Osaka has a reputation as a major economic center and is famous for shopping. The Dotombori Gokuraku Shopping Street dates from the late Taisho Period to the early Showa Period and recaptures the mood of that era. Midosuji Dori features name-brand boutiques. Teens patronize HEP FIVE, a huge complex with an amusement arcade and a Ferris wheel. Underground shopping arcades stretch for miles. Crysta Nagahori, has a glass ceiling, flowing streams of water, and 100 shops. Osaka is also known as Japan’s food capital. One fascinating aspect of the city is its food theme parks, where a street or part of the city from the past is re-created, and all the restaurants serve dishes from that period.
In terms of landmarks, Osaka Castle is best known. The park surrounding it hosts cherry and plum blossom viewing and the Osaka International Peace Center. The castle stands in contrast to the skyscrapers of the neighboring Osaka Business Park. Other highlights are the Tennoji area, with Shitennoji Temple - Japan’s oldest official temple, Tennoji Zoo, and Nagai Park. River cruises are a favorite way to enjoy Osaka, which is known as the “city of water”.