Osaka has a style and charisma unlike anywhere else in Japan. The country’s third-largest city can’t compete with Tokyo for scale; it doesn’t have the capital’s vast range of bars, clubs and restaurants. And nearby Kyoto, with its famously quaint temples, gardens and tea houses, beats it for classic Japanese charm.
But Osaka more than makes up for that with its food scene—considered by many to be the most exciting in Japan—its lively nightlife and its friendly people. Osakans are known as great talkers, and many of Japan’s top comedians come from the city.
The 2011 Michelin guide gives three Osaka restaurants the highest rating of three stars. Read more