Travel

Dotonbori (Namba, Osaka)

I’m pretty sure that everybody who has ever been to Osaka knows about the popular district called Dotonbori.
It’s in the shopping area close to Namba Station. Actually you can walk all the way from Namba Station to Shinsaibashi Station (subway).
There are MILLIONS of shops, cafés, restaurants, game centers, host clubs ETC. and as there’s a roof on top of the “shoutengai” (shopping arcade) you can go there anytime.
A lot of the bigger shops (e.g. Tsutaya) are open until midnight and restaurants, game centers etc. are open even after midnight, so this is one of the districts that is “alive” and busy at night as well.

I’ve been there many times and it’s really great for shopping or eating local food (okonomiyaki and takoyaki for example).

Namba Station, Osaka Manner Station Nanba

In front of Namba Station.
I especially like the “Manner Station” for the smokers ;P

Namba Osaka

I went on a Sunday, so obviously there were a lot of people. As it wasn’t dark yet, it wasn’t that bad. I had the feeling it got busier, the later it was!

Dotonbori Osaka Dotonbori Osaka

Apart from the main shopping arcade road, I recommend that you try to lurk into the smaller side streets to the left and right, because the atmosphere there is really nice and it’s less crowded (and cheaper if you want to eat!).

Dotonbori Osaka

You will come across all sorts of interesting and weird things!
I thought those statues next to a Lawson convenience store were hilarious!

Dotonbori Osaka

Walking through the long, long shopping arcade, getting closer to the Dotonbori River area.

Dotonbori Osaka

Still peeking into the side streets every now and then … slowly getting hungry because everything smells so good!

Dotonbori Osaka

There are so many things on the way that will distract you, though.
Game centers (oh, how I hate (and love) thou ufo catchers!!!)

Lush - fresh handmade cosmetics in osaka

Yeah … I’m not sure what caught my eye initially. Was it the guy with the huge cook’s hat or the foaming soap!?

Dotonbori Osaka

Well, at some point I finally arrived at the Dotonbori River area.
You can easily see the huge advertisement featuring Fukuyama Masaharu. He became so famous after being in the historical drama “Ryomaden” about Ryoma Sakamoto.
All my coworkers were all over him. I actually liked him better in Galileo (which he did before Ryomaden). And his songs are nice, too.

Dotonbori Osaka

See? There are always a LOT of people at night!

Dotonbori Osaka Dotonbori Osaka

The famous Glico man!!

Dotonbori Osaka glico man

Reflection in the Dotonbori River.

Dotonbori Osaka

Dotonbori Osaka Dotonbori Osaka

Entering the side street with all the yummy restaurants and their cute, huge and interesting “mascots”.
But first I spotted this huge poster of “Nankyoku Tairiku“. I really love this drama!

Dotonbori Osaka

There are so many interesting things to see. Basically you can stop in front of each restaurant and take photos.
Many Japanese people do the same!! You shouldn’t do it when you’re hungry, though. It smells so, so good everywhere!
Eat first, then take photos!! *g*

Dotonbori Osaka Dotonbori Osaka

Takoyaki (fried octopus) or fuku (blowfish)? So many things to choose from!!

Dotonbori Osaka Dotonbori Osaka

Sushi? Okonomiyaki?
Personally I just love okonomiyaki way too much to resist! And Dotonbori is one of the best places to eat okonomiyaki! There’s so many different kinds that I’m sure you’ll have a hard time deciding what you wanna try in the end!

Dotonbori Osaka Dotonbori Osaka

Ramen .. takoyaki again … and a lot of dragons!

Dotonbori Osaka

Dotonbori Osaka Dotonbori Osaka

So many interesting, weird and cute things to discover, really!

Random note:
If you are also interested in Johnny’s and/or anime/manga, then you might want to know this:
Close to Shinsaibashi Station there is a Johnny’s Shop and a Mandarake. You could start your shopping day in Shinsaibashi and then walk through the arcade the opposite way I did towards Dotonbori (eat dinner there) and then arrive and Namba Station from where you can go back to wherever you like! ^-^

What are your favorite shopping spots in Japan?

Thanks for reading!~ :D

16 Comments

  • If you stay until the shops close there are quite a few street merchants and artists in the shopping arcade! I had a calligraphy made by someone who you told your name (in my case shirubia in Hiragana) and he then looked deep into your eyes and chose a sentence to go with your name. You then take a look at it and pay whatever you think it’s worth to you (usually 1000 Yen) or if you don’t want it, say you don’t want it. I love mine :)

    I once tried going that shopping arcade all the way to Umeda, but halfway through I had to quit because it was sooooooo long.

    • Yes, I think I saw some of them (not during this trip, but previously). I had to go to that area for business trips a few times (our hotel was there).
      Sounds awesome! I want something like that, too!! :hearts:
      Next time, I’m gonna keep my eyes open and hope I’ll find them and get my own.
      Thanks for the advice! ;P :thumbup:

      It’s also interesting in the early morning when they start cleaning up and the last few people finally go home! :hihi:

      Woah!! I guess it’s possible, but if you go on the weekend you’ll get tired because of the crowds alone!

