I am from a small town in Oregon and have lived in Japan for a number of years. I studied Japanese, Asian studies and history at the University of Oregon and Waseda University (in Tokyo) before heading across the Pacific to live in Japan for good. I previously lived in Tokyo and Toyama City, but Osaka City has been my only long-term home in Japan. My interests include history, languages, travel, music, and many other things. Through this blog I hope to introduce you to all the great things Osaka Prefecture and Osaka City have to offer its visitors and foreign residents.

I am currently working on a tourism and lifestyle website that will go by the same name as this blog (Osaka Insider), and I plan to link the two up to create what I hope will be an original, useful, and fascinating online resource. In recent years, Osaka has finally started receiving more attention as a travel destination, but in a Tokyo-centric country, and with Kyoto (the biggest tourism draw in Japan) and a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites right next door, competition is fierce. However, tourism has boomed in recent years in Japan, and the prefectural government and local businesses here are working particularly hard at promoting Osaka, so the future looks bright. I hope to contribute to those efforts through my work.

I hope you enjoy reading my blog!

Note: I welcome link exchanges with interesting sites, so please don’t hesitate to contact me at:
osakainsider AT gmail DOT com

  1. Caroline
    August 10, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Cool blog, what a great idea! I think touristy destinations are always fun, but you should blog about the food and stuff like that, too. I think some people get apprehensive about Japanese food, etc. so maybe some examples would help alleviate anxiety…if you catch my drift. 😉

  2. September 22, 2009 at 12:10 am

    Hi! My friend and I are planning to go to Osaka this November! I’ve always wanted to go to Japan so I’m particularly excited about this trip. What do you think is the most important thing we should not forget to visit or do in Osaka? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated! Thanks very much!

    • osakainsider
      September 23, 2009 at 11:12 am

      I think you should definitely go to Namba, around the Dotombori area–this shows the true character of Osaka. It’s best at night, by the way, and there are a lot of great restaurants open late and bars/clubs open all night in the area.

      I would also highly recommend the Umeda Sky Building (it has a nice observatory overlooking the city), Osaka Castle Park (and the nearby Osaka Museum of History, if you like museums), and a taking a boat cruise along the city’s rivers/canals (you can catch a boat from Osaka Castle Park, and some even connect to Namba directly). Info about boat cruises can be found at http://suijo-bus.jp/language/english/ — have fun!

      • September 24, 2009 at 3:09 am

        Yup, I like museums! Thank you very much! I’ll tell my friend about these! Um, what’s the weather like up there during November? Here in the Philippines it’s usually hot. I hope the weather is conducive to walking tours!

      • osakainsider
        September 24, 2009 at 8:47 am

        It’s usually sunny and clear but fairly cool in November, so you can walk around but you may need a sweater/jacket. I am from a colder climate, so the weather in November seems really nice, but for you it may be a bit cold.

      • September 25, 2009 at 3:03 am

        Yey! No, I like cold weather! I’m really getting excited about this trip. I’ve always wanted to go there since I’ve started watching anime and reading manga. From there, I’ve started getting curious about your history and culture.

  3. October 16, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Helpful site. I’d like to link out to it from japandemic sometime soon. Thanks.

    In the words of Shonen Knife: “My favoreetoh town: Osaka!”

    Keep on Keepin’ On!

  4. December 9, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    I like your posts especially when you point out the differences between Osakans and Tokyoites. I was wondering, is your Japanese good enough so that you can hear the different accent between Osaka and Tokyo? I understand that for native Japanese it’s pretty obvious, sort of like a Southern Drawl versus the New England, uh, brogue I guess. At any rate, keep up the good work.
    Your pal in D.C. -Kevin

  5. AlexS
    January 15, 2010 at 8:28 am

    I really enjoy your blog. It’s funny and informative, always a great combo. 🙂

    I’ll be following your blog!


  6. January 30, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    Found your site thru the More Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan blog. I am enjoying following your site. I hope to visit Japan next year (gotta save money) and have been looking for sites to help me find where I want to go when I get there. Thanks!

  7. Tokyo1983
    March 28, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Hi! Nice blog :) 東京出身だけれど、大阪が大好きな私。更新楽しみにしています!I’m currently living in your country, but I miss Japan so much! 次に日本に帰ったときには大阪に足を運びたいと思っています!ぜひ、色々紹介して下さい!

    • April 7, 2010 at 6:59 pm

      大阪が大好き東京人は珍しいですよね :) 嬉しい!もちろん大阪に来てくれたら案内します!

