What I like so much about Osaka is its people. In general they live up to their collective reputation of being loud but friendly. Osaka feels much more welcoming than say Tokyo. Osakan Obaasan (old ladies) talk to you for no reason other than to talk. Coming from Northern Ireland, where almost everyone does this, it feels closer to home.
As well as people, another selling point is that it is a convenient city. Public transport is clean, timely and efficient, if a little expensive for short journeys. Cuisine is plentiful and varied as is entertainment. Movie goers and live music fans are well covered. If you are interested in concerts or theatre, you’ll be happy to know that major performers and plays frequently visit here.
If you are interested in travelling about Japan, Osaka is fairly central in the Kansai/Kinki area and in Japan in general. It takes only about 30-40 minutes by express train to travel to the nearby cities of Kobe, Kyoto and Nara. Visiting temples and shrines during the Cherry Blossom season and the Autumn Leaves season can be a fun day or weekend trip. Visiting cities like Nagoya, Hiroshima or Tokyo takes a little longer but it is still feasible for weekend trips because of the efficient transport system in Japan.
Because of its size, you can choose a place to live that suits your personality. I enjoy the convenience of being in the middle of the city, whereas some of my friends prefer to be a bit further out trading convenience for quietness and a nicer environment.
That is not to say that Osaka is the perfect city, I’ll cover the downsides of living in Osaka in a future post, but in the meantime if you are living in Osaka or have lived here in the past, tell me what you like about Osaka.