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 with me. Some, usually older generations, may stare, but the average Nagoyan avoids it. It feels easier to approach or chat up an Osakan because of this.
Being a tourist in Osaka, I wanted to eat out and sample different foods. I had trouble enjoying the meals, though, because everyone smokes! The Osaka specialties, e.g., takoyaki, ramen, and okonomiyaki all all tasted like cigarettes. Even my water did. I did a head at two restaurants in Namba.
- Smokers: 16, Non-Smokers: 2 (girlfriend and me).
- Smokers: 8, Non-Smokers: 4 (girlfriend and me, mother and daughter).
Everywhere I went I noticed there were so many smokers. Is all of Osaka like this? Nagoya has plenty of smokers, but Osaka definitely has more. When in Tokyo, I didn’t notice as many smokers.
In terms of fashion, Osakans seemed more basic than Nagoyans. They were fashionable, but I didn’t see many chara-chara or gyaru styles. Nagoya is well know around Japan for these. However, I thought there were a significant number of young adults dressed like anime characters. You can see cosplay in Nagoya, but it’s usually for an event. The people I saw in Osaka were doing cosplay but doing normal things like reading books in a coffee shop, eating ramen with friends, and walking around the shopping district.
It felt like there were fewer cars on the roads in Osaka. There is traffic everywhere in Nagoya and I think the car ownership rates are much higher than other big cities in Japan.