I think the people of Osaka are friendly, especially the foreign community. It’s fun, you can go to any place and you’ll find something that’s happening. You can always find a new café or something new that’s popping up, and there’s always events going on. And there’s the food! Different parts of Osaka specialize in different foods, like how everybody goes to Shinsaibashi to get takoyaki. If you go to Tsuruhashi you can get Korean food, and if you go to Shin-sekai you can get karaage fried chicken. Everywhere you go has a different feel, like different cities within the city.
I chose to live in Osaka because I felt that Tokyo was too big for me, andI also wanted to go somewhere that would be welcoming in the LGBT community. I had visited Osaka before and experienced the community, and chose this to be the next place I called home.
When out on my own, some of my favorite places to go are Nakanoshima or Utsubo Park, as well as Shitennoji Temple. I also like cafes, and you can go anywhere in Osaka and there’s always a unique café that anyone can try out. When I want to show people around and have fun I like going to Kyobashi or Tsuruhashi to look around and just feel the Osaka atmosphere.
There’s this new place in Kyobashi called Toyo that was recently featured in a Netflix documentary, where the man cooks the food on the grill in front of you with a flamethrower and his bare hands, it’s really fun to watch! I also like going to Expo ’70 Memorial Park because the KFC there has all-you-can-eat chicken.
I used to live in Hirakata City, so I also like the Yodogawa River.
I generally like Kita Ward because it’s where a lot of gay people live, so that’s where the community is and the bars are. My favorite gay bar is Yuntaku in Doyama! Yuntaku means “hello” in Okinawan, and it’s run by two of my great friends. The main crowd there is gachimuchi, meaning larger guys, so if you are one or like larger guys, it’s the place for you!
Grand Slam is also one of my favorite gay bars.
~ Leon ~