A Business Day in Osaka

The Finns complain about the cost and slow progress of a 15 km extension of Helsinki’s main metro line that took more than 15 years to plan and build…

… and they also complain about the cramped and muddled new shopping center in Helsinki called Redi…

… but just come to Osaka, to see hundreds of clean and beautifully designed metro stations and grand shopping centers where square meters and customers are measured in their millions.

Everywhere the shops and stations, their entrances and stairways are spotless, even though the crowds are overwhelming… 

There is a clear understanding that public spaces like shops and stations must be built and maintained to high standards… and they do not deviate from them.

Readers who travel to Japan will know that all new office buildings are connected to metro and railway lines with stations next to or under their buildings.

Shops, bars, coffee shops and restaurants proliferate in the cellars and on the street level areas. A heavy, non-stop flow of customers walk past them from early morning until late at night in the city center. 

Even though the major shops and restaurants accept credit cards, the small, intimate places remain attached to cash. The strangest thing is that train tickets in Osaka can only be bought with cash – no credit cards please!

… and after a few long days, we have only seen kind polite people who immediately come to our assistance if we are unable to understand something on the map, at the station or in the restaurant.

It also appears that most people here have a strong liking for Finland… Nice…

  

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