Culture of SAKAI
The burial mound of Emperor Nintoku, which is the world’s largest tomb and part of the Mozu-Furuichi Kofun Group which has just been registered as a World Heritage Site in 2019, bordered by Japanese gardens and museums, is situated as one of the most popular spots in Osaka at the moment. Sakai was once a city that thrived on trade and industry, and the knives for which it is renowned, praised by chefs all over Japan and around the world, have a history of 600 years.
Furthermore, with the influence of Senno Rikyu, the tea ceremony master, there are still many famous Japanese sweets shops.
Mozu-Furuichi Kofun Group
Mozu-Furuichi Kofun Group was designated as a World Heritage Site in 2019, the first in Osaka. The Funeral Mound of Emperor Nintoku is one of the world’s largest keyhole shaped tomb mounds and is just one of the 44 tombs that are scattered across the Mozu and Furuichi areas. The Japanese garden that borders the Mausoleum of Emperor Nintoku was designed by Kinsaku Nakane who is also famous for the gardens at the Adachi Museum of Art. By going up to the Sakai City Hall Observatory in front of the Sakai Higashi station, you can get a good view of the burial mound and see its shape. Rental bicycles are available to make your tour of the different sites easier.
More traditional culture that comes from Sakai
There are plenty of other traditional industries that originated in Sakai. Items such as Sakai Senko (incense), the “chusenwazarashi” method of traditional dyeing, and the traditional Japanese sweets that are essential in the tea ceremony.
Take a rental bicycle from Sakai station on the Nankai Line to the Sakai City Traditional Crafts Museum where you can see all of these traditional products and crafts gathered together. You can also participate in such traditional Sakai practices as knife sharpening and cooking Japanese sweets.
The town where the Tea Ceremony began
Senno Rikyu, born and raised in Sakai, perfected his own style of simple Tea Ceremony, and this has led to many organizations and tourists spots that promote this style in Sakai. One of the most popular attractions at the moment is the Cha no Yu experience available to visitors in proper tea rooms. Senno Rikyu pursued concepts such as motenashi (hospitality), shitsurai (tasteful room decorations on each occasion), and now you can experience these on location.
Sakai: The Town of Knives
Sakai is well known as a great producer of knives. The quality of these knives, created blade by blade by master craftsmen, is recognized by professional chef, and it is said that 90% of sushi masters and chefs use knives made in Sakai. This reputation has started to spread internationally over the last few years, and now overseas visitors are coming to Sakai in growing numbers.
Known as “Sumiyossan” to the locals, this is one of the most potent power spots in Osaka. It is the head shrine of the 2300 Sumiyoshi shrines throughout Japan, and many visitors from within Japan and overseas visit to take part in the monthly pilgrimage that is said to be beneficial to business success and for safety within the home. Each of the four main sanctuary buildings is for a different god, and each is a designated national treasure. Viewing the architecture of these buildings, using ancient Japanese techniques, is another pleasure to be gained from travel.