What About Osaka Japan?
Tokyo is the center of Japanese life. You always here about what a great city it is. But what about Osaka, Japan’s second city? Here are some quick facts to help familiarize you with the second biggest city in Japan.
-In Osaka, there is a thick dialect spoken, called Kansai-ben. Although many Osakans hide their accents and conform to Tokyo speech after they move to the big city, many Japanese consider kansai-ben to be down-home and colorful, not unlike the United States southern accent. This dialect is especially interesting to students of the Japanese language. And, like African-American speech in the US, it provides mainstream Japanese with much of its slang and new expressions.
-Lots of Japan’s most famous celebrities, especially comedians, hail from Osaka. Osaka people have a reputation for being funny and outgoing, as opposed to the more reserved Tokyo-ites.
-Osaka was the capital of Japan during its medieval period. At this time the country was ruled by a warrior class. In Osaka, you can take a tour of Osaka Castle, which was at one time where the emperor lived. Osaka Castle is full of cool stuff for you to see!
-There is a famous shopping area in Osaka called “America Town” where you can buy all kinds of famous US brands. While this may not be so exciting for those of us from the States, since we can buy all that stuff cheaper at home, it is a major attraction for hip young Japanese.
-Osaka is the home of some of Japan’s tastiest dishes, including okonomi-yaki and tako-yaki. Okonomi-yaki is a kind of pancake with meat and vegetables cooked in it, served with Japanese mayonnaise and barbecue sauce. Takoyaki, which is a much-loved snack food all over Japan, is a fried ball with cream and a little piece of octopus inside it! It’s delicious! You just have to try it and see. There are shops where you can buy these dishes all over Japan, but they come from Osaka originally, and anybody will tell you that you have to try it in Osaka to get the real thing.
-Osaka is full of exciting nightlife. There are bars and clubs all over the city catering to all kinds of tastes. Osaka has a thriving club scene, and also a great rock scene. Lots of famous bands and entertainers come from Osaka to Tokyo to make it big.
If you’re spending enough time in Japan to get out of Tokyo and see something else, I recommend Osaka. Its also close to Kyoto, so you can find tour packages where you can do both!