Osaka is known for its modern architecture, nightlife and hearty street food.
Osaka prefecture is the second biggest metropolitan area in Japan with over 19 million inhabitants and its capital Osaka alone being home to 9 million people. Osaka is a young and vibrant city, with 61% being between 15 to 64 years old. As of 2015, Osaka is home to around 210,250 foreigners (2.4% of the total population), making it the second favorite city to live in for foreigners after Tokyo.
Osaka is home to Kansai International Airport and thus makes it easily reachable from both abroad and within Japan. The airport is located on an artificial island in the middle of Osaka Bay and the city center (Namba) can be reached within an hour by direct train.
Many people agree on Osaka being a unique place. The Osaka dialect (or more generally put, the Kansai dialect) is strictly speaking just one of many different Japanese dialects but is still regarded as rather unique within the dialect universe. Osaka natives use a different intonation, different grammar forms and different words. The dialect sounds so funny to other Japanese, that it is often connected to comedy and thus even often used in manga to make a character appear more comical. In fact, Osaka is famous throughout Japan for its comedians. One very popular comedian topic in TV are for example Osaka no Obachan (Osaka grannies), who like to wear very flashy clothing and are, well, unique in their behaviour.
Osaka Castle, built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, is regarded as the symbol of the city. The bustling district of Namba is a popular place, both for shopping and going out. Tourists will stop on the Ebisu Bridge in front of the Glico Man and copy its pose while being photographed. And no matter how full your belly is, wander along Dotonburi and you will always find a place to eat and satisfy your foody needs. Because Osaka is not just known for its dialect and funny people, but is also regarded as food heaven because Osaka people love to eat.
Another thing that makes Osaka people very lovable is their deep love for Baseball and their home team Hanshin Tigers. Hanshin Tigers are not necessarily known for winning every single game but this does not let their fans’ love waver. In fact, Hanshin Tiger fans sometimes jump from the bridges into the canals in Dotonburi to express their feelings for this team. As a result, No Diving signs face been erected but needless to say, it doesn’t stop the hardcore fan from jumping.
Besides baseball games, Osaka is famous for its Danjiri Matsuri that is taking place one a year in Kishiwada. Danjiri Matsuri is a 300-year old festival famous for its men that pull the wagons at an enormous speed through the streets.
You crave more excitement? Universal Studios Japan (USJ) is a huge theme park whose attractions center around famous Hollywood movies like Jurassic Park, Spiderman or Harry Potter (yes, there is a whole Harry Potter world). If you are more into the underwater world, then one of the world’s biggest aquariums, the Kaiyukan, awaits you.
As already mentioned, Osaka is widely popular for its food scene and its atmosphere.
Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki, Negiyaki etc are typical dishes for Osaka. Kushikatsu is a relatively modern dish that is also often enjoyed in Osaka. And if you ever felt like eating Fugu (pufferfish), then Osaka might be a good place to start. Miso soup is typically made with white miso and round mochi is eaten at New Year.
The average rent for a one room apartment in the more popular area of Osaka is around 65.000 Yen monthly, whereas other areas’ rent is between 45.000 to 65.000 Yen monthly.
Living expenses in total including electricity, internet, mobile phone, food and entertainment should be calculated with roughly 130.000 to 200.000 Yen monthly.