Sakai City, Senboku Area


Just south of Osaka City is the Sakai/Senboku area. This region, known for its ancient ruins and burial mounds, has long been a point of commerce between Japan, Europe and China. Indeed, some of history's most famous characters - Emperor Nintoku, Nobunaga Oda, Sen no Rikyu, Francis Xavier, and Akiko Yosano - all once stood on this land gazing out at sea.



The port city of Sakai has been a trade point for Japan ever since the Kamakura period. Guns, handicrafts, foodstuffs, and countless other goods were imported here from countries such as Portugal and China. This profound sense of history can be experienced in many of the area's sights. The Nanshuji Temple is home to the tearoom retreat and grave of Sen no Rikyu, the famous founder of the Japanese Tea Ceremony. At Sakai Risho No Mori (Sakai Plaza of Rikyu and Akiko), you can experience the tea-ceremony where could be felt Sen no Rikyu hospitality and it has exhibition about the life of romantic poet Akiko Yosano. You can also get a feeling for the region's history by visiting a gunsmithery or Xavier Park.


A town full of museums

Another recommended feature of Sakai is the town's many museums. At the Sakai City Traditional Crafts Museum, you can see masterpiece blades displayed along with explanations of their history and how they were made.There are traditional industry in Sakai city such as kelp, incense, light cotton kimonos (both plain and dyed).And at the Conpeito Petit Museum, you can make your own "conpeito", otherwise known as Western confectionary.


Larger-than-life burial mounds and ruins

Daisenryo kofun (Emperor Nintoku's tomb) is a keyhole-shaped mound with a total area of 464,123 square meters, which makes it the biggest in the world. You can get a feel for it's epic size from the Sakai City Hall Observatory Lobby at 21-floor. In another record-breaking sight, Japan's largest set of village ruins from the Yayoi period was excavated at the Historic Park of Ikegami-Stone Ruins. Next to it in the Osaka Prefectural Museum of Yayoi Culture, you can see displays of pottery unearthed there as well as reproductions of Yayoi pit dwellings, which give you a glimpse into the daily life of the time.


Enjoy the seaside

Hamadera Park, which is home to a pine forest of 5,500 trees, an ocean swimming area, a pool and a rose garden, is packed with fun for the whole family. The trolley running from Osaka City to the park is a wonderful way to experience Osaka from days gone by. And every year on July 31st, the 700-year-old Sakai Ouo yoichi event, which features a fish auction, is held at Ohama Park. At the former Sakai Port nearby, you can also see the formerly Sakai Lighthouse, which is the oldest wooden lighthouse in existence in Japan.

Hamadera Park

Scenic park with beautiful pine groves, selected as being among the 100 most beautiful pine groves in Japan.

Histric Park of Ikegami-Sone Ruins

Park that makes visitors feel as if they were in the ancient Yayoi period (mid-10th century B.C. to mid-3rd century A.D.)

Sakai City Cultural Hall (Yosano Akiko Museum and Alphonse Mucha Museum)

Lifetime Works of Akiko Yosano, a female poet from Sakai, and Alphonse Mucha, a leading artist in the Art Nouveau movement, are displayed in the Yosano Akiko Museum and Alphonse Mucha Museum, respectively.

Old Sakai Lighthouse

Watched over the Osaka Bay for more than a century. The hexagon-shaped lighthouse is one of the oldest wooden Western-style lighthouses remaining in Japan.

Sakai Hamono Museum

Sakai cutlery has long been renowned nationwide for its quality. In addition to exhibiting Sakai cutlery in the area where it is made, the Sakai Hamono Museum enables people to touch and use the implements.

Sakai City Hall Observatory Lobby

Making City Hall accessible to all. From 80 meters above ground, enjoy the view of all of Sakai City, Mt. Ikoma and Mt. Kongo, the Kansai International Airport, and Mt. Rokko.

Nanshuji Temple

A famous temple that served as a cultural center during medieval times. Strongly associated with Sakai's masters of tea ceremony such as Sen no Rikyu and Takeno Jo-o. Within the temple premises is the Jissoan, a teahouse loved by Rikyu.

Traffic Amusement Park in Osaka Prefectural Hamadera Park

A D51-type steam locomotive and No. 130 train of Hankai Tramway, which are greatly coveted by train-spotters, are right in front of you. Go-cart riding and a children's train are also very popular.

Osaka Gas, Gas Science Museum

The Gas Science Museum, featuring a wide range of scientific exhibits relating to gases and energy, is designed to communicate to current and future generations the importance of preserving the global environment and the effective use of energy.

Kuboso Memorial Museum of Arts

Exhibits numerous national treasure-class artworks donated by Kuboso, a cotton weaving company. The museum serves as the center of art culture, introducing the best of Oriental antiques.

Tanaka Honjin

The wealthy Edo-period farmer's residence was used as lodging for the local feudal lord traveling to and from Edo.