Sakai City has a rich cultural heritage associated with prehistoric times as illustrated by the Mozu Necropolis, including the Nintoku Mausoleum. In the medieval ages, the city acquired autonomy, quite rare at that time,to become center for external trade as well as sophisticated culture such as the tea ceremony.
Located roughly in the center of Osaka Prefecture, Sakai occupies a region that borders Osaka Bay and is blessed with a mild climate. Historically, our city has always been at the forefront of each era, and it has long been one of Japan’s most distinctive communities.
As one of the leading cities in the Kansai region, Sakai is now striving with its enterprising spirit to become a new city suited to the coming century while at the same time paying special attention to the traditions accumulated in its brilliant history.
During Japan’s tumulus period, the people of our region built the Nintoku-ryo tumulus, one of the world’s largest imperial mausoleums. Later, Sakai prospered as a center of overseas trade during the medieval Muromachi period (1338 to 1573), especially following the Onin-no-Ran civil war. During this period Sakai flourished under the control of powerful merchants as a liberal and self-governing city that was described by visiting European missionaries as the “Venice of Asia,” its reputation spreading as far as Europe.
The progressive and enterprising spirit of the ancient merchants who extended their reach to the world beyond Japan’s borders found continued expression by the city’s many remarkable men and women of culture, including Sen-no-Rikyu, the pioneering master of the tea ceremony, and Yosano Akiko, the “poet of passion.” Our city continued to move steadily forward, inspired and empowered by its foundation of brilliant history and tradition.
Today Sakai has developed into Japan’s 14th largest city, encompassing a population of 830,000 and an area of 150 square kilometers.In April 2006, Sakai became a city designated by ordinance, the classification that affords the greatest degree of local autonomy within Japan’s system of government. The future for our city is bright indeed.
Also counted among Sakai’s virtues are its easy access to Kansai International Airport; its many famous places and historical sites, including tea houses where visitors can relax and enjoy Japan’s culture of hospitality in the form of the tea ceremony; and its proximity to Japan’s ancient capitals of Nara and Kyoto.