I am visiting Osaka on the occasion of presenting a session "日本語学習者の多いインド・プネーの翻訳業界 (Translation Industry in Pune, India, The City Houses Many Japanese Learners)" at IJET-29 hosted by JAT (Japan Association of Translators.) I am planning to summarize each slide of PowerPoint created for this session in English later.
Last time I was in Osaka as a junior high school student for a school trip, so I can say this is almost the first visit to the city. Just a couple of days so far of being here, though, I am profoundly regretting why I have never been here before. Osaka is the city housing a unique culture and extremely modern cityscape together.
I have recognised a lot many pleasant differences of Osaka from particularly Tokyo and Fukuoka (my hometown.) People here are naturally kind and supportive towards tourists and strangers. When we lost in finding our hotel on the day one at the gigantic Osaka Station, many people stopped and asked us if any problems and tried to help us.
In spite of experiencing a major earthquake and aftershocks fortnight ago, Osaka people welcomed us like this with a warm heart, and I could feel the great resilience in their spirit.
Osaka is known for "kuidaore" culture, meaning that one cannot help spending up all money on food because of so many gourmet options, and we may not be exceptional! I enjoyed tako-yaki, okonomiyaki, ika-yaki, kushi-age, gyoza, yakisoba, and even including fast-food fried chicken; all are super yummy! And not so cheap.. ;)
Kushiage - 元祖串かつ だるま
(The man on the signboard warns us, "Dip the skewed cutlet in your hand only once, not another time!")
I love Osaka and feel lucky to meet many wonderful people from IJET as well. I look forward to keeping in touch with them.