The third biggest city of Japan, heart of Kansai, offers a lot to explore. As for Nippon100 challenge, Osaka is home of three landscapes significant of contemporary Japan out of the 100 we are describing. If Osaka castle and the Tsutenkaku tower are already famous among travelers, the fluvial island of Nakanoshima is slightly unexpected.
City landscapes are different. Unlike the natural ones, they are most of the time already famous among foreign travelers, as are the big cities. As the few landscapes of our list to be seen in Tokyo, the Osaka’s three are not really unknown – except maybe Nakanoshima. But the Kansai heart, so different from Tokyo, is a must-go in Japan.
Along Osaka castle, the biggest of Japan (but destroyed in 1665 by a fire and rebuilt in 1931), and the Tsutentaku tower, the 100 landscapes list allows us to discover Nakanoshima island.
The spot is the less touristic of Osaka’s three landscapes. The former sandbank dividing the Okawa river in two branches, Dojima et Tosabori, was once home of many warehouses. The starting point for sending goods all over Japan, up to Hokkaido.
The fluvial sandbank then gradually became a proper island in the center of Osaka with more and more buildings. Since the beginning of the 20th century, Nakanoshima is the administrative and monetary center of the city. Many famous buildings can be seen there, as the 1918 Osaka Central Public Hall of neo-renaissance style.
To discover Nakanoshima, we tried a night musical cruise. Instead of a big dinner cruise on Osaka’s river, as operated by several tours. Three classical musicians were playing live, while the small boat was sailing along the North shore of the island.
How to get there?
Osaka is really easy to reach from every part of Japan. The castle and the Tsutenkaku tower are also easy to discover, reading any touristic map or brochure. To explore Nakanoshima, several stations are convenient along the Keihan Nakanoshima line. Beginning with Naniwabashi station (on the park size) to Nakanoshima station. The closest stop from the musical cruise dock is Fukushima station on Tozai line. More information on the cruise official website (900 yens per person, late afternoon and evening).