While researching Osaka before our trip to Japan, a lot of people told us not to focus on any places or must-sees in particular, but instead to just let go and soak up the city’s vibrant atmosphere. This was in part true, but nevertheless I am glad I marked the area around Nakazakicho subway station as a cool place to see, because I don’t think I would have ended up there spontaneously. Unlike the super-boisterous parts of Osaka like Namba and Umedo, Nakazakicho is a quiet, quaint district – but not to be mistaken for boring. On the contrary, it seems like on every corner there was a cafe, an art gallery or a thrift shop, all beautifully designed and full of interesting things. It really had a bohemian and artsy feeling to it, without being pretentious or super self-aware like similar neighborhoods in some other cities might feel like. After roaming around the little alleyways for a bit, we decided to go to a small little restaurant, where we had some Japanese curry and drip coffee, which were both delicious. The people who were working there were incredibly nice and listening to Sufjan Stevens’ “Carrie and Lowell” in the background made my heart swell a little bit. Lesson learned: definitely do your pre-trip research!