At the end of lunch with an old friend, I point out yet another hole in my Swiss cheese knowledge of Japan.

“I’ve never really understood this whole ‘Kansai/Kanto’ thing. I mean, sure, I’ve traveled to Kyoto, Osaka and so on. But I’ve never figured out what’s so different. Kansai? Kanto? Tokyo? Osaka? It all seems the same to me.”

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