Osaka

Visiting Osaka’s Umeda Sky Building, one of the “Top 20 Buildings in the world”

Built in 1994 and standing just a few hundred meters from Osaka Station, the Umeda Sky Building drew large crowds when it first opened, thanks to its unique design of two high-rise buildings connected at the top by the Floating Garden Observatory.

Once pulling in around a million visitors each year, in the days since attendance had dropped to about half that as the building’s novelty wore off and people became used to its towering presence. Having lived nearby for around a decade myself, I have to admit that I’d never been to see it. It looked nice and all but there didn’t seem to be much of a draw.

But it appears I was wrong. In 2014, attendance to the Umeda Sky Building has shot back up to about 975,000, and there are hopes that it will hit the million once mark again this year. Interested to see what this new fervor is all about, I hopped on a train to have a look around this possibly under-appreciated landmark.

Read More

Seniors in Osaka less than thrilled at government offer to review their pension spending habits

There are certain privileges that come along with adulthood. For example, if I decide I really want to eat a bag of cookies for dinner or stay up until sunrise playing video games, there’s really not a whole lot any other person can do to stop me (even if my body is likely to eventually break down in protest of the unhealthy lifestyle).

Likewise, one you hit the age where you stop getting an allowance from your parents and start earning a legitimate paycheck, you’re generally considered to have earned the freedom to spend your money however you want. And just like you wouldn’t take kindly to someone trying to reinstate a bed time for you, seniors in Osaka aren’t too crazy about a government offer to check up on how they’re spending their government-administered pensions.

Read More

Osaka shop owner in trouble for advertising “100-yen Molotov cocktails”

Police paid a visit to an eatery in the America Mura area of downtown Osaka after several images of a restaurant advertising improvised incendiary bombs known as Molotov cocktails began floating around on Twitter.

Sure enough, in front of the restaurant sat a plastic box with eight beer bottles stuffed with cloths and a sign that read Molotov Cocktails: One for 100 yen (US$0.84).

Read More

Tantalizing Osaka advertisement lures in certain unsuspecting, unsober passersby

A rather risqué advertisement somewhere in Osaka has been drawing quite the attention from passersby. It exploded in popularity when one Japanese Twitter user uploaded a picture of the poster online for the world to see. But just what about it, besides some woman’s attractively long legs, makes it such a brilliant advertising scheme? Wait till you read what said Twitter user said he saw one person doing beneath the picture. 

Read More

Japanese netizens proud to see Tokyo named safest city in the world, Osaka number three

Japan had plenty to boast last week when Tokyo was named as the safest city in the world by The Economist, with Osaka coming in a respectable third. Netizens were proud that even with Tokyo’s famously terrible (and sometimes dangerous) commutes and Osaka’s penchant for strange crimes, the two cities stood out to claim top spots among some of the largest cities in the world.

Click below to find out what made the two Japanese cities rank so high and which other cities made the list!

Read More

Seven cool things set to happen in Japan during 2015

If there’s one thing we know, it’s that you should always wash your hands after going to the bathroom. If there’re two things we know, though, the second is that you’ll never get anywhere in life being fixated on the past. So while 2014 was a pretty good year for us, we’re already looking to the year ahead, which is already promising seven cool happenings for Japan in 2015.

Read More

Skinny Japanese man isn’t skinny enough, makes greatest face at realization!【Photos】

Japanese people have a stereotype for being incredibly tiny. Grown men and women can shop in the “junior” section, which is a handy way to save a bit of money, especially when buying some brand name items. But just because you “can” doesn’t mean you “should“. One Japanese “baller” finds out the hard way that some children-only items should really only be used by children. Unless you are looking for a new and permanent metal chastity belt.

Read More

“Let them eat furikake!” says Mayor Hashimoto as Osaka school lunch saga rumbles on

He’s known for his outspoken and often controversial opinions, from saying that civil servants who have tattoos should resign, to denying the forcible recruitment of South Korean “comfort women” during the second world war.

