Savor something new in stylish town Sakai, Osaka.
Sakai City has been featured on the front stage of history many times because of its unique culture. This culture features things such as the cluster of ancient burial mounds that have become a World Heritage Site, Nanban Trade (the trade with Spain and Portugal), Chanoyu (tea ceremony), guns, kitchen knives, bicycles.
Once a port town, many foreign cultures and various people passed through the town, bringing with them unusual things that the locals were not aware of. These novelties were taken in and adapted by the locals; hence, making Sakai a unique place with its culture and ambiance.
The spirit of enjoying and incorporating this "unusual" is Sakai's uniqueness, and it can be seen not only as a major historical approach but also throughout the city.
An ancient forest awaits you in the town. The town is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Mozu Mound. It is said to have contained more than 100 tombs in the past. Currently, there are 44 remaining tombs, which include the largest keyhole-shaped tomb in Japan, the Nintoku Emperor's Tomb. It is one of the three major tombs in the world.
In the Middle Ages, Sakai's wealthy merchants, who gained enormous wealth through trade, built a fortified city surrounded by moat to repel invasions led by samurais. Remnants of the old city dating back to the Edo era still stands to this day.
Sen no Rikyu, the founder of the tea master family “Sen”, was born in Sakai. He popularized tea drinking without its pageantry, bringing it closer to ordinary people. The style of Japanese tea ceremony is called “Wabi-cha”. Today, Rikyu's spirit lives on.There is a program that you will experience drinking authentic Japanese tea in a traditional tea room.
Sakai is one of the three major production areas for cutlery in Japan but is well-known for its knives. These “forged blades” are handcrafted using techniques passed down through generations. The razor-sharp knives guarantee perfect cut each time making every dish taste and look phenomenal.
Making Japanese sweets is as old as the ceremonial tea culture. Traditionally served with tea and often artistically made using muted pastel colors, they are truly a feast for the eyes.