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Osaka 大阪

Osaka 大阪 is a massive city in the heart of the Kansai Region in central Japan. It is next to Kyoto 京都, Nara, and Wakayama, among others.

Nishinari and The Way Things Ought To Be

Tsutenkaku and the moon
Tsutenkaku and the moon.

Nishinari is widely reputed to be the most run-down, crime-ridden, and dangerous part of Osaka—and about as close to a slum as you are likely to find anywhere in Japan. This may explain the preponderance of cheap backpacker accommodation in Shinimamiya, the area just south of Shinsekai 新世界 (literally “new world”), where I stayed for a single night last May before returning to Taiwan 台灣. Although I only had a few hours to work with I couldn’t resist wandering around Nishinari to see just how bad it was. I figured it couldn’t be any worse than the Downtown Eastside, the festering carbuncle of Vancouver, which I had wandered through on many occasions.