Osaka (Japanese: 大阪市, Hepburn: Ōsaka-shi, pronounced [oːsakaɕi]; commonly just 大阪, Ōsaka [oːsaka] (listen)) is a designated city in the Kansai region of Japan. It is the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and the largest component of the Keihanshin Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Japan and among the largest in the world with over 19 million inhabitants.
Osaka and the "808 Bridges" (八百八橋) Many districts in Osaka derive their names from the Tokugawa-era bridges that were built during the city's reign as transportation hub for the country. Today, Yodoyabashi (淀屋橋) and Kyobashi (京橋) still retain their crossings, while the bridges in Yotsubashi (四ツ橋), Nagahoribashi (長堀橋）and Shinsaibashi (心斎橋) are long gone. 橋 (hashi, often pronounced -bashi, when affixed to a preceding name) is the kanji character meaning 'bridge'.