So what’s so great about Osaka

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.

4 responses to “So what’s so great about Osaka

  1. I’ll totally agree with you about the people who live in Osaka as being a positive point for living there. I’ve found Japanese people in general to be very friendly, even in a very bustling city like Tokyo but there is nothing like meeting new people in Osaka.

    I’ll also agree with the convenience of living there if you want to do small trips to other famous Japanese areas. It used to take me an hour or less depending on the train schedule to visit places like Kyoto, Nara and Kobe as well as the coast/mountain regions of Wakayama and Koyasan. All of these places are different from one another and provide different views and aspects of Japan.

    As you well know I’m planning on moving back to Japan, in particular Osaka, sometime early next year. I’m looking to hopefully be able to work and live somewhere along the Nankai train line as the various cities/towns on that line are very agreeable to me and very convenient. It doesn’t hurt that I have many friends who live in that area (particularly in Sakai City) and it’s very easy to get to downtown Osaka (Namba & Shinsaibashi) on the Nankai.

    Great idea for a blog Ian and I look forward to reading more thoughts and adding my own.


  2. Hi Ian! You’re characteriztion of Osaka is really good. I only spent a few nights but here are some of my impressions…

    I thought the subway system in Osaka was really nice. Plenty of underground shopping was a good addition as well. I visited the area of Intex Osaka, Cosmo Square and was really impressed by the new development going on there.

    I spent half a day wandering around the train station area (we checked out of our hotel and had to wait to catch the bus to go back to Kumamoto :P). I spent New Year’s eve wandering around that area and spent a lot of time in Yodobashi Umeda and other places in the area.

    Like you said, since Osaka is in the Kansai/Kinki area, it’d be good to make the connection to that. I was amazed how quick the train ride from Kyoto to Osaka was. Osaka is a good point to branch out and talk about other cities as well.

    Okay, I’ll stop myself :P. I’m looking forward to this new blog. がんばってね。

    – Shay

  3. wh,
    I’ve never made it to Wakayama but the beaches sound tempting. I will be adding a lot more about famous and not so famous places to visit here in Osaka.

    I spend half my free time in Yodobashi camera 🙂 The other half is spent in DenDen Town. :p Intex rocks for special events like the car shows and Summer Sonic.
    Next time you’re in town, let’s meet up for a bev or two.

  4. Pingback: Living in Osaka: How this site came to be

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