Translated by Lester Somera
Shinsaibashi And Dotonbori - 10 Fun Things To Do In Osaka!
The Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi areas are famous in Osaka. Here are 10 places to visit and fun activities which you can enjoy while strolling around.
Written by Kousuke DEKI
Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi - All Your Food and Shopping in One Place
Osaka’s most famous shopping area for international visitors is Dotonbori, with an overwhelming number of giant billboards crammed into small spaces, while the neighboring area of Shinsaibashi is bustling with rows of restaurants and clothing stores.
These areas are the best choice when it comes to enjoying delicious food and shopping, and come into contact with the kind people of Osaka! Let’s take a look at the highlights of the Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi areas, where there is a heavy concentration of what’s appealing about Osaka.
*These spots can all be seen in a day, traveling on foot.
1. Giant Dotonbori Billboards - The Perfect Photo Spot!
The giant billboards at Dotonbori are one of the main tourist attractions in Osaka. From the Ebisubashi Bridge, you can see the giant Glico billboard which is an Osaka landmark. Glico is an Osaka-based sweets manufacturer. It's fun to take a picture posed like the Glico man, with both arms raised in the air! There are also giant three-dimensional billboards of things like a hand clutching sushi or an octopus. Walk around the area at night and you will be overwhelmed by the glittering neon lights.
Osaka, Osaka, Chuo, Dotonbori 1-6
2. The Moving Crab at Kani Doraku
The Kani Doraku billboard is by the Ebisubashi Bridge is just as well-known as the Glico man. The enormous crab is an attention-getter for the main location of a national restaurant chain that specializes in crab dishes. Kani Doraku is famous for its “kanisuki” (5,000 yen plus tax) sukiyaki-style crab hotpot. Kani Doraku also sells grilled crab near the storefront.
Kani Doraku Dotonbori Main Branch
Osaka, Osaka, Chuo, Dotonbori 1-6-18
3. Nakaza Kuidaore Building - Take a Photo with the Famous Doll
The cute Kuidaore Doll, rhythmically beating his drum, causes onlookers’ eyes to soften. It is the mascot of the Nakaza Kuidaore building, which contains restaurants and izakaya establishments. Beloved in its advertiser role for over 50 years, every Japanese person knows of this famous mascot. There’s an unending line of people who want to take photos with it.
Nakaza Kuidaore Building
542-0071 Osaka, Osaka, Chuo, Dotonbori 1-8-22
4. Osaka's Local Food - Famous All Over Japan
There are rows of places to eat and drink all around Dotonbori, so give the local food a try. Osaka has a lot of flour-based dishes, called konamon. Try takoyaki, which are fluffy balls of octopus-filled batter, fried and eaten with sauce, or okonomiyaki, batter mixed with vegetables and other toppings and cooked on a griddle. There are also famous dishes like kushikatsu and udon.
5. Takoyaki - Try Making your Own
At the Konamon Museum, with its eye-catching octopus signage, you can try out food samples and learn how to cook takoyaki. Saturdays and Sundays can get busy, so make a reservation for peace of mind. The first floor is a takoyaki shop.
Food sample tour (45 minutes): 2,000 yen
Takoyaki making: 890 yen and up
Dotonbori Konamon Museum
542-0071 Osaka, Osaka, Chuo, Dotonbori 1-6-12
6. Shinsaibashi - Let's Go Shopping
The shotengai shopping arcade extends for about 580 meters, running north-to-south across the Ebisubashi bridge. There are many fashion outlets, general stores, and cafes, and it is crowded with tourists and locals. You can always find what you’re looking for here!
542-0085 Osaka, Osaka, Chuo, Shinsaibashisuji 2-2-22
*The street continues north-to-south across Ebisubashi.
7. Kamigata Ukiyo-e Museum - Experience Traditional Culture
Head to the Kamigata Ukiyo-e Museum for a cultural experience. You can see Edo-era ukiyo-e made in Osaka. At the time, many prints of kabuki actors were being made, and these are primarily what is displayed inside the museum. You can also try making ukiyo-e. For more information, check the homepage.
Kamigata Ukiyo-e Museum
542-0076 Osaka, Osaka, Chuo, Namba 1-6-4
8. Hozenji Yokocho - Stroll the Old Townscape of Osaka
Take a stroll through Hozenji Yokocho. You can feel the old vibe of Osaka through its narrow, stone-paved streets. At the nearby Hozenji Temple, it’s said that if you sprinkle water on the Mizukake Fudo statue and make a wish, it will come true. Since it has been watered for many years, the statue has become covered in moss.
542-0076 Osaka, Osaka, Chuo, Namba 1-2-16
9. Amerikamure - Vintage Clothes and the Latest Fashion
If you want to get in touch with the youth, drop by Amerikamura, which doesn’t actually have American architecture. The area is crowded with apparel shops targeted at young people, and is called the Harajuku of the west. The Triangle Park in the center is a place for people to gather, and enjoy snacking on food like takoyaki and ice cream.
Amerikamura (Triangle Park)
542-0086 Osaka, Osaka, Chuo, Nishi-Shinsaibashi 2-11
10. Chat with the Locals!
Osaka people are very friendly, so chat with them when eating and shopping. In Kansai dialect, “arigato” becomes “ookini!” so thank them with it and they will be pleasantly surprised.
All over Osaka