Translated by Lester Somera
Osaka By Night - Visit Misono To Barhop In Namba's Secret Underground
Written by Atsuko Yagura
Misono in Osaka, once a testament to the glitz of Japan's bubble era, is now a haven for various shady little spots that are perfect for barhopping.
If you finish eating dinner in Osaka and you feel like you haven’t gotten enough out of the night, you should go to Ura-Namba in Minami. Ura-Namba refers to the areas around Sennichimae and Nihonbashi. In the streets away from the bright lights of Osaka’s well-known Minami shopping district, there are collections of unique establishments that still feel like vintage Japan, as though someone reproduced a painting of Osaka’s old pleasure quarter. You can’t talk about Ura-Namba without going to see the conspicuously flashy Misono Building.
What is the Misono Building?
Leave Namba Station and walk out of the Nankai-dori shopping street, and you will feel a somewhat different vibe from the area around the station. The neon lights fade away, and the scenery of narrow alleys lined with izakayas and ramen shops seem as though they came from a distant era. With its luxurious and brilliant exterior, tinged with a hint of sadness, the Misono Building stands among these alleys as though it were their leader.
The Misono Building was built in 1956 as a multi-purpose commercial complex. Riding the wave of the Japanese economic bubble, the cabarets, snack bars, dance halls and banquet venues inside the building were crowded day after day, and the Minami nightspot swept the world. After the bubble burst in the nineties, the departure of tenants grew conspicuous, and the crowds, once so large at their peak, gradually tapered off. However, recently Misono has gotten a second wind. The second floor rental spaces now host bars, concert spaces and event venues, opened one after another by a new crop of young people.
This time, we’ll take a quick look at a few establishments on the second floor of Misono which strongly reflect the tastes and preferences of their owners.