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Food Culture in Osaka, Japan

by Jack Guy

Jan 13, 2020

Japan ranks again, with Osaka in third place. The jump from 14th place last year is again credited to the city’s decreased crime rate and upgraded public transportation. The main thing separating Osaka from Tokyo? Low availability of high-quality housing in the latter. © Tawatchai Prakobkit | dreamstime.com

Trends / Food & Drink

Osaka is known as the most food-obsessed of Japan’s major cities, and visitors will soon find out why.


Locals use the word kuidaore, which translates as something along the lines of “eat until you drop”; that tells you everything you need to know about their attitude to food. They are also known for their exacting standards, which mean sub-par restaurants are quickly squeezed out of business.


Luckily for visitors this means almost every restaurant serves great food in Osaka, not to mention the many markets and street food stands that also deserve your attention. Even better, some of the most iconic Osaka dishes are cheap and cheerful, so budget travelers won’t be excluded from the party.


One of the best is t grilled octopus in battered balls. You’ll find this everywhere you go at street stalls. Kushikatsu is another popular snack, a catch-all term for battered and deep-fried pieces of food. Then there is okonomiyaki, a kind of pancake with egg, shredded cabbage and any number of meat or fish ingredients.


Check out the Dotonbori district near Namba station, where food vendors are packed into tight streets dominated by neon signs. A calmer atmosphere can be found in the traditional Shinsekai district, and the Kitashinchi district is also worth a look.


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