Ōsaka (大阪) is the second largest city in Japan, the central metropolis of the Kansai region and the largest of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto trio.
Wards of Osaka
"Osaka" can mean either the larger Osaka prefecture (大阪府 Ōsaka-fu), covered in a separate guide, or central Osaka city (大阪市 Ōsaka-shi), the topic of this guide. The city is administratively divided into 24 wards (区 ku), but in common usage the following divisions are more useful:
Kita (キタ, "north") — the newer center of the city, including the Kita ward (北区). Umeda (梅田) is the main terminal. Department stores, theaters and boutiques are clustered around JR Osaka Station and Umeda Station, which serves several city and private railways.
Minami (ミナミ, "south") — the traditional commercial and cultural center, composed of the Chuo (中央区) and Naniwa (浪速区) wards. Namba (なんば, 難波) is the main railway station, and the surrounding area has the department store and showy shopping. Shinsaibashi (心斎橋) and Horie (堀江) is the fashion area. Dōtonbori (道頓堀) is the best place to go for a bite to eat.
Semba (船場) straddles the line between Kita and Minami, and contains the business districts of Yodoyabashi (淀屋橋), Kitahama (北浜), Doujima (堂島) and Hommachi (本町).
Tennōji (天王寺) or Abeno (アベノ, あべの, 阿倍野) — generally means the area around JR Tennōji Station, Abeno subway station and Kintetsu lines, located at the south end of Tennōji ward. The ward was named after the historical Shitennoji temple. Tennōji Park and Zoo are in the area. To the west of Tennōji is Shinsekai (新世界), which was an amusement area in the past and has now become quite seedy.
Other important places include:
Kyōbashi (京橋) — northeast of Osaka Castle, home to Osaka Business Park (OBP).
Shin-Osaka (新大阪) — Shin-Osaka Station (the shinkansen and airport express stop)