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    April 7, 2010 at 8:05 pm

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  9. June 1, 2010 at 5:45 am

    Your Blog is awesome! I just read 1 hour in it 🙂
    Looking forward for more interesting reports!

  10. Chad
    June 23, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Great blog!I’ve been entertaining thoughts of relocating to Japan recently.My wife is originally from Nara.

  11. louis
    June 26, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    How about on your fine Blog you teach us a few words,like konnichiwa and the english word and so forth.I feel it would be a great help for those who love traveling around Japan and it could be placed under categories.
    Arigato (thank you)
    Regards from down under from ours to yours

  12. September 10, 2010 at 8:10 am

    your website has helped me big time in planning for my trip to osaka. ill be in japan from sunday (Sept 12) until Saturday (Sept 18). my last stop will be Osaka (Sept 18) and I wish to visit Namba parks, Osaka Castle and Umeda Sky Building. your posts to these spots helped me big time on what station to go. I’m staying at Royal Pines Hotel so I’ll take a train from Moriguchi to these spots. Any dos and donts when i get around these places?

    Great blog! Thanks!

    Dong Ho
    from Philippines

  13. Kei
    September 27, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    No Ichi-ran on your Ramen Guide?? Tsk Tsk….

  14. obi
    December 25, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Marry XMAS

  15. John
    January 27, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Great website – keep it up – I’m definitely staying tuned – thank you 🙂

  16. Isaac and Megan
    February 9, 2011 at 6:04 am

    We just stumbled across your blog and we’re very excited about it! Great blog! My wife and I are moving to Osaka in August on a two year contract. I think that we just found the number one resource for enjoying Osaka! So much better than Lonely Planet! Thank you. If you have any tips on where best to live when work is 10km north west of the city centre and you want to live somewhere urban and stimulating then we’re all ears!

  17. louis
    February 19, 2011 at 8:21 am

    Why not in you new environment call it the explorer

  18. Kathie
    April 28, 2011 at 8:21 pm


    My name is Kathie. I am a 54 year, young, Canadian presently teaching in Korea. I will be in Osaka from Sunday May 1st, 2011 to Friday May 6th, 2011. I have read your list of places to try ramen. Do you think I could handle trying all of them in 5 days? Slurp, slurp, slurp, without boredom setting in? I would then do a write up too.

    If you care to join me, at at least one of the places listed, feel free to email me.

    Best regards,


  19. Kathie
    April 28, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    After sending you a message, and invitation to eat ramen with me while I am in Osaka, I learned that you are now setting up in a new city.

    Here is my suggestion for your new blog’s name.

    ‘Foraging in Fukuoka City’

    for·age (fôrj, fr-)

    1. Food for domestic animals; fodder.

    2. The act of looking or searching for food or provisions.

    v. for·aged, for·ag·ing, for·ag·es

    1. To wander in search of food or provisions.

    2. To make a raid, as for food: soldiers foraging near an abandoned farm.

    3. To conduct a search; rummage.

    Best of luck!


  20. qq
    August 27, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Any other recommendations for restaurants in Osaka?

    Also I couldn’t tell in which order you would recommend the ramen restaurants.
    I’m planning to try a few but we aren’t in Osaka long enough to try all.

  21. CMR
    October 27, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    I’m about to spend a month in Osaka, & your blog is the best source of ”real” insight I’ve come across, kudos sir.

  22. December 12, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Great finding this blog via StumbleUpon. I am an Osaka blogger, too – osakabentures isn’t hard to find. In Twitter, and nearly everywhere, I am @osakasaul Say hi some time! #ookini

  23. Seranda
    December 17, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Hey so I have a question…. It`s getting closer and closer to New Years Eve and we can:t figure out where to go. We want to hit the town in Osaka and just have an awesome crazy night…. We are a group of girls. I am Aussie and my friends are … from all over. We like bars and clubs. Anywhere that has a good atmosphere… Any advice??

  24. Kwipex
    March 27, 2012 at 10:48 am

    I tried those ramen places as you mentioned in your blog. I tried out Kio, Kinryu, Sodaisho etc. It was fantastic! the pieces of fat from the chasu actually melted in my mouth! I left those shops singing.

    Thanks!! Otherwise I might have been eating out of the Matsuya fast food chains!!

    You’re a champion!

  25. eihongo
    August 21, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    nice blog, keep up the good work. best wishes

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