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Osaka Overview

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Location
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History
A Long History as a Prosperous International Port City
Osaka has a long history of prosperity as a center of politics and culture. In the 7th century, a city named Naniwanomiya served as a center for trade and commerce for the Seto Inland Sea area and Kyushu, as well as China and Korea, which brought new technology and culture to Osaka from the Asian continent. Naniwanomiya Historic Site Park and the Osaka Museum of History are built on a part of the ruins of Naniwa Palace. Real ancient ruins are on display at the first basement floor of the museum.

Osaka Overview/History

Osaka Overview/History Osaka: the "Gourmet Capital"
Osaka Castle was built in 1583 after the unification of Japan by Hideyoshi Toyotomi. In both name and reality, Osaka became the center of politics and economics in Japan. In the Edo era, the political center moved to Edo, or present-day Tokyo, but Osaka continued to fulfill its important role as an economic hub for the country. Osaka's location as an important point for land and sea traffic allowed it to import many kinds of food from neighboring countries and become an economic center, which led to it being dubbed the "nation's cook" and the "nation's kitchen". The commercial prosperity and abundance of fresh food from all over the country had a large influence on Osaka's food culture. To this day, as "the city of food," Osaka continues to make a big contribution to the development of Japanese cuisine.

From a City of Commerce and Industry to a Global City
In the 19th century, the confusion brought on by the Meiji Restoration dealt Osaka's economy a severe blow, with traditional industries and venerable merchants falling and new industries rising. Recovering again from the devastation of World War II, Osaka has played a major role as Japan's center of commerce and industry. Osaka is now making the next leap forward to becoming a global city for the exchange of goods and information between people from all over the world.

Osaka Overview/History

  
World Firsts Invested in Osaka
The people of Osaka are blessed with an enterprising spirit. With many new products and services coming from Osaka it has earned a reputation as a pioneer. We will introduce a few of these examples below.

  Instant Ramen   Prefabricated Homes
Nisshin foods launched packaged Chicken Ramen in 1958. This was the first instant ramen in the world. In 1971 Nisshin foods launched cup noodles, also a world first.

There was a boom in sales of prefabricated houses after the completion of testing by Daiwa House in 1960.

  Moving Walkway   Large-scale "New Town" Development
In 1967, the first "moving walkway" was installed in Hankyu Umeda station. The first vending machine was installed in Hankyu Umeda station in 1954, and the first automatic ticket gate was installed in Hankyu Kita Senri station in 1967.

In Japan a new lifestyle called "residential apartment living" was established by Senri Newtown Company. In 1960, full-fledged construction began with 30,000 apartments in an area of 11,600,000 m2, housing a population of 150,000.

*Data from the Osaka Prefectural Culture Department

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