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If you asked many Kansai-area foreigners, and not a few Tokyoites, to come up with a slogan to promote Osaka internationally, you might get a response along the lines of: “Osaka: When You Can’t Get a Hotel in Kyoto.”

Proximity to the ancient capital (station to station it is only 30 minutes on an express train) is one of many issues Osaka faces in its renewed quest to lure foreign tourists. But that’s not to say they are avoiding the city. Indeed, the opposite is true, especially for those traveling here from other countries in the region.

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