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Vibrant and a little rough around the edges (but with a heart of gold), Osaka is what some people consider to be the more down-to-earth alternative to Tokyo. While Osaka is the second-largest metropolitan area in Japan and the economic powerhouse of the Kansai region, it is also described by many as friendlier and more easy-going than its eastern rival.

Foodies especially love Osaka because of the regional specialities, including okonomiyaki and takoyaki, and its lively downtown hub with its canal lined with places to eat and drink. It’s home to one of Japan’s most famous landmarks, Osaka Castle, as well as one of Japan’s oldest temples. Osaka is also a major transport hub and you can reach so many wonderful places like Kyoto, Nara, Kobe and more by just hopping on a train.

All regions in Japan have their own dialects and the Kansai dialect is one of the most famous. If you love Kansai-ben, or you want to pick it up, then living in Osaka is the best way to do that.

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