Shinsekai, Osaka - A Stroll Through The Retro District
Shinsekai means "new world" in Japanese but it is a rather nostalgic part of Osaka. Here you can enjoy shopping, food and some lesser-known fun activities. Let's have a look!
Osaka's New World
Long before places such as Dotonbori became famous there was Shinsekai. Shinsekai is a part of downtown Osaka and the meaning of its name is "new world". One of Osaka's most popular landmarks, the Tsutenkaku Tower, is also located in this area.
Explore the Area Around Tsutenkaku Tower
Located near the Tsutenkaku Tower is a restaurant called "Daruma". The restaurant is famous for Kushikatsu (deep-fried meat and vegetables on a skewer). It is always crowded but well worth the wait. It is even visited by Japanese celebrities.
The building above is a Japanese bathhouse. In a busy area such as Shinsekai it might be a rather unexpected sight but there are actually a couple in this area.
Looking around this area takes you back in time. Retro looking displays and small coffee houses are part of this historical area.
Enjoy Delicious Food in Shinsekai
Kushikatsu is one of the most popular foods in Shinsekai, but you also can find many places offering takoyaki, ramen and all other kinds of popular Japanese foods. Walking around will surely make you hungry as there are so many tempting food choices lining the streets.
Make sure to visit Shinsekai with an empty stomach. It would be a shame not to try a little bit of everything.
Yakiniku translates to grilled meat and is similar to a Japanese style barbeque. It is a popular choice all over Japan. You can smell the aroma wafting through the street, and hear the appetizing sizzling of the meat.
Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki are a must-try no matter where in Osaka you are. The special sauces are giving everything the typical Osaka flavor. Careful, Takoyaki is known to be very hot for a long time!
Shinsekai's Udon and ramen will satisfy the noodle lover. There is an especially big variety of ramen restaurants and izakaya (Japanese style bar) in the are as many people like to come here for a drink or dinner after work.
Lesser-Known Highlights of Shinsekai
Shinsekai is one of these spots in Japan you can explore by a rickshaw. The fare varies but it is known to be rather affordable in this area. Riding a rickshaw gives you a new perspective and you might learn or spot something new that you can't see just by walking around. It is also simply a unique and fun experience.
Most facilities in Shinsekai are open from 10:00 until 17:00, some might be open until night time. Usually, shops close surprisingly early in Osaka.
If you are in the mood for a fun Japanese game, you might want to try Smart Ball. The rule of the game is simple, aim at the hole and shoot the white ball. Based on your score you will get a price. A set of twenty-five balls cos about 100 yen.
It might look easy but it's actually quite challenging. The design and location of the holes vary at each table. We highly recommend trying different tables for each game. It is part of the fun.
The game is a lot of fun and you might forget the time. The retro-looking shop makes it feel nostalgic. It is a great place to visit if you come to Shinsekai with family or friends. A fun time is always guaranteed with around, or more, of Smart Ball.
Feel the Nostalgia of Shinsekai
Shinsekai still has the atmosphere of an old town in the best possible way. It is not quite as flashy as other areas of Osaka but that is part of its charm.
Make sure to give Shinsekai and it's delicious food a try when you are in Osaka. And if you are tired, how about trying one of the bathhouses in the area?