A footstep in Japanese soil of Kansai Area
Osaka Travel Blog› entry 2 of 6 › view all entries
Yes, it was the third time I visited Japan. This time it was only for fun, not for any other purpose. After only 100 minutes of flight, - thinking that if Japan and South Korea has a high velocity train system like Eurostar, perhaps we can be in Osaka in about 4 hours, I arrived at Kansai airport. To my knowledge, Osaka is a center of small business in Japan, while Tokyo is a center of big business. In many aspects, these two cities have been competing, and obviously still Tokyo is no.1 and Osaka is no.2. Osaka is the center of Nishi Nippon (West Japan) and Tokyo is the center of Higashi Nippon (East Japan).
The first thing is about food. McDonnald in Japan is A- OK food, not that much of junk impression. And naturally all Japanese car commericials, rarely added German car commercials, and none of American cars or any other cars in the world. Another type of commercials are for soaps, cleaners, and chemicals for households - clean the house ! Last, except the TV series (like Madmen, 30 Rock, Office or whatever the show), group talks are very popular and secret games are also very popular. This type of show is quite rare in the States, which they use it as one to one format, while in Japan, they do it as group to group fashion. You can see more than 20 people seating and talking at the same time for fun. Although Japan is now totally converted from 1940's totalitarian country to one of the most advanced industialized countries in the world in about 50 years and so much individualism prevailed the nation, still in the TV program shows, this type of talks are not rare scene. If you can sniff too much of sociopathologic smell, perhaps this statement could be withdrawn, but surely its "being together" fashion is not forgotten. Not so much different from Anthony Bourbon's kitchen exploration, they also provide lots of gourmet information, and the information on good spa (well, Japan is the nation of earthquake and spa) accompany them. It is a true pleausre to watch them all, as they are all accessible for domestic travelers, and the diversity and range of food from Northern end of Japan to Soutern end is almost close to France's southern beach of Nice or Canne to the Alps. It has four big islands, Hokkaido (in Chinese, this means simply northern sea island), Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu in order of North to South. Tokyo and Osaka are both in the biggest island of the country, and it takes 9 hours by bus, but takes only 3 hours by Shinkan-sen (New connecting-line as it is translaed).
Not quite likely from Tokyo, Osaka does not have extensive line of subway as much as Tokyo. But quite enough to travel for 2-3 days, and not that fancy stores are there, but still you can feel that it is Japan. Perhaps what you need to taste is Okonomiyaki (Grilled Octopus cake). It has some egg, sliced octopus, and dried gatsuobush crumb. If your area is close to Japanese sushi bar or Japanese restaurant, you might be able to taste this before you even visit Osaka or Tokyo, but in Osaka, it is much cheaper and delicious naturally. You can pay anywhere between 100-500 yen and get 5-7 balls of Okonomiyaki, and it is just great especially in November and hence in the entire winter. This was an introductory stuff just before I started travelling Osaka. Actually Osaka can be translated as big plate in Chinese characters while Tokyo is East city (East to Kyoto - they moved their capital city in Edo era).