Places to enjoy the Aqua Metropolis of Osaka
With it's many canals, rivers and port, Osaka is a true aqua metropolis. Even from the beginning when the city was being planned, the waterways played a central role in determining how Osaka was laid out. As the city grew over time, the canals continued to provide vital resources, allowing it to become known as "heaven's kitchen" in the Edo period and the "Manchester of the Orient" in modern times. Even now, the city continues to evolve and develop around these important waterways. There are numerous waterside cafes and restaurants plus river-related events that bring you right to the banks of this very important part of Osaka's history. And for an even closer aquatic encounter, you can get into the water itself with the Aqua Bus Aqua-Liner that goes around Nakanoshima, the Naniwa Tanken Cruise (Osaka River Cruise) that comes with a rakugo performance, or even by paddleboard.
Experience art and culture
Nakanoshima is full of places to experience art and culture, including the Osaka National Museum of Art, which is uniquely constructed completely underground; the Osaka Museum of Oriental Ceramics, known for its rare celadon and white porcelain pieces; and the Osaka Science Museum, where you can have fun while learning science. We also recommend taking a leisurely walk around the area, stopping to see historical buildings such as the stunning, red brick Osaka City Central Public Hall, or the stone constructed Osaka Prefectural Nakanoshima Library.
A town with the spirit of trade
The Dojima Rice Exchange, once the symbol of "heaven's kitchen" as well as various financial businesses in the Nakanoshima area, supported Japan's economy for over 200 years through heavy industry and credit transactions. Nakanoshima was the center of trade during the Dai-Osaka period. The Entrepreneurial Museum of Challenge and Innovation near Sakaisuji-Hommachi has exhibits about the achievements of 105 entrepreneurs who were active in Osaka.
Knowledge passed down through citizens
The Nakanoshima area was also a center of learning. The Kaitokudo school was built in 1726, financed by wealthy merchants. In the late Edo period, astronomy and Western learning were developing here as well. This legacy was succeeded by Kouan Ogata's Tekijuku, founded in 1838 during the Bakumatsu period. Tekijuku mainly taught western-style medical studies, the spirit of which helped to develop chemistry and the sciences much more through the Japan Mint and public chemistry research organizations built during the Meiji era.