As Japan’s original commercial capital, Osaka prefecture, which wholly incorporates the city that bares its name, has been at the center of Japanese culture for over 1,000 years. Today, the Osaka metropolitan region is the world’s 8th richest metropolitan area, on par with cities like Los Angeles and Paris. The city is roughly divided by an uptown district and a downtown district. Uptown, or the Umeda district, is characterized by its many skyscrapers and Osaka station; while downtown’s Namba district is known for its extensive entertainment and shopping. Aside from its long history and modern cosmopolitan atmosphere, Osaka is known throughout Japan as the nation’s kitchen; it is said that what Tokyoites spend on clothes, Osakans spend on food!