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Osaka Art Power

Osaka's ukiyo-e are known for depicting famous kabuki actors

Many antique Arita porcelain masterpieces exist in Osaka

Young artist's works of art using garbage washed ashore on Yodo River

Osaka is a vibrant city, full of warm people. But that is only one aspect of Japan's 3rd largest city. This edition of Journeys in Japan explores Osaka through its art. Art flourished alongside Osaka's success as a leading commercial hub. Our traveler is woodblock printmaker David Bull, an artist fascinated by Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints. He embarks on a journey to encounter Osaka's beauty from past to present.

Kamigata Ukiyo-e Museum
People tend to associate ukiyo-e with Tokyo, but they were also created in Osaka where theater was very popular. This museum, on the Dotonbori canal, exhibits some 30 ukiyo-e works made in Osaka.
Admission: 500 yen / Adult

Oimatsu Antique Street
Some 40 antique art stops line this street.
Nearest station: Yodoyabashi (subway)
Shops featured in the program: Tosenbo Antiques (folk craft), Hata Oriental Art, Gallery Maesaka Seitendo (Arita porcelain), and Sen Kimono
Note: Many shops are closed on Sundays

Nakanoshima Ryokudo
10 outdoor sculptures are displayed along a 400 meter stretch of riverbank between Yodoyabashi and Higobashi.
Nearest stations: Yodoyabashi (subway) and Higobashi (subway)

Yodogawa Technique
The two-man art unit, whose activities are based on the Yodo River. They use garbage to create diverse works of art.

Umeda Sky Building
Umeda Sky Building's observatory offers a panoramic view of the city center.
Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. (last admission 10:00 p.m.)
Admission: 700 yen / Adult

Access: To reach the city center, express bus services are available from Kansai International Airport and Itami Airport (30 min. and 60 min., respectively). By train, take the Shinkansen bullet train to Shin-Osaka Station.

Travel Log - Traveler:

Travel Log

Traveler:David Bull, woodblock printmaker (Canada)
Date :Jun. 3-5, 2013

Many episodes in the Journeys in Japan series take the viewers to rather remote places, and just getting there might be quite a journey. For this episode though, "getting there" is not a problem at all, because of course Osaka is a place that is probably on most visitors' itinerary already!

When the program producers first contacted me about taking a visit to Osaka, I "knew" what they would say next, "Dave, we're going to do an episode about some of the great food to be had in Osaka! Won't you join us?" So even before they explained the program concept, I was already saying, "Yes, yes ... yes!"

As it turned out, I was mistaken. They had a different concept in mind for the program, which you will discover when you watch it. We weren't on a journey looking for food for the belly, but for food for the eyes! I myself discovered a whole new face to this wonderful city, as we went searching for interesting art.

I can tell you that our hunt was most successful, and I think you will very much enjoy looking over my shoulder as I take you around to some of the locations we discovered and the interesting art we found there. And next time you yourself are in Osaka, remember that you can feed more than one part of your body while you are here! 'Kuidaore no machi' indeed! (Look it up!)