Translated by Matcha Admin
Tenjinbashisuji, Osaka - The Longest Shopping Street In Japan
Written by Haruka
Japan's longest shopping street is located in Osaka! Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street is the best place to get a glimpse of local life in Osaka and strike some bargains.
Tenjinbashisuji in Osaka - A Shopping Street with a Long Tradition
Did you know that the longest, most famous shopping street in Japan can be found in Osaka? The Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street is located in the Kita ward of Osaka and it runs 2.6 km from north to south.
It is loved by the locals as a place where they can buy daily items at bargain prices. The street was about to die out several times in its history but thanks to the cooperation of the local stores, it returned to being a lively, fun shopping street.
Although Namba and Tennoji are famous, lively downtown areas, if you really want to check out what daily lives of Osaka locals look like, we highly recommend visiting Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street. Let's take a look at this special shopping street and its charms.
A Lively Shopping Street Offering Daily Essentials and Local Delights
Most of the people who come to this shopping street are locals, which is why you will find a lot of daily items on sale. Shoes and clothes are sold at reasonable prices here as well. In summer, yukatas can be purchased at some of the small shops for very low prices.
There are several drugstores as well. As they offer very competitive prices, you can get great deals on medicine and beauty related items if you shop around and compare.
At Tenjinbashisuji, you can also purchase fresh fish and seafood as well as ready-to-eat street food. Popular sweet snacks such as taiyaki are available.
In addition, the street has many cheap restaurants offering delicious food, as well as izakaya bars. These serve Japanese local dishes such as kushikatsu (deep-fried skewered meat and vegetables), okonomiyaki, and takoyaki besides the typical Japanese food line-up such as sushi and yakitori (grilled chicken parts on a skewer).
Due to the variety of Japanese style bars (izakayas) and restaurants, you will also find plenty of people stopping here for a drink after work. Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street is also known as ramen paradise. It has so many ramen shops that it is featured sometimes in books and magazines about ramen restaurants.
You can reach Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street from several different stations, and there are many other shopping streets and local markets nearby, which makes this the best area to check out local shops and food.
Super Tamade, a famous cheap supermarket in Osaka, is located in this shopping street as well.
Every summer, a big festival called the Tenjin Matsuri is held at Tenjinbashisuji. An event featuring Gal mikoshi(women carrying portable shrines) is held before the Tenjin Matsuri every year and it gathers a lot of attention.
A Walk Through Tenjinbashisuji
If you walk from one end all the way to the other end of the Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street, you can get a certificate called manpojo. First, you have to get a Burari Aruki Moshikomi Fuda ("application form for strolling around"). During weekdays, you can get it at the shop called Aramonoya Nishidai Shoten, while on weekends and holidays, you can get one at Atelier Alcyon.
You can start on either side of the shopping street. We started from the entrance shown in the picture above. A great feature of shotengai shopping streets like Tenjinbashisuji is that they have a roof so you don't have to worry about getting wet on rainy days.
If you take the same way as us, you can get your your first stamp at Tamaichi Doi Ceramics.
You can find the places that give out stamps by looking for the sign highlighted in red. The second stamp can be collected at a variety of shops in the middle of the shopping street.
On weekdays, the last stamp and the certificate are available at the Ogatenjinbashi Pharmacy. All you need to do is enter the drugstore and pass over the application form saying "Please give me a certificate". You will get a certificate with "Okini!" written on it, which is "thank you!" in Osaka dialect.
On Sundays and public holidays, you can get both at the Tenmangu Shrine, where Sugawara Michizane (a famous scholar from the Heian era) is enshrined. The shrine, as well as the Hanjotei where you can enjoy rakugo (Japanese traditional storytelling entertainment), can be found just east of the shopping street.
Enjoy Shopping, Food and Bargains
If you plan a trip to Osaka, please consider visiting this charming shopping street. It gives you a true idea of everyday life in Osaka and you can help support local businesses.
This article is an updated version of an article published on August 30, 2015.