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Sakai Knife in the Making

There are 75 families members of the Sakai blade-making guild. Their workshops are located in a local neighborhood in the "old" part of Sakai, which is the stretch of city between the ocean and the Hanshin Highway that runs atop what used to be a canal.

The Old Town in Kishiwada

Discover how closely Kyoto and Kishiwada were linked in the Edo and Meiji period in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries as you take this easy stroll today around the old town of Kishiwada, a well preserved working town. From the old tea makers to the Kishiwada Brick Company, you can unravel the many links between these two places, from the daimyo to the more recent architectural features, as well as through the fifth oldest church in Osaka Prefecture.

Koinobori Festa 1000

On May 5th, cities and villages throughout hold koinobori (carp-streamers) festivals in celebration of Children's Day, a day to wish all children happy health. If you're in the Osaka area, or even Kyoto, and you're keen to join in on the family fun, Takatsuki hosts a koinobori festa from April 25 - May 5.

Mystic Night Views of Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle has always been in the shadow of another highly recommended castle, famous for its architectural beauty, Himeji Castle. Himeji Castle, located in the neighboring prefecture of Hyogo, has been under renovation for quite some years, so in the past few years I have frequently visited Osaka Castle instead. Osaka Castle is illuminated at night-time which brings out its real beauty, and I have photographed the castle from various spots, like from the castle grounds and nearby Osaka Business Park. A visit in the late evening is highly recommended.

Osaka Tenmangu Shrine

Osaka Tenmangu, or 'Tenjisan' as it's known by the locals, is the most famous of all the tenjin/tenmangu shrines throughout Japan. It is also home to Osaka's biggest festival, the Tenjin Matsuri, which is held each July. It is one of the three greatest festivals in Japan, and the world's greatest boat festival.

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