Prefectures of Japan Osaka
Subdivisions Districts: 5, Municipalities: 43
• Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura
• Total 1,905.14 km2 (735.58 sq mi)
Area rank 46th
Population (July 1, 2019)
• Total 8,823,358
• Rank 3rd
• Density 4,600/km2 (12,000/sq mi)
ISO 3166 code JP-27
Bird Bull-headed shrike (Lanius bucephalus)
Flower Japanese apricot (Prunus mume)
Primrose (Primula sieboldii)
Tree Ginkgo tree (Ginkgo biloba)
Prefectures of Japan Osaka
Pronounced [oːsaka ɸɯ]) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region of Honshu. Osaka Prefecture has a population of 8,823,358 (as of 1 June 2019) and has a geographic area of 1,905 square kilometres (736 sq mi). Osaka Prefecture borders Hyōgo Prefecture to the northwest, Kyoto Prefecture to the north, Nara Prefecture to the southeast, and Wakayama Prefecture to the south.
Osaka is the capital and largest city of Osaka Prefecture, and the third-largest city in Japan, with other major cities including Sakai, Higashiōsaka, and Hirakata. Osaka Prefecture is the third-most-populous prefecture, but by geographic area the second-smallest; at 4,600 inhabitants per square kilometre (12,000/sq mi) it is the second-most densely populated, below only Tokyo. Osaka Prefecture is one of Japan’s two “urban prefectures” using the designation fu (府) rather than the standard ken for prefectures, along with Kyoto Prefecture. Osaka Prefecture forms the center of the Keihanshin metropolitan area, the second-most-populated urban region in Japan after the Greater Tokyo area and one of the world’s most productive regions by GDP.
Prior to the Meiji Restoration, the modern-day area of Osaka Prefecture was split between Kawachi, Izumi, and Settsu provinces.
Osaka Prefecture was created on June 21, 1868, at the very beginning of the Meiji era. During the instigation of Fuhanken Sanchisei in 1868, the prefecture received its suffix fu, designating it as a prefecture.
On September 1, 1956, the city of Osaka was promoted to a city designated by government ordinance and thereby divided into 24 wards. Sakai became the second city in the prefecture to be promoted to a city designated by government ordinance on April 1, 2006, and was divided into seven wards.
In 2000, Fusae Ota became Japan’s first female governor when she replaced Knock Yokoyama, who resigned after prosecution for sexual harassment. Tōru Hashimoto, previously famous as a counselor on television, was elected in 2008 at the age of 38, becoming the youngest governor in Japan.
On June 18, 2018, an earthquake struck the northern region of the prefecture. It killed 4 people and caused minor damage across Greater Osaka.
In 2010, the Osaka Restoration Association was created with backing by Governor Tōru Hashimoto, with hopes of reforming Osaka Prefecture into the Osaka Metropolis and merging with the City of Osaka. In the 2011 local elections, the association was able to win the majority of the prefectural seats and Hashimoto was elected as mayor of Osaka.
A referendum on the issue was held in 2015 and was defeated with 50.38% of voters opposed to the plan. A second referendum in 2020 was rejected by 50.6% of voters.
Osaka Prefecture neighbors the prefectures of Hyōgo and Kyoto in the north, Nara in the east and Wakayama in the south. The west is open to Osaka Bay. The Yodo and Yamato Rivers flow through the prefecture.
Prior to the construction of Kansai International Airport, Osaka was the smallest prefecture in Japan. The artificial island on which the airport was built added enough area to make it slightly larger than Kagawa Prefecture.
As of 1 April 2012, 11% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely Kongō-Ikoma-Kisen and Meiji no Mori Minō Quasi-National Parks and Hokusetsu and Hannan-Misaki Prefectural Natural Parks.
Since 2005, Osaka consists of 43 municipalities: 33 cities, nine towns and one village. As of 2021, the 33 cities include two designated major cities, seven core cities and two (transitional) special case cities (after legal abolition in 2015, to be replaced with the core city system in the 2020s).
After the modern reactivation of districts in 1878/79, Osaka, including Sakai which was only merged into Osaka in 1881, consisted of 5 urban districts (-ku) and 27 rural districts (-gun), excluding 15 districts in Yamato Province which was later separated from Osaka as Nara Prefecture in 1887. When the prefectures were subdivided into modern municipalities in 1889, the five urban districts were turned into two district-independent cities: Osaka City and Sakai City, and Osaka’s [rural] districts were subdivided into 12 towns and 310 villages. After Osaka City had absorbed many surrounding municipalities in the interwar/Taishō period, the number of municipalities in Osaka had already dropped to 149 by 1953. The Great Shōwa mergers of the 1950s reduced the total to 47 by 1961, including 26 cities by then. The current total of 43 was reached during the Great Heisei mergers in 2005.
The gross prefecture product of Osaka for the fiscal year 2004 was ¥38.7 trillion, second after Tokyo with an increase of 0.9% from the previous year. This represented approximately 48% of the Kinki region. The per capita income was ¥3.0 million, seventh in the nation. Commercial sales the same year was ¥60.1 trillion.
