A town nurtured by water
Okawa River, a branch of the Yodogawa River, splits into the Dojima River and the Tosabori River at Tenma. The area between them is known as “Nakanoshima.” Beginning with Osaka City Hall, the business and administrative center of Osaka stretches out in all directions from Nakanoshima. The cornerstone of its current prosperity is the water that surrounds it.
The Dojima / Nakanoshima area abounded with water transport, connecting it via ship to not only Kyoto and Nara, but also Hokkaido and Edo (Tokyo), and each clan built city warehouses in the area. A spirit of trade was born in this place where so many things and people gathered, and it became known as a center of learning and textile production. There are many facilities here where you can truly feel the history, culture, and art of Osaka.
Places to enjoy the Aqua Metropolis of Osaka
Osaka was laid out with an unusual structure, based on its waterways and the rivers that surround it, so it enjoys a history as an aqua metropolis. From the Edo period when it was known as heaven’s kitchen, to modern days when it came to be called the Manchester of the Orient, the city has been blessed countless times by the canals that run through it. Even now, the layout of the city reflects the influence of those canals, and it continues to evolve. In addition to events held here, wharfs and waterside cafes and restaurants have been built, adding more and more spaces where one can feel close to the water. There are also many ways to explore from the water itself, such as on the Aqua Bus, Aqua-Liner that goes around Nakanoshima, Naniwa Tanken Cruise (Osaka River Cruise) which transports passengers along with a rakugo performe, or even by paddleboard.
Experience art and culture
Nakanoshima is full of places to experience art and culture, including The National Museum of Art,Osaka, unique in that it was constructed completely underground; The Museum of Oriental Ceramics,Osaka, 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 retro buildings such as the Osaka City Central Public Hall (made of bricks), or the Osaka Prefectual Osaka Prefectual Nakanoshima Library (stone construction).
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 from the early modern to modern eras, 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, and 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.