Central Osaka is often divided into two areas referred to as Kita and Minami , at either end of the major thoroughfare Midōsuji. Kita is roughly the area surrounding the business and retail district of Umeda. Minami is home to the Namba, Shinsaibashi, and Dotonbori shopping districts.
The entertainment district around Dotonbori Bridge with its famous giant mechanical crab, Triangle Park, and Amerikamura ("America Village") is in Minami. In Yodoyabashi and Honmachi, between Kita and Minami, is the traditional business area where courts and national/regional headquarters of major banks are located. The newer business area is in the Osaka Business Park located nearby Osaka Castle. Business districts have also formed around the secondary rail termini, such as Tennoji Station and Kyobashi Station.
“The 808 bridges of Naniwa” was an expression in old Japan for awe and wonder, an adage known across the land. “808” was a large number which symbolized the idea of “uncountable”. In the Edo period there were only about 200 bridges. Since Osaka is crossed by a number of rivers and canals, many bridges were built with specific names, and the areas surrounding the bridges were often referred to by the names of the bridges, too. Some of the waterways, such as the Nagahori canal, have been filled in, while others still remain. In 1925 there were actually 1629 bridges in Osaka but with the filling in of canals and rivers, as of April 2003, the number has dropped to 872, 760 of which are currently managed by Osaka City.