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Osaka Live Cams

July 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Just in case you have time to kill at work or elsewhere, here are two live webcams I’ve found for Osaka.

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Osaka Insider Progress Report

June 3, 2010 2 comments

Osaka Insider here. It’s time for another progress report, where I make yet more excuses about why things are taking me so long 😛

As you can see, I have changed the design theme for my blog. I have done so for two reasons: (1) I wanted a better layout that allows for larger pictures and improved readability, and (2) I am finally starting to put together the main Osaka Insider website, which will be integrated with this blog upon release. I was originally planning on making it separately and then integrating the blog with the website later, but I’ve decided to stick with the free route and just create it with this blog at the center. I will probably get a domain name eventually, but seeing as how the website’s debut has been delayed more than predicted, I will just aim to get it up for the time being. Besides, I’m not doing this for money, so I don’t feel the need to start paying money for it unless I start receiving some first. I have had all the information and most of the photos gathered for a long time, and a majority of the text has been ready for awhile, but I haven’t had time to take care of all the little things.

The point is, I have started the tedious process of transferring all the info from the site I was building (using Dreamweaver) into WordPress, which will be followed by more rewriting, proofreading, and so forth. The blog will continue to be updated as usual.

Any thoughts on the new design? Feel free to e-mail me (see the “About section for contact info) or write a comment here! I personally like the straightforward, subdued design, and have also been influenced by the recent trend toward simplification (I’m sure you’ve noticed this with Google and Wikipedia, among others). The previous look seemed a bit dated, also.

Categories: Uncategorized

Osaka Insider will be Outside This Week

April 27, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m heading back to visit my homeland for the first time in two and a half years. Oregon, USA. So this time around, I’ll let some fellow bloggers do the talking for me.

Thanks to all you bloggers out there for continuing to provide insightful and fascinating content! For everyone in Japan: have a safe and enjoyable Golden Week vacation!

Categories: Uncategorized

Osaka Insider Progress Report 2

January 27, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s come time to make my second progress report on the status of the Osaka Insider website.

But first I would like to call attention to two new features I have added to this blog: the e-mail subscription and RSS feed subscription buttons near the top of the sidebar. Using either (or both) of these features, you can conveniently monitor updates to my blog. The subscription function for individual post comments is still available as before. You can also find me on Twitter (username: osakainsider). I hope these features will make it easier for you, the reader, to follow and enjoy Osaka Insider.

The Osaka Insider website has not progressed as fast as I’d like, but that is mostly because I am not willing to cut corners and leave out information that may be useful to potential readers. The number of sightseeing spots and facilities to be included on the site at launch is approximately 120, which includes not only individual facilities and sites, but large sites comprising various facilities within (Banpaku Memorial Park, Namba underground shopping, etc). I have completed about 95% the pages for these sightseeing spots. Further, I have scrapped the labor-intensive idea of trying to make my own access maps for each place, and instead decided to use customized Google Maps for this feature–the folks over at Google obviously make way better maps than I can. I am starting to focus more on the gourmet and nightlife sections now, which is the bulk of the work remaining for the site. Speaking of nightlife and gourmet, I welcome any recommendations by Osaka residents or former residents, as I believe word of mouth is one of the best ways to get good information.

The purpose of my website is to provide a comprehensive database of information that can be easily accessed and utilized anytime by those who are in, plan to visit, or have interest in Osaka. I took much of my inspiration for this from japan-guide.com, which is an excellent site that provides concise and useful tourist information. This blog will become part of that site, providing a dynamic and flexible forum to report new things, write articles about Osaka and Japan in general, and supply fresh information. By combining the dynamic format of this blog with the extensive information provided by the website, I hope to create the best source of information. There is a tremendous lack of information regarding Osaka in English, and I hope to be the one who changes that. The site will, of course, expand beyond its already wide scope once I get the beast online. I have more than 100 other spots that I am not currently using at the site because there is not information available on them, I have not physically visited them, or because I am still evaluating them to see if they meet standards (I refuse to post poor recommendations just to inflate my sightseeing list).

I am also putting more effort into increasing traffic on this blog, and researching SEO stuff in preparation for my future site launch. One of the best resources for not only increasing blog readership but gaining inspiration and just entertaining myself throughout the week has been my fellow bloggers, whose links who can find in my blogroll on the right-hand side. It is these people who establish standards of quality to strive for, and who make the online community such a rich place.

You can read all website progress reports here.

As always, suggestions, comments, or ideas for what you want to see on this blog or on the website are welcome.

osakainsider AT gmail DOT com

Happy New Year From Osaka!

January 1, 2010 Leave a comment

I wish a happy New Year to all my readers! I hope 2010 will bring you success and happiness!

Categories: Uncategorized

Osaka-ben

October 25, 2009 2 comments

One interesting feature of Japanese culture is that it is separated into many subcultures existing very close to one another–it is not a large country, but geographical features have divided communities throughout history, causing different traditions and linguistic customs to form. One feature of these unique subcultures is their dialects.

Which brings me to Osaka dialect (Osaka-ben), one of the Kansai/Kinki dialects that has become well-known throughout Japan thanks to its widespread use by comedians, and thanks to Osaka’s cultural influence. While it may seem daunting at first, Osaka-ben is smooth, assertive, and jovial, and if you live here it is worth your while to learn about it, even just for the purpose of understanding others. It sounds quite different from standard Japanese, or hyojungo.

I suggest visiting this site if you are a student of Japanese or new to the Kansai/Osaka area to get familiar with Osaka-ben and Kansai-ben in general. This guide is clear and concise (except for a few odd romanizations), and it really helped me when I first moved here. Please note that this is a personal recommendation, and I have no affiliation with the site.

Osaka Insider: Progress Report

October 8, 2009 Leave a comment

I have added the Osaka Insider: Progress Report section, which concerns the progress of the Osaka Insider website (still under development). Also, I have published parts 1 and 2 of my Lake Biwa trip story (with more to come), so please take a look if you have a chance!