Osaka Prefecture showcases an eclectic mixture of modern architecture and historical landmarks in the heartland of Japan. The Kansai International Airport, constructed on an artificial island in 1994, retains a futuristic feel even today with its flowing wave design and beautiful blend of steel and glass. Nearby in the city center, the historic Osaka Castle features spectacular stone walls built entirely without any mortar using a creative technique where large stone slabs fit tightly together like interlocking pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
The world of traditional handicrafts in Osaka Prefecture also has an eclectic feeling. Sakai Knives, forged today using the same techniques that made their samurai swords famous, are now found in the kitchens of professional chefs across Japan and increasingly around the world. Osaka Ranma, or hand-carved wooden panels, are still incorporated into many traditional Japanese rooms between the lintel and ceiling. In addition to the sheer beauty, these panels add privacy between rooms while still allowing light and air to flow freely inside.