The two major metropolitan areas in Japan are Kanto, centred around Tokyo, and Kansai, centred around Osaka. Both areas have many distinct facets, so this goo Ranking looked at the differences between people in the Kansai and in Kanto.

Demographics

On the 19th of November 2009 1,166 members of the goo Research monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 59.9% of the sample were female, 13.4% in their teens, 20.6% in their twenties, 28.2% in their thirties, 23.2% in their forties, 8.3% in their fifties, and 6.3% aged sixty or older.

Kansai versus Kanto is like Glasgow versus London, just to put it into perspective. I’ve lived all my Japan life in Kansai, so it’s difficult for me to directly compare, but I get the impression that the Tokyo area is much colder for foreign residents than Kansai.

The preferences for dashi broth is something I have had direct experience of – a local soba (buckwheat noodles) restaurant was initally Kansai-style, with a light, clear broth, but for some reason they decided to go Kanto-style, resulting in something that tasted and looked like warmed-up soy sauce and almost undrinkably salty! That change lasted less than three months, presumably because they had far too many complaints!

Oh, and most of the people who get posted here from Kanto complain that Kansai cyclists are horrendous scoff-laws.

Ranking result

Q: What are the distinctive differences between Kansai and Kanto people? (Sample size=1,166)

Rank   Score
1 What they find funny 100
2 Use of “fool” versus “idiot” (アホ, aho versus バカ, baka) 95.7
3 How talkitive they are 66.6
4 Their preferences for dashi broth used in cooking 61.6
5 Their selling techniques 50.1
6 How they end conversations 49.6
7 Driving manners 48.4
8 Their attitudes to money 41.4
9 The kinds of guys/girls they like 36.1
10 Their preferences for sauces 35.3
11 How they shop 35.0
12 What TV personalities they like 34.8
13 Their abbreviations for proper nouns (Makku versus Makudo for McDonalds, for instance) 33.6
14 What types of people they dislike 30.5
15 Range of topics of conversation 28.9
16 How they use make-up 28.0
17 Closeness of their friends 26.1
18 The fashions they use to attact the opposite sex 21.7
19 Their preferences for soy sauce 20.5
20 The songs that get them going at karaoke 17.5

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