"Osaka? You think Osaka is the same as Tokyo?"

Well, yeah, I say. What's so different about Osaka? I mean, the buildings look the same as Tokyo. The food is the same. The people look the same.

It's a cold spring night and I'm sitting in a small hostess bar in south Osaka. I've been in Japan all of a week, long enough, surely, to have figured out how the entire country works.