Ōsaka & Nagoya

My girlfriend and I went to USJ in Ōsaka for her birthday. To make things a little more interesting for me, she agreed that we could go to the Ōsaka Aquarium, since I have no interest in theme or amusement parks. Traveling with my girlfriend is an interesting experience. She usually makes a jam packed schedule with many things to do.

The last time I was in Ōsaka was in Nov 2005 when I first came to Japan. I stayed in the Namba area and was wide-eyed and in shock about the differences from my home in Canada. During this visit, four years later, I was desensitized. Not many things in Japan surprise me anymore. The reason I am posting is because I would like to compare some of the differences I noticed between Ōsaka and Nagoya.

The first thing I noticed was that Osakans are not afraid to make eye contact. In Nagoya, at least in my experience, many try to avoid eye contact. Some, usually older generations, may stare but the average Nagoyan avoids it. This can affect your pick-up game in a serious way. For me, I like to make a bit of eye contact before I approach a girl. If eye contact is avoided, you’re left with no choice but to make your move from the blind side (not good). Maybe the surprise element throws us both off …

Being a tourist I want to eat out and sample different foods. The problem? Everyone smokes! Isn’t it interesting how my takoyaki, ramen, okonomiyaki, and water all taste like cigarettes? Head count from two restaurants I went to in the Namba area.

  1. Smokers: 16, Non-Smokers: 2 (girlfriend and I).
  2. Smokers: 8, Non-Smokers: 4 (girlfriend and I; mother and daughter).

Everywhere I went I noticed there were so many smokers. Is all of Osaka like this? In Nagoya there are plenty of smokers, but Osaka has more. When in Tokyo, I didn’t notice many smokers, then again I was there for less than a day.

In terms of fashion Osakans seemed a bit more basic than Nagoyans. Osakans were very fashionable, but not as many chara-chara or gyaru. But there were more young adults in Osaka that look like anime characters, e.g., face, hairstyle, hair color and fashion.

It also felt like there were fewer cars on the roads in Ōsaka. In Nagoya there is traffic pretty much everywhere, even though there is a great public transportation system.

Please take note that these are generalizations.
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