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A Different Side of Dotonbori, Osaka! Explore the Streets of Hozenji Yokocho

A Different Side of Dotonbori, Osaka! Explore the Streets of Hozenji Yokocho
  • MATCHA
  • A Different Side of Dotonbori, Osaka! Explore the Streets of Hozenji Yokocho

Translated by Ken

Written by 羅大明

Osaka 2021.02.22 Bookmark

Located near the famous Dotonbori district in Osaka, Hozenji Yokocho is the setting for the bestselling novel Meoto Zenzai. The streets are home to many bars and restaurants. Full of history and charm, Hozenji Yokocho is a great place to explore!

Hozenji Yokocho: The Side Streets of Dotonbori

Dotonbori is a landmark district of Osaka. But did you know that a temple is located just off the main street?

Published in 1940, Sakunosuke Oda's bestselling novel "Meoto Zenzai" is set near Hozenji Temple. This sacred site is famous for its statue of Acala, the Buddhist deity of wrath, covered in moss.

Surrounding the temple, Hozenji Yokocho (Hozenji side street) is home to many restaurants and cafes. Moreover, Ukiyo Shoji is a great place to experience the history of Dotonbori. These streets are a must-visit if you come to the bustling shopping district.

Hozenji Temple: A Popular Local Spot

See a Different Side of Dotonbori, Osaka! Explore the Streets of Hozenji Yokocho

Hozenji Temple enshrines an Acala statue affectionately called Mizukake Fudo (water-pouring Acala) by locals. Many visitors pray to the Mizukake Fudo for good health, prosperity, and matchmaking.

The temple also enshrines the guardian of marine traffic, the god of prosperity, and a harvest deity. Feel free to pay your respects when visiting!

Hozenji Temple

Photo by Pixta

Approach the haiden (prayer hall) and toss a coin into the offertory box, then put your hands together to pay your respects.

At Hozenji Temple, however, visitors follow a unique process. A ladle can be found in front of the Acala statue; use this to pour water on Mizukake Fudo and the two statues beside it.

See a Different Side of Dotonbori, Osaka! Explore the Streets of Hozenji Yokocho

Over the years, the statue has become completely covered in moss because of this prayer ritual.

Pouring water on the Acala is said to bring prosperity to one's business. Meanwhile, the two adjacent statues are said to grant matchmaking wishes.

Explore Hozenji Yokocho

See a Different Side of Dotonbori, Osaka! Explore the Streets of Hozenji Yokocho

When entering the side streets, you will spot a small Buddha statue. Just past it is Hozenji Yokocho, an ideal place for a meal or casual stroll.

See a Different Side of Dotonbori, Osaka! Explore the Streets of Hozenji Yokocho

Hozenji Yokocho has two entrances on the east and west side. Once inside, you'll see a variety of local establishments, including fancy kappo restaurants.

See a Different Side of Dotonbori, Osaka! Explore the Streets of Hozenji Yokocho

With its cobblestone streets, beautiful plants, and traditional lanterns, Hozenji Yokocho is a stark contrast to the busy, modern streets of Dotonbori!

Don't Forget to Visit Ukiyo Shoji!

See a Different Side of Dotonbori, Osaka! Explore the Streets of Hozenji Yokocho

Ukiyo Shoji connects Hozenji Yokocho with the Dotonbori main street. It is an extremely narrow side street covered with beautiful murals that depict scenes from Osaka's past.

See a Different Side of Dotonbori, Osaka! Explore the Streets of Hozenji Yokocho

You'll also find old photos, advertisements, and newspaper clippings.

See a Different Side of Dotonbori, Osaka! Explore the Streets of Hozenji Yokocho

Additionally, the paper lanterns add an extra spark of retro aesthetic to the street.

Meoto Zenzai: The Perfect Date Spot for Couples

See a Different Side of Dotonbori, Osaka! Explore the Streets of Hozenji Yokocho

Located near Hozenji Temple, Meoto Zenzai is a sweets shop famous for its zenzai (*). This traditional dessert gained fame thanks to the protagonist of the novel "Meoto Zenzai" ordering it with his wife. Couples who eat the zenzai are also said to grow closer.

The zenzai costs 815 yen (including tax). A single serving comes with two separate bowls. When visiting with a partner, make sure to order two servings; sharing is rumored to bring bad luck to the relationship.

Meoto Zenzai is a great place to visit with your significant other on Valentine's Day. Even if you're single, you might even receive some matchmaking luck!

*Zenzai: a traditional sweet soup made with red beans and red bean paste

Meoto Zenzai

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The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.

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