"Living in Osaka" Top 5 Page for this destination Osaka by Hewer

Osaka Travel Guide: 875 reviews and 2,535 photos

Where does one begin with Osaka? It's the heart of one of the biggest urban agglomerations on earth, yet not many people outside of Japan know much about it. I've been here for more than twelve years. Some locals think I'm nuts and a few others give an admiring nod when I tell them that. This city has its share of critics, but between the smoke stacks and endless city blocks, Osaka exudes a definite charm.

Ask any Japanese person what the quirkiest city in Japan is, and they'll say Osaka. Most comedians and chat show hosts come from here, gangster movies are set here and the local dialect is regarded as the most casual, laid back form of Japanese. Tokyo may be the capital of cute; Osaka is the capital of cool.

Pictured here is the entry to Dotonbori, a famous night entertainment district in central Osaka. This is the first place you should head if you want to get "right in amongst it" as they say.

Much has been written in cyberspace about Dotonbori. NB: "No part of Blade Runner was filmed in Japan." There, now you have it. Sometime ago, someone said once that Dotonbori (maybe kind of) looked a little like something out of Blade Runner. 500 Chinese whispers later, people start telling us that scenes of the movie were filmed there. If you browse the net and read various blogs written by people who were here for ten minutes on a stopover between Detroit and Beijing, you'll read all sorts of c*** about Osaka. The Blade Runner myth is my favourite. Ah well. Caveat Empor people, caveat empor.

Earthquakes and tourists

This was written so long ago, it's embarrassing. I really must get my act together and tidy up this page.

There were two earthquakes last night (September 5th, 2004) at 19:30 and 23:57, measuring 6.8 and 7.4 respectively on the Richter scale.

The apartment swayed from side to side and I just managed to catch a falling full-length mirror. (Geez, I don't even live in that apartment anymore)

We had visitors from Australia and Nagoya at the time No damage or injuries, but five very freaked out people!

Pictured here is the view from my balcony. Behind the buildings is a massive cruise ship. I live on the Osaka waterfront, and most of the big boats stop just outside my window. There is a tourist market over the road from me too. I'm often mistaken for a cruise passenger which is fine, I just wish I really was ;-)


One of my biggest interests here is sumo. I am a self-confessed sumo fanatic. I have attended the annual Osaka tournament every year I have lived here. I also headed up to Nagoya in 2002 to watch the tournament there.

There are a lot of things to appreciate about the strategy and drama surrounding this sport - it is more than just two big guys throwing each other around a ring. See my sumo tips if you plan to go along and watch! I wrote quite a lot more about sumo in my Osaka travelogue....

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:People, karaoke, restaurants
  • Cons:No green, just concrete, glass and bitumen ;-(
  • In a nutshell:Compared to the rest of Japan: Chilled........
  • Last visit to Osaka: Jan 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (27)

Comments (19)

  • royalempress's Profile Photo
    Jun 12, 2009 at 4:21 PM

    Thanks for insighits to Japan. I hope you can recover your lost pages. Mike, Whidbey Island

  • erikute3534's Profile Photo
    Jan 25, 2009 at 9:24 PM

    very honest and interesting writings :) Helpful! as we are planing to go visit JP soon(hopefuly) :)

  • Toshioohsako's Profile Photo
    Apr 11, 2008 at 2:28 PM

    Hi, I am originally from tokyo. Unfortunately, i went to Osaka for a conference a few years ago. I came back without seeing the city. Your pics give me a good overview of Osaka. Have a good day.

  • Feb 22, 2007 at 1:04 AM

    Thanks for the tips. Your page is fun to read and gives an intimate look into the city. I'm on my way there this weekend. Cheers:)

  • Pixiekatten's Profile Photo
    Jan 8, 2007 at 6:40 AM

    Terrific page with many great tips! Spent a few days on my own in Osaka and enjoyed every minute. :)) Would love to watch Sumo on my next visit. Thanks for tip on getting cheaper tickets!!

  • skychef's Profile Photo
    Mar 18, 2006 at 9:41 AM

    thanks for the sumo tips great pages

  • Feb 28, 2006 at 6:45 AM

    Small World! I googled OCAT Silver Ball and your page came up. Said there can't possibly be two people in Osaka or Japan even with that last name. See you some time this week, hope all is going well! -Cari

  • sprdak11's Profile Photo
    Jan 28, 2006 at 6:54 AM

    Interesting page. Greetings :)

  • Vita500's Profile Photo
    Jan 18, 2006 at 3:02 AM

    Interesting tips on Osaka. I've planned a short trip next week and gonna take some of your advise with me. Cheers from Korea, Robert

  • Rabbityama's Profile Photo
    Jan 3, 2006 at 7:48 PM

    Japan is such a beautiful country! Great Osaka page! The info and pics are quite interesting!

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