Osaka, Updated August 2013 Š Osaka Government Tourism Bureau

Osaka Press Kit