Juso is the crossroads of Osaka. Passed by millions of people each day from Osaka to Itami Airport, or from Kyoto to Kobe on the Hankyu railway line, they rarely get a glimpse of the underbelly of Osaka. From the dated kitchenware shops to the Sakaemachi red light district, this town has grunge and mystique in equal quantities. Stroll the streets for fantastic okonomiyaki at Yamamoto’s without the glitz of Dotonbori or Namba. Lose yourself in the back lanes where Black Rain was filmed, starring Andy García, Ken Takakura, Michael Douglas and the Osaka Yakuza. Its edginess also attracted Steven Stegall into opening his dojo. Nearby is Fandango, a graffiti covered abandoned warehouse blasting out the raw energy of local hard rock bands.
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I knew my future was destined to be with Japan the moment I flew from Sydney to experience the atmospheric lane ways of Kyoto last century. From the skies above Sapporo to the old charm of Naha's alleyways, I have been enchanted by the beauty and variety on every island. I am humbled to have met many distinguished people in my role as Regional Partner, especially the national living treasures of Japan, such as the doll maker to the Imperial Family. From sushi cooking classes to Ninja training grounds I welcome your ideas on what you like from JapanTravel.com. Please visit us in Kyoto or Osaka and have some green tea or sake with us.