People tend to have different treats, habits and personalities depending on their upbringing and where they come from, while I’d like to write about my point of view about different countries, I think I’ll save this topic for another blog.
Instead I will focus about Japan covering Tokyo vs Osaka (Kanto and Kansai) since these are the two regions that I have most experience in when it comes to interacting with people and such (Note that my experience in Tokyo is far longer than any other region in Japan).
My first impression about Tokyo is that of a busy city, with people working hard, having time to socialize with friends and family.
When I came to Japan whenever I wanted to meet up with friends, I had to arrange a day with friends a month or more in advance which was shocking for me seeing how they lived in the same city as I did.
There’s also how the city itself looked;
It definitely gave a modern city look , with few temples/ shrines here and there given a slight traditional vibe.
Osaka on the other-hand, while the streets and building are not that different from Tokyo, people had a different vibe. When I went to Osaka people came up to me more often, they eagerly approached me wanting to know why I came to Japan and if I’m enjoying the trip (similar thing happened in Kobe and Kyoto).
While people from Osaka are similar to Tokyo struggling to have leisure time with their busy lifestyle, it was easier to meet up with friends than it was in Tokyo.^^
Another point worth mentioning is that Osaka gave a more touristy vibe than Tokyo did, despite the large amount of tourists coming to Tokyo on a monthly basis.
You can’t talk about Kanto and Kansai without mentioning dialects (accents) and food.
Of course having lived in Tokyo for over a year and studying standard Japanese means that I can understand what people say from Kanto with ease compared to Kansai’s.
Still, I can’t deny that I love Kansai dialect more and I would like to pick it up or at least be able to imitate it (it will be my next challenge).
Here’s an example to show the difference between the two; Kanto (ちがいますchigai-masu = That’s wrong) Kansai (ちゃうねんChau-nen = That’s wrong).
Then we have food.
This is a huge topic and deserves it’s own blog so I will briefly cover one dish from each region (Okonomiyaki vs Monjayaki).
Okonomiyaki is essentially Japanese pancake filled with different ingredients topped with sauces and fish flakes.
Monjayaki uses similar base ingredients but, it’s cooked and eaten differently, not having an identifiable shape like a Okonomiyaki’s pancake shape and eaten with a special spoon like tool as it continues to cook.
I really like both regions and I enjoy identifying the differences between them.
Also I would like to experience living in a different region plus, Kyoto is in Kansai and that happens to be my favorite city worldwide.
Japanese people themselves tend to have a mix view as to which part is the better region.
If you get the chance to visit both then I would definitely recommend that you take that chance and go for it however, if you can only go to one then do your research prior to travelling and see what fits your preferences.