A charming, modern city with great food, an aquarium, an open-air museum, and more.

Located at the mouth of the Yodo River, Osaka is the third most populous city in Japan. Known as the “nation’s kitchen,” this outgoing and vibrant city is a true gourmand’s paradise.

The lively neighborhood of Dotonbori is an excellent place to go and sample some of the local fare, which ranges from the expected to the exotic.  Okonomiyaki, a cross between an omelette and a pancake, is a popular dish. The hip Umeda neighborhood is also popular for its nightlife as well as for its many ethnic and old-school sushi restaurants. If you’re looking to do a little sightseeing, don’t miss Shitennoji Temple (the first Buddhist temple in Japan) and Sumiyoshi-tasisha Shrine (one of the country’s oldest shrines).

Come nighttime, check out Bunraku, the centuries-old art of Japanese puppet theater that originated in Osaka. The city also lives up to its reputation as Japan’s commercial center with many excellent shopping districts. Electronics lovers will want to check out Denden Town, while Midosuji and Shinsaibashi will appeal to luxury brand lovers.