Leaving pleasant memories behind in Osaka I felt refreshed in knowing that there’re still Japanese who love being Japanese everyday; the ones who love Japanese sake(nihonshu), and who can also appreciate some Western influences, but while at the same time not get carried away with the obsession of being too Westernized for their own good.
I too may come off as obsessed, but believe me, I’ll take a greasy chili cheeseburger and American pizza over sushi any day. I also revere the history of the American forefathers too, because I know that no nation is perfect. Japan is not perfect, but it’s pretty damn close.
I can still remember horror stories about people in Osaka from Tokyoites and Hamakos (Yokohama born people).
(“Back when Kyoto was the capital people used to look down on Osaka people. Osaka people are loud and rude. Osaka people have no manners. Osaka people are poor”).
I used to here stuff like this from Japanese in Kanagawa and “Tokyo to” until finally I went there, to Osaka, myself. Never have I met such real Japanese people in my life. People who are so down to earth and natural, were the thoughts that went through my head. I was not only impressed at how well they balanced Western influence, but at how well they maintained the essence of the soul of Japan through music, fashion, and even hospitality. I was treated royally.
Some of the most fantastic people I’ve met in my life are from Osaka. Miss. Fuji was the first, and then my good friend (しょうふくてい つるべ),Tsurube, well-known Japanese comedian whom I still keep in touch with to this day. I’ve got a few other buddies I hang out with( top secret husband and wife couple if you know what I mean).
And then there’re the ordinary citizens of Osaka who wake up and go about their business everyday, like this guy chatting away on his handy phone. I wonder if he noticed the girl to his left.
Some are husbands and fathers, mothers and lovers.
I love ordinary everyday Japanese people. Just walking around I could feel so much energy down there.
I remember sitting in my hotel room in Osaka watching the telly. I never saw so many nihonshu commercials per channel, it was great. I rarely see such t.v. commercials in Kanagawa. I can’t even remember the last time one was aired.
And then there’s this guy. Maybe he was a visitor just like me, but nobody paid him any attention. I guess maybe he was stone facing everybody.
I can’t forget to comment on the outstanding taxi service in Osaka either – the best! I must’ve hailed several taxis the couple of days I was there.
I remember walking around after midnight looking for this restaurant I had found on the net a few days ago. A taxi driver got out of his car, walked over and help point me to Tenpei.
For those coming to Tokyo or Kanagawa, don’t ride in the taxis. They are the worst: rude, suspicious, and not courteous. Sometimes they even feign ignorance on familiar landmarks and buildings, or even drop you off in inconveniently located places.
And then we have the Glico man with his arms out stretched. You haven’t seen Osaka until you have taken a picture of this giant neon sign of a man running. And then, you have the first foreign deity in Japan. The Billiken
The story behind this dwarf Billiken is very interesting. It was banned during WW2, then brought back.
Osaka also has some really cool trains. The Rapiito Line ラピート. Which is equivalent to the Narita Express in Kanto. Here’s another fantastic link in English.
And then , how can I forget the ワンマンカー or, “one man car.” A nice little red and white local trolley with a long long history in Osaka.
How could I also forget my favorite type of eye candy to my left, too. Jukujo.
I’m also reminded at how things look from the top of the city
The people of Osaka gave me something to look forward to in June. What will I get myself into next time I’m down there? Maybe I’ll go deeper in Osaka. I don’t know.
In conclusion, I must offer some food for thought to the reader. People are people. However, in Osaka people are the living manifestation of their will to live life to the fullest. They can be who they want to be, but they always know what it means to be just plain and simply a Japanese. Sometimes I wonder whether or not Osaka was the original capital…?
Kanto what on earth ever happened to your soul?