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    Can we discuss about all the major and subtle differences between
    Tokyo and Osaka?
    I've been in Tokyo for more then one year and in Osaka for a few weeks only,
    but it allowed me to build my opinion on the subject as follow (correct me
    if I'm wrong and add more comments!):

    - First, I think there is more liberalism in Tokyo than in Osaka and that
    Tokyo is more advanced than Osaka (more services available, and information
    linked to those services more accessible). For example, I had to struggle like
    hell to find a place to withdraw money (visa card) in Osaka (even the Tourist's
    Information Center didn't know!) when I could find Citi-Banks in Tokyo very easily.
    I had to show-off a "Gaijin-Card" in order to buy a cell-phone in Osaka when my
    Visa Card was enough in Tokyo. I could send a FAX overseas from almost any "combini"
    in Tokyo when my girlfriend in Osaka couldn't recently find a combini that would
    provide such a service. Also, I've got the feeling that newer services are developped
    in Tokyo first before being expended to Osaka and other big cities (ie: Cash-Corners
    in combinis). Did I misunderstand the whole thing?

    - There are far less job opportunities in Osaka than in Tokyo, I think.

    - Also, in the everybody's common opinion, people from Osaka are warmer than people
    from Tokyo. Perhaps you have to be Japanese to see the difference. It was quite the
    opposite for me. In Tokyo people were dilighted when I made the effort to speak Japanese
    but people in Osaka came to me only to have the opportunity to speake some English (although
    I'm French!). People from Tokyo are more prone to compliments also.

    Because I'll stay at Osaka next time, I'm a little bit afraid of having to live in a place
    less interesting than Tokyo.

    I'm looking forward to reading your opinion.

  • #2
    Re: TOKYO vs OSAKA

    Thats strange, First time in Osaka it took me less than 5 minutes to find a Visa/Plus ATM. I tried to buy a cell phone in Tokyo and was refused because I have no "gaijin card". I've sent a FAX from Osaka 7-11's and used my Japan ATM card in other similar Osaka shops.

    What I especially enjoyed there was the lack of a white gehtto like ropongi.


    • #3
      Re: TOKYO vs OSAKA

      Hello M. Franck - here is a post from a friend of mine, on another thread here, answering some of your question.


      For living and business would agree, Osaka people are more direct and friendly, and business negotiations are easier. Also less discrimination on social level - money is money.

      Culturally, Osaka is crude and has little, though Kobe, Kyoto and Nara are nearby. For social life in Osaka is good, and less distances to travel. Kita shinchi and Shinsaibashi-soemon cho areas are great for night life and clubbers, and better value than Ginza or Shinjuku.

      Rumour has it that Kansai food is better than Kanto, though have found little to substantiate that, it's greasier, less choice, but great restaurants to be found in both places.

      On negative side, Kansai is more of a man's world, so status of woman is not so high as in Kanto. Can be harder for foreign women in a company.

      Kansai currently on verge of bankrupty due to pork-barrel projects and political corruption, e.g. Kansai Airport, Kobe Airport, Osaka Intl Conference Centre, USJ, Rinko Town, failed 2008 Olympics bid, so finding it hard to attract investors now, plus dual bureaucratic structure for approvals is hard, which flies in face of easier to do business attitude.

      Osaka/ Kobe have traditionally been strong enclaves for foreigners, and high percentage of Koreans/ Chinese living in Kansai, Indians in Kobe, plus European ex-pats in Kobe. As long as you have money, they do not seem to care about your skin colour.

      Kanto is bureaucratic capital, and is where the power is, so more conferences, Head Offices, all ministries are there, and power sharing/ manipulating/ negotiation is a daily occupation.

      Hope this helps you a little.

      But would prefer to live in Kansai to Kanto!


      • #4
        Re: TOKYO vs OSAKA

        Thank TH.
        BTW, did you know I got my degree recently?
        Was one of the weirdest day of my life!


