An abundance of quality ingredients
Firstly, Osaka is blessed with an abundant supply of fresh, high-quality ingredients.
The quality of the ingredients is the most important factor in Japanese cuisine. If you have good ingredients, success is already in sight. In this sense, Osaka is superbly located.
Take marine products, for example. In the southern part of central Osaka is an area called Namba. The Chinese characters for Namba mean "difficult waves". This name was given because in ancient days it was part of the sea,
and its strong currents made it difficult for ships to moor. The same Chinese characters can also be read as Naniwa, which is an old name for Osaka. Naniwa itself can be written using a different set of Chinese characters meaning "fish garden". Osaka Bay used to have a rich stock of Japanese anchovies, and larger fish would come to feed on them. Good, fresh fish is the first and most crucial step in preparing fine dishes.
Vegetables were also in abundance. Mizunasu eggplants, onions and taros from Senshu, and senryonasu eggplants, benizuiki (red taro stems), broad beans, Ishikawa taros and ebiimo taros from Kawachi -- all kinds of good vegetables were grown in the fields of Osaka. As early as the 1910s, western vegetables such as celery, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and red cabbage were also grown, some of which were shipped to Tokyo.
Osaka is located near the centre of the long Japanese archipelago. Its climate is mild and comfortable, and the Yodo river flows north-south through Osaka's fertile plains. This makes it an ideal environment for growing
vegetables and grain. Naturally, Osaka farmers concentrated on raising high-quality, good-value crops.