Overshadowed by such globally renowned electronics giants as Panasonic and Sharp, the other side of Osaka’s economy can be characterized by its Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) activities. The number of SMEs based in Osaka in 2006 was 330,737, accounting for 99.6% of the total number of businesses in the prefecture. While this proportion is similar to other prefectures (the average nationwide was 99.7%), the manufactured output of the SMEs amounted to 65.4% of the total within the prefecture, a rate significantly higher than Tokyo’s 55.5%, or Kanagawa’s 38.4%. One model from Osaka of serving the public interest and restimulating the regional economy, combined with industry-education cooperation efforts, is the Astro-Technology SOHLA, with its artificial satellite project. Having originally started from a gathering of Higashiosaka based SMEs, Astro-Technology SOHLA has not only grown into a Kansai region-wide group but has also won support from the government, through technology and material support from Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and financial support from NEDO.
The Osaka Securities Exchange, specializing in derivatives such as Nikkei 225 Futures, is based in Osaka.
There are many electrical, chemical, pharmaceutical, heavy industry, food, and housing companies in Osaka Prefecture.
According to the 2005 Population Census of Japan, Osaka prefecture has a population of 8,817,166, an increase of 12,085, or 0.14%, since the Census of year 2000.
As of 2020 this prefecture has about 99,000 ethnic Korean persons, the largest such population of any prefecture in Japan. Osaka City. As of 2013 most ethnic Korean children attend ordinary Japanese public schools, although some Korean schools operated by the Chongryon and classes for ethnic Koreans had opened in the prefecture. During the Japanese rule of Korea many ethnic Koreans came to the Osaka area to look for work. Many people from Jeju came to the Osaka area after a 1922 ferry line between Osaka and Jeju opened. During World War II Japanese authorities forced additional ethnic Koreans to move to the Osaka area.
Temples and shrines
National Museum of Ethnology, Japan 
Open-Air Museum of Old Japanese Farm Houses (Hattori Ryokuchi Park)
OSTEC (Osaka Science and Technology Center) Exhibition Hall
Japan Folk Crafts Museum, Osaka
Public elementary and junior high schools in the prefecture are operated by the municipalities. Public high schools are operated by the Osaka Prefectural Board of Education.
Kansai Medical University (Hirakata, Osaka)
Osaka University (Toyonaka and Suita)
former Osaka University of Foreign Studies (Minoh)
Osaka Kyoiku University (Kashiwara)
Osaka City University (Osaka city)
Osaka Prefecture University (Sakai)
Kansai University (Suita, Takatsuki, Osaka city)
Kindai University (Higashiosaka)
Kansai Gaidai University (Hirakata) (Kansai University of Foreign Studies)
Osaka International Educational University (Moriguchi)
Osaka University of Health and Sport sciences (Kumatori)
Osaka University of Commerce (Higashiosaka)
Osaka University of Economic and Law (Yao)
Osaka College of Music (Toyonaka)
Osaka Electro Communication University (Neyagawa)
Osaka Gakuin University (Suita)
Otemon Gakuin University (Ibaraki)
Hannan University (Matsubara)
Setsunan University (Neyagawa)
St Andrews University (Momoyama Gakuin University) (Izumi)
Taisei Gakuin University (Mihara, Sakai)
Tezukayama Gakuin University (Ōsakasayama, Sakai)
The Expo Commemoration Park (Suita) held the Expo ’70. It is about 260 ha and includes a Japanese garden, National Museum of Art, Osaka, and the amusement park “Expoland”.
Hattori Ryokuchi Park (Toyonaka), about 150 ha.
Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park (Osaka), about 100 ha. The horticulture exposition of Expo ’90 was held here.
Nagai Park (Osaka), about 66 ha. The IAAF World Championships in Athletics were held in 2007 at Nagai Stadium in this park.
Osaka Castle Park (Osaka), about 106 ha.
Nakanoshima Park (Osaka), housing the Museum of Oriental Ceramics, public hall, Osaka Prefectural Nakanoshima Library, and the city hall of Osaka.
Yamadaike Park (Osaka), about 73.7 ha.
Osaka Prefectural Park (Hirakata), operated by Osaka Prefecture.
Tokaido Shinkansen (Shin-Osaka Station)
Sanyo Shinkansen (Shin-Osaka Station)
Osaka Loop Line
Osaka Higashi Line
Tokaido Main Line
JR Kyoto Line
JR Kobe Line
JR Tozai Line
JR Yumesaki Line
Kansai Airport Line
Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line
Keihan Electric Railway
Keihan Main Line
Keihan Nakanoshima Line
Keihan Katano Line
Minami Osaka Line
Hankyu Kyoto Line
Hankyu Senri Line
Hankyu Takarazuka Line
Hankyu Minoo Line
Hankyu Kobe Line
Nose Electric Railway
Hanshin Electric Railway
Hanshin Main Line
Hanshin Namba Line
Nankai Electric Railway
Nankai Main Line
Senboku Rapid Railway
Kita-Osaka Kyuko Railway
Nanko Port Town Line
Second Keihan Highway
Second Hanna Highway
Minami Hanna Highway
National Route 1
National Route 2
National Route 25
National Route 26
National Route 43
National Route 163
National Route 165
National Route 166
National Route 168
National Route 170
National Route 171
National Route 173
National Route 176
National Route 307
National Route 308
National Route 309
National Route 310
National Route 371
National Route 423
National Route 477
National Route 479
National Route 480
National Route 481
Osaka International Airport – Domestic flights
Kansai International Airport – International and domestic flights
The sports teams listed below are based in Osaka.
Osaka Blazers Sakai
The symbol of Osaka Prefecture, called the sennari byōtan or “thousand gourds,” was originally the crest of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the feudal lord of Osaka Castle.
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