But it was an intense debate about whether students should be allowed to have furikake seasoning with their school lunch that left city mayor Tōru Hashimoto scratching his head this week as he asked the Osaka Board of Education: “What’s wrong with furikake?!”

Read More

Store employee uses barcode scanner to defeat knife-wielding robber

Being a big city, Osaka falls victim to criminal activity more frequently than the rest of the sleepy countryside surrounding it. But still, the criminals they do have in this “big bad” city, seem to be lacking in… experience? Guts? Commitment?

Back in May we saw the convenience store robber who got outsmarted by a clerk after a series of unfortunate decisions on his part. The other day, another wannabe convenience store robber started his raid out well, but gave up pretty easily after some quick thinking and scolding by the store attendant.

Read More

“We don’t want to be girls. We just want to be cute!” The future of crossdressing in Osaka

Tokyo’s Onna no ko kurabu, or Girls’ Club, has a simple mission statement: it’s a place where anybody can enjoy dressing in girls’ clothing. The bar’s staff aims to help men who may be crossdressing for the first time, providing clothes to choose from as well as a dedicated make-up service.

And now, Girls’ Club is spreading the cuteness a little further, with the opening of a second store in the heart of Osaka’s entertainment district.

Read More

Osaka man imprisoned on rape conviction released in exceptional reversal of charges

An Osaka man convicted of rape three and a half years ago and sentenced to a 12-year prison sentence has been released after new evidence revealed the man’s accuser had provided false testimony.

The man – whom Japanese news outlets are not naming – was accused of raping the same woman in both 2004 and 2008, and sexually assaulting her once again later in 2008. The guilty verdict was apparently based largely on the woman’s testimony and that of at least one eyewitness, but the trial seems to have lacked any physical evidence provided by prosecutors.

Read More

Osaka police looking for woman who jumped in front of train, lived, and ran away

Weirdness broke out on the afternoon of 16 November in Osaka. Several witness claimed to have seen a woman jump onto the tracks of Izumiotsu Station just as a train was approaching. However, after the train arrived there was no sign of injury and the woman was last seen running away on the platform.

How the woman got on the tracks, survived the train, or escaped is unclear and an investigation is underway. Internet detectives well-versed in manga, however, are assuming that she was summoned by a big black orb in an apartment somewhere.

Read More

11-year-old now youngest artist to join Dokuritsu Exhibition, teaches us to look on the dark side

One of the words for art in Japanese is bijutsu which contains the kanji character for “beauty” (美). That’s not to say that art is limited to images of beauty alone, however. Sometimes images considered superficially unpleasant can be seen as beautiful works as well. They have the power to push back the darkness of taboos and help us to overcome our own inhibiting fears and prejudices.

Those are pretty heavy concepts for sixth-grader Chifu Onishi, but she seems to have already excelled at them through her celebrated artwork such as Tsuki Ni Asobu (Play on the Moon) which was chosen as a part of the 82nd annual Dokuritsu Exhibition, an annual event that has featured some of Japan’s greatest artists in the past. This acknowledgement also earns the 11-year-old the recognition of being the youngest artist to ever take part.

Read More

Amazing nighttime video shows Osaka, Tokyo’s rival, has a skyline that’s second to none

Tokyo is so massive and bustling that sometimes it’s hard to remember that it doesn’t have a monopoly on urban splendor in Japan. Take Osaka, for example. Long Tokyo’s rival, in everything from business to baseball to samurai warfare, Osaka is known for its economic ambitiousness, comedic sensibilities, and tasty grub, but there’s one thing that’s often overlooked in media coverage of Osaka.

It looks absolutely beautiful at night.

Read More

Osaka man wipes away millions in owed taxes by deducting losing horse race tickets

It’s often said that nothing in life is certain except for death and taxes, but for one Osaka resident, that maxim was little more than an old wives’ tale.

