How long have you been in Osaka?
I’ve been here for around 6 years.
How/ why did you end up in Osaka?
I originally came here to study as a ryuugakusei [study abroad student.] My mom’s friend came to Japan to do his master’s. I didn’t know anything about Japan before that, but after talking to him and him telling me how nice Osaka is, I had pretty much set my mind on studying in Osaka. I was worried about schools in Osaka because I didn’t know any Japanese, but he told me there’s nothing to worry about and said I would do well, so I just said, “Osaka it is!”
What do you like about living in Osaka?
I like the people, the vibe, and especially the food. I also like the places! Osaka is a big place and there is a lot of beautiful nature. I like to go hiking, and Osaka has a lot of spots that I can always go visit; there’s mountain climbing, there are rivers, there are spots you can go camping, it’s all just really beautiful.
Also, the people are really kind and nice. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that when you come to Osaka, you initially don’t know how long you’ll live here, but the vibe keeps you here.
Osaka to me is beautiful, in every aspect. Of course, sometimes we miss home, but I think it would be much worse if I were anywhere else.
What does Osaka mean to you? Why did you choose to write your message on the board, that your Osaka is “Beautiful?”
As I said, Osaka is beautiful; the people, the places, the vibe. I have found a lot of friends in Osaka, and it really helps to have people that you can always talk to and hang out with. You can of course experience Osaka alone, but it is a lot more fun with other people.
The food of course is amazing, and I get a lot of questions like, “what’s your favorite food?” and there isn’t one thing I don’t like, but I actually think that the people are my favorite part. If you are lost, someone will always come help you. It is very heartwarming.
Do you have any recommended spots in Osaka, queer or not?
While I do like dancing, singing, and having a good time, I am not so much of a nightlife person, but I enjoy nature a lot. If you like to go hiking, I really recommend climbing Mt. Kongo. I’ve actually met someone who has hiked Mt. Kongo over 200 times! It is one of my goals to hike it as many times as they have.
As for places to hang out, I think that the Shinsaibashi and Namba area has a lot of fun places, like bars and clubs. I think a lot of people go to the Drunken Clam because it is a nice place to drink, sing karaoke, and meet other foreigners. It is a very friendly place.
In Doyama, I would recommend Village. It is a gay bar, but a lot of straight people go there with their gay friends. There are a lot of other queer spaces just around Village, too. For anyone who wants to meet other queer people, Doyama is a great place to start.
Do you have any advice for LGBTQ travelers coming to Japan and Osaka?
My best advice is to explore as much as you can. Osaka has so much more to offer than just what is in the city center. Farther out there are many options in nature, so spending the days out in nature and then coming back to the city at night is a good option.