Since the 17th century, Osaka has been Japan’s hardworking city of trade, manufacturing and business. Its prosperous merchants created a culture that supported the arts, particularly Kabuki and Banraku theaters, and celebrated the pleasures of the table -- Osaka is still considered one of Japan’s centers of fine cuisine and traditional performing arts. The city grew up around Osaka Castle, built in 1585 to protect local warlords. After successive expansions, including moats and vast stone battlements, the castle remains at Osaka’s center, amid 15 acres of gardens. Osaka’s harbor is still one of the busiest in Japan, and it is home to Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, Japan’s largest aquarium.