Introduction to Osaka

Japan is a bow-shaped archipelago lying to the east of the Asian continent. The local self-governing bodies of Japan consist of prefectures and municipalities. Osaka Prefecture, located at the approximate center of Japan, is divided into 33 cities, 9 towns, and 1 village.

Covering an area of approximately 1,899 square kilometers, or only 0.5% of the nation's entire land area, Osaka is the second smallest prefecture. However, it has a population of 8.8 million, or roughly 7% of the entire population, making it the third most populous prefecture after Tokyo and Kanagawa prefectures. Furthermore, approximately 210,000 non-Japanese, or 9.7% of all non-Japanese registered in Japan, reside in Osaka.

Geographically Osaka extends from north to south, with a slight curve. It faces Osaka Bay to the west and is surrounded by mountains on the other three sides. The weather is generally mild, with four distinct seasons. The average annual temperature is 17.3C (61.3F), and average precipitation is 1,568mm. ("2011 Almanac of Osaka Prefecture's Climate", Osaka District Meteorological Observatory)

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