Located on Japan’s main island of Honshu, the region of Kansai has a population exceeding 20 million, a Gross Regional Product (GRP) of approximately $1 trillion, and includes the famous cities of Osaka, Kobe, and Kyoto.
Kansai is a very foreigner-friendly area of Japan, with basic English spoken in the cities and in the hospitality industry. By learning just three (3) key phrases in Japanese, a temporary visitor or foreign resident can accomplish just about anything!
So let’s get started:
1. Konnichiwa (こんにちは) = Hello
2. Sumimasen (すみません) = Excuse Me or Service Please!
3. Domo (どうも) = Thanks
Source: Kansai Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry
Osaka is well known for friendliness, hospitality, and famous dishes such as okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake) and takoyaki (seafood snack). As Japan’s third largest city, Osaka is a business and transportation hub, as well as a major destination for many neighbouring Asian and SE Asian countries. Tourists seem to enjoy taking pictures in front of the Glico Running Man Signboard in Dotonbori!
Kobe known as a shipping and port town was one of the first cities in Japan to open for international trade, and as a result is now a flourishing cosmopolitan center with historical foreign settlements (like Kitano-chō) as well as communities established by European, Asian, and South Asian merchants, traders, and administrators. It’s also famous for Kobe beef, boutique shops, and quaint streetside cafés.
Kyoto was the capital of Japan for over 1,000 years, home to the oldest novel in the world The Tale of Genji, and has many zen temples and shinto shrines, as well as the prestigious Kyoto University.