One day, the taxman came calling to the tune of 816 million yen (US$7.7M) over years of unreported winning horse race bets. However, in a game where the house always wins, this guy managed to flip the script and knock down the money owed to a relatively modest 67 million yen ($635,000).

Read More

South Korean design company turns subway maps into beautiful artwork you can hang on your wall

The first time I went to Tokyo alone, I got lost within the first five minutes of arriving at Shinjuku Station, unable to comprehend why there were so many transfers to different lines going in different directions. Without mobile data on my phone, I was basically one of the ‘internet-less lost gaijin’ crippled by the lack of Google Maps who ended up befriending the station master at every transfer station because, without them, I would probably have had to spend the night hanging out with the buskers on the streets.

The maps in Japanese subway stations are not only confusing, they also look like multi-colored spaghetti or weird roller coasters, and I can clearly recall thinking how nice it would be to have a better-looking representation of the city’s train lines. Thankfully, it looks like South Korean design company Zero per Zero has fulfilled my wish with their subway map designs, which are becoming a hot topic on Reddit.

Read More

Kansai and Kanto prove again that they are each distinct regions when it comes to food

Tokyo and Osaka are only about 2.5 hours away by bullet train, so perhaps you wouldn’t think they’d be that different. But while Kanto (Tokyo, Yokohama, Chiba) holds the image of a glittering metropolis, Kansai (Osaka, Kyoto, Nara) is full of the old, historical aspects of Japan. The most commonly cited difference is the dialects of the two regions. For example, dame in Kanto-ben is akan in Kansai-ben, both meaning something like “wrong, no good.”

So when Japanese people were polled about their food habits, it wasn’t so surprising that the two regions answered very differently.

Read More

Osaka Station showered with photos of a teenage boy, two train otaku questioned by police

On the evening of 19 September, JR Osaka Station became the scene of unseasonable weirdness as dozens of photographs of an unknown teenage boy seen sitting on the train fell from the sky like giant snowflakes of randomness.

Upon investigating the incident, Osaka Prefectural Police found this to have been an act of revenge by what is fast becoming Japan’s most oddball sub-culture: train otaku.

Read More

Video showing convenience store workers being forced to kowtow to thugs leads to one arrest

In Japan, particularly online, you may come across the term DQN (dokyun). It’s a label reserved for those at the lowest order of intelligence and social graces and those who rank in the highest percentile for violence and general douchebag behavior.

Catching one of these creatures in their natural habitat of the streets is a rare but obnoxious treat. That’s why it’s awfully nice of them to record their own anti-social behavior so that we may study their ways in the comfort of our own home, and so the authorities can arrest and prosecute them all the more easily.

Take alleged DQN Tsuyoshi Nakamura for example, who along with some associates stands accused of harassing, threatening, and extorting from the entire staff of a FamilyMart convenience store in Ibaraki, Osaka. Nakamura is also under suspicion of forcing them to get on their knees and bow in apology, with the entire scene being uploaded to YouTube for all to see.

Read More

The most crowded train lines during rush hour in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya are…

Even though I could praise Japan’s efficient public transportation system for hours on end, there’s one major drawback about it that has left me traumatized on several occasions and never fails to induce terrifying flashbacks whenever I’m surrounded by too many people. You can probably guess what I’m talking about, right? Yup, it’s about how unbelievably crowded the country’s trains and subways can get during rush hour.

Anyone traveling in the Greater Tokyo Area or other metropolitan centers of Japan should be forewarned that the experience is not for the faint of heart–nor for the claustrophobic. I mean, you know it’s a bad sign when there are actually station staff on hand during peak rush hours to squeeze as many passengers as possible into each car. That said, if you’ve traveled or happen to live in Japan’s capital, you can undoubtedly sympathize with the following ranking of the most crowded train and subway lines in Tokyo at rush hour. And just so you don’t think Tokyo gets all the love, we’ve also thrown in the lists for Osaka and Nagoya, too!

Read More

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 18,328 other followers