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Moving young family to Osaka? 2008/1/10 20:42
We are considering moving to Osaka for my hubbys work. We, includes our two young kids. In terms of entertainment, activities and international schools, what is it like to live in Osaka for a young family?? Ive gathered there are not many people who speak English but thats ok as were used to it as weve been expats in Asia for the last couple of years. Also, Ive read that Osaka is the 8th most expensive place to live for expats (Sydney is 21st), can anyone advise on entertainment costs, shopping (clotehs & toys) and dining out etc? How about transport? Trains, taxis or car? Basically I really dont know much about Osaka so any insight especially about raising a family here - would be much appreciated. Thanks!
by Valerie  

nice idea 2008/1/11 11:59
All I can say is that Osaka is my favorite area in Japan. If you live towards the countryside, people are very friendly and it's easy to find help when you need it. Be sure to pack plenty of mosquito repellent if you are moving to an area with many rice fields, though.

Out of curiousity, how old are your children?
by niko-chan rate this post as useful

... 2008/1/11 13:23
I don't think there's a big price difference between Osaka and Sydney. As in the previous post, I also think that people in Osaka tend to be more open and friendly than those in Tokyo. It is also a good base to explore west part of Japan, such as, Kyoto, Nara and Kobe.

Osaka International Center has an English page for living guides and there're international schools for kids.

by JLady rate this post as useful

young family and Osaka 2008/1/11 14:21
for information on Osaka please check www.tourism.city.osaka.jp/en/
(this site has lots of pages..be patient) for basic info on the transit system please check:
www.urbanrail.net then click on Asia and finally on Osaka on the map of Japan. check also:
Osaka has 8 subway lines, a "new tram" automated light transit line and a JR rail loop line around the downtown areas. frequent commuter trains from several railway companies link Osaka to Kobe, Kyoto, Nara- all interesting towns, to say the least--and to many other suburbs.
Osaka is the major town of the Kansai, a region with 20 million people, so there are a lot of things to see and do. Shopping in Osaka is quite amazing. There are international schools and societies for foreign people living in the region. Kobe, 30 minutes by train from Osaka, has a visible foreign population. A few months ago I saw in Kobe about 100 children in school uniforms (mostly caucasians with a few east-Indians and others) leaving a private school.
Osaka is my favorite big city in Japan (based on my limited experience mind you, having visited Japan only 7 times in the past 12 years).
by Sensei 2 rate this post as useful

we did it 2008/1/11 16:39
we moved our whole family from the states to Osaka. I think its working out pretty well. We enrolled our oldest son in japanese kindergarten. We are both americans and have a limited knowlodge of japanese, but the people here are great. Our living expenses are on par with the states, except we dont have a car so we end up saving lots of money just by taking public transportation.
by osakajuan rate this post as useful

Thanks! 2008/1/11 21:45
Thanks to all for your helpful responses. Everyone tells me Osaka is a beautiful place and I look forward to visiting in a couple of weeks. Btw Niko-Chan, I have 3y/o and 5m/o girls.
by Valerie rate this post as useful

Moving to Osaka 2008/1/12 05:05
I just would like to say that when you are looking for accomodations you may likely be offered so-called "western style" ones rather than typical Japanese ones. I don't want to start a spirited argument about which one is better as this has to do with personal tastes and there is no true right-wrong. Having used Japanese houses and apartments built in the past 5-15 years I prefer the Japanese style ones --especially for their kitchen and bathrooms-- to the so-called western--should be US-style ones. Modern Japanese kitchens are similar to European and Australian ones rather than to US ones and the toilet is usually not in the bathroom proper. Friends of mine who, like me, live in North America but where not born there and are 50 plus, were also very impressed by Japanese kitchens and especially the bathrooms (their children were working in Japan for a while and I have friends there).They also appear to be more affordable than the ones offered to staff from foreign companies.. of course this is a moot point if everything is taken care off by your husband company.. but I know expatriates who were given a rental allowance and were free to look for whatever accomodation they liked.
by Sensei 2 rate this post as useful

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