        • #5
          Re: TOKYO vs OSAKA

          I LOVE Osaka!
          Ive never lived in Tokyo, but on my visits there I really discovered that Id much rather live In Osaka. Kansai is definately wonderful. Sure, Osaka might not have a lot culturally, but its great having Kyoto, Nara and Kobe right there. You can see so many aspects of Japan in the Kansai area. Travel around the area is good; the subway is really easy, and in my opinion, a lot less complicated than Tokyo. The one bad thing about it is the dialect. As far as learning the language, I found it much harder to pick up there. During the visits I spent in other areas that spoke more of a standard Japanese, I picked up a lot more in a shorter amount of time than I did at home.
          but I LOVE Osaka!


          • #6
            Re: TOKYO vs OSAKA

            Thanks for letting me know your opinion!
            I admit I fear the "Osaka Ben" a lot! I really don't want to learn
            this way to speak Japanese. I wonder how I'll manage to deal with it.
            Have a good day.


            • #7
              Re: TOKYO vs OSAKA

              Perhaps this will be understood only be Britons, but a friend once suggested that "Osaka is what Liverpool would be if it had the GDP of Australia". It's gritty, it's dirty, it's ugly, it's unpretentious, it likes a night out and everyone thinks he's a comedian.


              • #8
                Re: TOKYO vs OSAKA

                Nice one! Pity there is no equivalent to the musical strength of the Scousers!



                • #9
                  Re: TOKYO vs OSAKA

                  I guess any place can seem ugly until you start to know the area and grow to love the people.


                  • #10
                    Re: TOKYO vs OSAKA

                    No, this is false logic. Perhaps any place can seem beautiful when "you get to know the area and love the people", but it isn't true that any place can seem ugly until ditto.

                    Ugly Venice? Ugly Bruges? Ugly Delft? Ugly Tahiti? Ugly Florence? Come off it.

                    But I do love Osaka; and despite its (surely undeniable) ugliness.


                    • #11
                      Re: TOKYO vs OSAKA


                      Can someone tell me what are, in Osaka, the equivalents of Omotesando, Harajuku,
                      Hibiya, Ginza or Ebisu?



                      • #12
                        Re: TOKYO vs OSAKA

                        They are different. Explore the place for what it is.
                        But if you want to stay inside your box:

                        Shinsaibashi/America Mura=Omotesando/Harajuku
                        Ginza=Honmachi, but much cheaper
                        Ebisu=Nishi Umeda

                        And for completeness:
                        Kabukicho=Juso or Soemoncho
                        Akasaka=Kita shinchi

                        No doubt others will have their own equivalents, as these are approximate and depend very much on your viewpoint, i.e. shops bars, restaurants, clubs, work etc., but I did have 6 years in each of Tokyo and Osaka!



                        • #13
                          Re: TOKYO vs OSAKA


                          Trip Hop's list looks bang on the money, but could be thought of as 'Midosuji-centric'. Perhaps the most interesting thing to have happened to Osaka recently is the way in which stops on the Yotsubashi line have reinvented themselves and created a smart-bohemian, Greenwich-village type alternative to what's on the red line . Check out 4-bashi, Horie and Semba, now bursting with cafes, galleries, and ethnic shops.

                          You can have a good night out in Tennoji, too, and the shopping's cheaper there than in Shinsaibashi or Umeda. Tsuruhashi's worth a visit once in a while.


                          • #14
                            Re: TOKYO vs OSAKA

                            Guilty! - I lived and worked on the Midosuji-line many moons ago!
                            Would also suggest to get out to Senri-chuo, and there is of course the chance of lots of weekend trips to Nara and Iga Ueno; Kishimoto/ Kii-Hanto/ Taiji; Fukui/ Toyama/ Kanazawa/ Tsuruga/ Wajima/ Wakura (favourite run of mine); Arima-onsen/ Minoo/ Ryoanji; Seishin-chuo and the wineries; Kawanishi/ Myokenyama valley for hiking/ walking; Toba/ Kashikojima/ Ago/ Futamiura for pearls and relaxing - not so cheap!

                            You should never be wanting for something to do! Get yourself the Kodansha Kyoto-osaka Bilingual atlas - 2150\well spent.



                            • #15
                              Re: TOKYO vs OSAKA

                              Huge amount of information here. Thanks a lot!
                              But don't misunderstand me.
                              I liked a lot Omotesando and Ebisu mainly for the sightseeing and not
                              for shopping at all, etc... Hard to believe, isn't it!