You’ve gotta love a city whose primary motivation is to accumulate wealth then promptly squander it through the time-honored pursuit of kuidaore (eating oneself to bankruptcy). Now, with the opening of the massive Grand Front Osaka commercial, residential and entertainment complex on the north side of Osaka Station and to the west of Umeda Station, Osakans can indulge in their two favorite occupations simultaneously.

Even by Japan’s urban mega-development standards, Grand Front Osaka is spectacular. Occupying a former rail yard covering 3 hectares in the heart of western Japan’s most valuable real estate, the gigantic congregation of shops, cinemas, research and conference facilities, restaurants and bars is regarded by many as the litmus-test for the mercantile city’s 21st-century prosperity. So far so good, as the place is booming, not least its 95 — yes, count them — eateries and bars.

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