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People Watching in Osaka

Like my experiences in Tokyo, I have to say one of the best things about Osaka is people-watching! Of course, I love to people watch everywhere, but most especially in Japan. I have always admired the way the Japanese express themselves in fashion, often unapologetically. And it is not just “teenagers,” I saw interesting outfits on people in every age group.

Let's take a look.

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I know what you are thinking, but these are not prostitutes! They just look like that to you and I. Besides being deeply hygienic (the girl on the left likely has a cold and the Japanese are very courteous when it comes to spreading germs) this is just a style.

People watching in Osaka

One that I saw a lot of.

People watching in Osaka

These girls are a little more rocker chick.

People watching in Osaka

And it seems to be okay for friends to have mixed styles. Not like high school where your entire crew dressed alike, nope these chicks got individual styles going on!

People watching in Osaka-Mixed

I loved the schoolgirl style (at least looking at it). Japanese students do wear uniforms, but the schoolgirl style of short skirts and sexy thigh-high socks is more of a fetish.

Still, it is bold and I love seeing it on the street. Hosiery in general is a source of self-expression and I would kill to be able to walk around San Francisco in them without big stares! We need to bring these to the U.S. mainstream!

People watching in Osaka

It seems to be “to each his own”  I did not see a lot of people staring at anyone, no matter what they were wearing. This photo I took in the subway station is actually a gentlemen.

People Watching in Osaka
Photo credit Mr. Misadventures (Click for a LARGER view.)

Because it is not just the women who express themselves when it comes to fashion. Plenty of the guys do as well. I saw many great-looking couples. This guy's purse was a little too girly to be a man-purse though!

People watching in Osaka-Couple1

But love this guy…plus the pop of red! Sorry for the blurriness, you got to be fast with the camera with people walking by!

People watching in Osaka-Couple3

This guy is dressed pretty snazzy too! European?

People watching in Osaka-Couple3

My all-time favorite while visiting Osaka is more in the fantasy bucket. This lovely lady was shopping in the Kuromon-Ichiba Market one of the times we were grazing through.

People watching in Osaka-Market-Lady

I watched her for several minutes. She interacted with several store merchants and not one person looked at her funny.

I tried to get a photo of her face as her make-up was incredible, plus she had a really cute hair ribbon, but I did not want to be disrespectful of her so the best I got has just a hint. She was about 50 and working it!

If I could easily pop back in forth between shooting food or other stationary objects and action walking shots I would have taken a lot more photos, I am just not that skilled! But I am always inspired by the Japanese fashion sense, it is so creative and so I was happy to get the few shots I did.

What about you? Do you like to people-watch? Do you like the Japanese style of dressing?

Author Bio: Andi Fisher

Yes, I am a francophile, but after that, I love Japan, especially the food! I have been to Tokyo many times, and spent 2 weeks in Kyoto and a week in Osaka exploring and eating!

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  1. Very different way of life! They definitely know how to let their personality show!

  2. Steffen Eckart says:

    Great capture of Osaka culture, which is not easy for us foreigners to interpret unless you hsve spent some time there. There is a common base among Japanese everywhere, and then there is that layer that makes the proud-to-be Osaka native!

    1. Andi Fisher says:

      @Steffen, thanks! I love Japan and the culture is so fascinating!

  3. Julia Rose says:

    What great fashion these people have! Love! Great post about culture and style. 🙂

    1. Andi Fisher says:

      @Julia, awesome right? I love people watching in Japan!

  4. I love this post! I miss the madness of Osaka fashion and I totally agree it is a fantastic place to people watch. You know, I think skirts/shorts have gotten even shorter since I lived there. (My friend use to call Autumn “short skirt with boots season…)

    It’s funny that you didn’t notice people staring as I used to get stared at quite a lot for being a foreigner, but I guess you’re right, people don’t stare at each other for their fashion choices.