Return to top English Japanese
Osaka, City of sophistication
(May 2006)

I was born in Osaka, Japan, but fourteen years have past since I left there. In the other regions in Japan, it is noticed that the sight of Osaka introduced on TV is always crowded downtown regions. It is of course one of the cultures of Osaka, but such prejudice is not admissible for people who are from Osaka.

Osaka has been traditionally known as the City of Sophistication. The constructions symbolizing the sophistication of Osaka, which are in Nakanoshima (which means "Central Island") region at the heart of Osaka (map by Mapion), are presented in the following photographs. I would be happy if you enjoy them.

* Click a photo to enlarge.


Bank of Japan, Osaka Branch. This building was constructed in 1903, but a surprising construction that replaced the building completely while remaining the roofs and walls was carried out in 1982.


Osaka City Hall in front of the Bank of Japan. Although the city hall was also a historical building, it was replaced with the current modern building in 1985.

When I was a child, there was a movement of preserving the old building of the city hall when the reconstruction was proposed. Four cadidates of the reconstruction plans were anounced on the newsletter from the city office, and one of the plans is preserving the dome on the top of the old building only and putting it on the new building.

There was a bell in the dome to wish the sound growth of young people in Osaka. This bell is still on the roof of the new building, and rung by new adults on the Coming of Age day.


Osaka Prefectural Nakanoshima Library, constructed in 1904.

There was a children's room in the library when I was a child, and I often went there. I remember a book "The world 200 years later," which I read there. It was about the world after the completion of communism. It might be a traslation of a book from the Soviet Union.

The children's room has moved to the Osaka Prefectural Central Library newly constructed in Higashi-Osaka city.
NB. Rare books by Saikaku and Chikamatsu are about to be damaged because of a trouble of air conditioners. Why does not Osaka Prefectural Govenment assign the budget?


Osaka Central Public Hall next to the Library, "the Symbol of Osaka" as well as Osaka Castle.

The Hall was constructed by the contribution of Mr. Einosuke Iwamoto, a "lengendary magician" in the stock market, but after his contribution, he failed in his business and lost all his wealth, and killed himself before the completion of the construction. This story is taught at the elementary schools in Osaka City as the history of the hometown.

The graduation celemony of Osaka University was held in the Hall when I received my Ph. D.

keshiki  toyo

The view of the buildings from the east. The Musium of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka is found over the construction site. As shown in the right photo, the Musium is constructed in a harmony of the historical buildings, and it has an equippment to see ceramic arts under the natural light.

The brick-surface wall along the river is temporarily set for the construction, in order to preserve the scenary during the construction. This is not a printed brick pattern, but real bricks are arranged on the wall.

eki1  eki2

The construction in front of the Hall is that of the underground station of the new Nakanoshima line of Keihan Electric Railway. This station is temporarily named as "Shin-Kitahama (New Kitahama)," but I personally expect "Chuo-Kokaido (Central Public Hall)."
(PS. The name was finally announced as "Naniwa-bashi (Naniwa bridge).")

eki3  eki4

The underground construction site, 34 meters below the ground, is visible from the ground.

gaka1  gaka2

There are always painters in Nakanoshima in holidays. It is Nakanoshima that is the representative scenary in Osaka.


English Japanese