Useful information about Osaka
General Information about Osaka Prefecture
Osaka Prefecture is an urban prefecture with a population of around 8.82 million people and an area of 1,899 square kilometers. It is the economic and industrial center of the Kansai region, and is a major transport hub.
Some of the major train stations in Osaka include Shin-Osaka Station and Umeda Station. Shin-Osaka Station is located in a business district with many office buildings, hotels, and high-rise apartments. It is a major interchange station used by passengers traveling on the Shinkansen. Umeda Station is located in the largest commercial and business district of Osaka City, featuring some of the tallest buildings and skyscrapers in the Kansai region. Countless trains and buses pass through these urban centers of Osaka, providing easy access to the other areas of the prefecture.
A small but packed prefecture, Osaka is the third most populous prefecture in Japan, behind Tokyo and Kanagawa. Its capital Osaka City consistently ranks near the top in the list of most livable cities in the world.
Foreign Residents in Osaka Prefecture
As of 2019, there are 255,894 foreign residents living in Osaka Prefecture. By municipality, Osaka City tops the list by a far margin, followed by Higashiosaka City and Sakai City. In terms of nationality, South Korean nationals are by far the largest in number, with a population of 98,350. Next comes Chinese with 68,617 residents, followed by Vietnamese, Filipinos, Taiwanese, North Koreans, Indonesians, Nepalese, Americans, Brazilians, Thai, Indians, Peruvians, and Burmese. For all nationalities, the population is mostly concentrated in Osaka City, especially for Koreans, likely due to the presence of a Koreatown.
Data source: Osaka Prefectural Government "Foreign Resident Population 2019" (published 1 September 2020)
Popular Residential Areas in Osaka Prefecture
A popular residential area for foreigners in Osaka Prefecture is Suita City. Suita has a well-balanced layout of residential zones, commercial districts, and business districts. It is replete with dining and shopping options, and is also easily accessible from Osaka City, making it a convenient area to live.
Another popular area is Toyonaka City. The area around Toyonaka Station has many schools, and is considered to be a safe and secure area. It also has a beautiful, well-maintained cityscape. With plenty of shopping facilities available, it is certainly a sought-after area in terms of livability.
One recommended area is the redeveloped Tennoji area in Osaka City. It has plenty of shopping centers that make it popular with young Japanese. Its residential zones are also quiet and safe, making it a good place to live.
Transportation in Osaka Prefecture
Osaka Prefecture has an extensive transportation network similar in scale to that of Tokyo. Major railway operators include JR West, JR Central, Hanshin Electric Railway, Hankyu, Kintetsu Railway, and the Osaka Metro subway. JR West operates the Sanyo Shinkansen, the Kobe Line, and other lines that provide access to neighboring prefectures. The private railway operators Hanshin, Hankyu, and Kintetsu connect various locations in Osaka and the Kansai region. The most important subway line is the Osaka Metro Midosuji Line that passes through Namba, Tennoji, and other urban centers of Osaka. Other important railways for Osaka residents include the Nankai Electric Railway and the Osaka Monorail.
Osaka also has a network of buses that supports the transportation needs of its residents. The major bus operators are also railway operators, such as Hanshin Bus, Hankyu Bus, Kintetsu Bus, and Nankai Bus.
Expressways also play an important part in the transportation of Osaka. Some of the prominent expressways include the Meishin Expressway, the Kinki Expressway, the Hanwa Expressway, and the Nishi-Meihan Expressway, all of which provide access to other prefectures in western and eastern Japan.
Recommended Sightseeing Spots in Osaka Prefecture
Osaka Prefecture is home to countless sightseeing spots that include important cultural sites. One of the most famous spots visited by many tourists both in and out of Japan is Osaka Castle, situated in the heart of Osaka City. Its beautiful main tower is a sight to behold, and the surrounding Osaka Castle Park lets you enjoy rich greenery and a calm atmosphere.
If you want to enjoy the famous food of Osaka, you should visit the Kuromon Market. Known as "the kitchen of Osaka", this market features nearly 200 different shops where you can you enjoy Osaka's street food or buy local souvenirs.
Another recommended spot is Tsutenkaku, a place with a history of over 100 years. This iconic tower has become a famous landmark of Osaka. The tower offers stunning views of Osaka and many other attractions.
For a more authentic but fulfilling Osaka experience, you should visit the Shinsekai downtown district. Here you can enjoy cheap food and shopping, watch local comedy theater, or simply feel the history of the place.