Osaka University is one of the largest universities in Japan with over 25,000 full-time students. There are three campuses, two of which, Suita and Toyonaka, are much larger than the third, and both of those are located in the northern portion of the city itself. The third campus, Minoh, was inherited after a merger with the University of Osaka of Foreign Studies not too long ago, and true to its name, still hosts mainly internationally related classes and facilities further north of Suita campus. These three campuses all lie along the same monorail line, and being about 12 kilometers on foot from Toyonaka and Minoh, with Suita lying in between, it may not be very convenient transferring from one campus to the other.
However, from station to station, commuting between the two largest campuses only takes 11 minutes according to the extremely efficient and ever-on-time Japanese public transportation system. Classes taught in English are held throughout the three different campuses at Osaka University, so please be aware of this before enrolling. Clubs, circles and sports teams are extremely prevalent at Osaka University. This being one of the highest ranked and largest schools in Japan there’s sure to be a slew of interesting things to choose from. Regarding school events, Icho Festival is in the Spring, with Osaka University’s founding anniversary the day after on May 1st, and the Machikane Festival (University Festival) in early November. Osaka itself is an interesting city, even in regards to the majority of the Japanese. The ‘gem’ here, which some would argue is why they keep away, is their unique culture.
Potentially abrasive, confrontational, and more open than the rest of Japan has accustomed itself to, Osaka and the greater Kansai area have marked themselves as a sort of proud black sheep within the Japanese archipelago. With both a distinct accent and attitude, people from Osaka stand out from among the rest of Japan. It might not be your cup of tea, and for many it isn’t, but their cultural reputation is twofold. For one, many people from Kanto, the region in which Tokyo is, are shocked by those in Kansai’s ability to start chatting with strangers. This may seem odd, or rather normal, depending where you’re from, but in Japan and especially in the major cities, many avoid confrontation or conversation when out in public Therefore, when those from Kansai do so without much premonition it seems unnatural.
The ‘darker’ side is the confrontational aspect. The reputation that Osaka holds is that people there will speak their mind; if they’re happy they’re friendly but if they’re upset they show it. Complaining in general is deemed impolite in Japan, as is most places, but to be improper in Japan carries with it a weight that may feel more suffocating even as a bystander opposed to other countries. However, overall I find it to be a great city, and the disparity between it and the sterility of Tokyo is often times very welcome.