“But you’ve never even been to Tokyo. How do you know that you hate it?” I asked.
“Because I just know. Tokyo people are cold.”
I didn’t push the subject further. It wasn’t the first time I had heard an Osakan speak badly about its rival up north. I have met so many Osakans that have strong, negative feelings about Tokyo. The same can also be said about Tokyoites regarding Osakans, although it seems that their feelings aren’t as strong as vice-versa. Some Tokyoites like Osaka, others don’t. The ones who dislike Osaka seem surprised that anyone would come to Japan and live in Osaka. “Why not come to Tokyo and live there? We have everything you could want in Tokyo. Why are you living here?” they ask me.
Of course, this rivalry between domestic cities can be found in any other country in the world, not just in Japan.
Despite Osakans’ tendency to be louder than the rest of Japan and more raucous, I guess I can finally say that I appreciate Osakans’ honesty. They, as opposed to people from other parts of Japan, seem much less shy about expressing their opinions. In this regard, it is often said by non-Osakans that Osaka is “like another country.”
Sometimes, it can be hard for foreigners to understand the vague way in which some Japanese communicate. Living in Osaka, it seems, makes this a little easier.