What comes to mind when you think of Osaka? Maybe takoyaki (octopus dumplings), the Hanshin Tigers, Universal Studios Japan, wacky comedy and down-to-earth, unpretentious people.

Osaka wants to add jazz to that list. The city has scored a coup by being chosen by UNESCO to host the third International Jazz Day (IJD), which is being celebrated worldwide on April 30.

"To have been chosen, among the many incredible cities that came forth as potential hosts for this day, has great significance for us," says Kunio Kano, executive director of the Osaka Government Tourism Bureau. "It is a fantastic opportunity in our efforts to reposition Osaka on the cultural map."