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About Osaka

Osaka, where eat till you’re broke

“Spend Your Money on Fashion in Kyoto, eat till you’re broke in Osaka” goes the popular refrain. This refers to the penchant for spending lavishly on clothing in Kyoto and on food and drink in Osaka—even to the point of losing everything that one has. Breaking it down even further, the phrase teasingly points out how Kyotoites tend not to skimp on dressing themselves, while Osakans put their money toward the epicurean tendencies of enjoying a good meal.

People eat with gusto in Osaka, choosing the quality of ingredients fastidiously and preparing their meals with that famous local spirit of thoroughness whereby everything is completely used up without producing any waste. Osaka has long been blessed with both the bounty of the mountains and of the sea. Osaka Bay is teeming with fish and seafood, and the region has long been home to numerous varieties of vegetables. Ingredients from around the country additionally found their way to Osaka during the Edo era, helping to earn the region the title of “the nation's kitchen”.

On top of access to quality ingredients, and the superior-quality cooking knives produced in Sakai, the area around Osaka is also known for its population of gourmands. Prosperous merchants gathered historically to conduct business meetings in restaurants—thereby encouraging local chefs to hone their skills, and consequently bringing about a sophistication in the local cuisine. The quality of the food additionally continued to advance in order to stay on par with the superior saké produced locally, including those from Ikeda, Itami, and Nada. The phrase “eat till you're broke” truly encompasses Osaka’s unique history and atmosphere—as well as the soul of its people.