  • Oh Dotonbori! It’s one of the places I want to visit again in Osaka. The first time I went there was on December 31st, at night and the streets were filled with people. It was so lively that I was so hyped up. We walked through the loooong shopping arcade of Shinsaibashi Suji until we reached Dotonbori. If I remember it right, Fukuyama san’s big billboard was also decorating the area.

    I also remember taking pictures of Glicoman, and Don Quixote. The Little Osaka shop there thinned my wallet. I bought a lot of things from that store. The only thing I forgot to do was to eat okonomiyaki. :( It was already dinner time when we got there so we went to a ramen shop instead. But hopefully when I go there next month I will try okonomiyaki for sure. :peace:

    • Ahaha~ :hihi:
      Actually, because you said Fukuyama-san was there when you went, too, I checked when I went there a long time ago (2008) and guess what?! Yes, HE.WAS.THERE!! Scary! :huh:
      Although at that time it was an advertisement for Toshiba!

      Really? I walked quickly through that shop, but didn’t find anything I wanted to buy.
      However, I had already spent enough money that day anyways! :mukatsuku:

      You really should try okonomiyaki!
      It’s one of my favorite dishes still. And I always have a hard time to choose what I want in it.
      I once tried a “chees mochi” version and even that was very delicious!

      • Hehehe…maybe that ad space is exclusive for him. Can’t complain though, he’s a good sight.

        Yes, I’d like to try different flavors(?) of okonomiyaki in Dotonbori. I’ve only been eating the futsuu okonomiyaki here in my place.

        I bought a shirt and some souvenir items from Little Osaka and a lot of omiyage for my workmates and friends.

  • Hello :sparkling:
    Lovely photos! <3 My only qualm with wandering around Namba in the shopping arcades is that it's so cold now..! :whyohwhy: I've been spending more and more time in Namba City and Namba Parks :sweatdrop2:
    I love Mandarake..! :heart: They have some Gundam Wing models I wanna pick up and they're so cheeeaap.. I wish I had more space for decorating lol :disappointed:

    • Hello Alyse!! :happy:
      I think I’ve been reading your Livejournal, but then you kind of stopped updating?!
      Good to see you have another blog, too! Yay!!~ :music2:

      That’s what I thought!! I was actually surprised that it was still so warm at the beginning of November this year! :huh: I remember going there in November 2008 as well and it was much colder!!
      This year is so strange weather-wise anyways … :notamused:

      You live in a 1-room apartment, too? :disappointed:

      • Really!? :shock: I had no idea~~ I meant to do one of those “I moved..!!” posts, but thought no one was reading it :sweatdrop: I better do that just in case now Lol

        Yea, I think so. I wear too many layers, then it’s warm, but when it looks sunny outside, it’s freezing cold :stressed:

        My apartment is a 2DK I think, but it has like no closet space so I’m forced into stacking everything out in the open :sweatdrop2: But the location is nice so I shouldn’t complain :hum:

        Do you think you’ll be back in Osaka soon?

        • Hehe, yeah maybe you should. :hihi:

          I know, happens to me ALL THE TIME!!
          Actually it’s snowing here today!! :hum:

          I sure hope so. After 4 years in my little inaka here, I will (hopefully) move to Kansai in a few weeks, depending on where I can find a job. I’d love to be close to Kobe! :hearts:

          • Wow, exciting! :stars: :sparkling:
            Good luck on your search. It shouldn’t be too difficult since I always see ads for English teaching. :thumbup:
            I heard Kobe has really nice apartments..!! Much nicer and cheaper than Osaka, so definitely take advantage of that..! :happy:

          • I’d prefer Kobe anyways, but it’s not that easy. I think I’m also quite picky because after being in Japan for such a long time I know much better what I’m looking for!
            Thanks, I’m sure it will turn out well in the end! :music2:

  • Great pictures, as usual!

    I was in Osaka at the very beginning of September last year, and it was deathly hot. I was staying not far from Namba Station, and walked around some but had to stop and go back to take a cold shower. However, in the evening we wandered around Dotonburi [ended up eating some delicious sushi].

    It was fun walking around there. Guess what, there was a great big ad for Masaharu in Ryoma Den! I happen to like him a lot [ his music as well]. I like Galileo too, and KimuTaku in Nankyoku Tairiku. I love so many Japanese dramas [including taigas].

    Favorite shopping spots in Japan? I actually don’t do all that much shopping there, though I like Asakusa in Tokyo and particularly Kappabashi there. I enjoy certain big stores, like Tokyu Hands with a zillion things you never knew you needed…And among department stores, Isetan at Tokyo Station and Takashimaya Time Square in Shinjuku. On occasion it’s fun to shop in places like Kurashiki or Takayama. I love the Takayama lacquer.

    • Thank you so much!! :D

      Osaka and Kyoto get EXTREMELY hot in summer! They’re more humid than some other places I’ve been to, so I totally hear you! :sweatdrop2:

      Oh! I love Kappabashi, too!! Did you buy any of the “plastic” food there? :music2:

  • Nice and detail writing.

    I have been regulary visiting Osaka for Biz trip, usually for 3 nights.
    Never even one time have been to dotonburi area.

    Will go there in my coming visit end of this July.

    Thanks for your nice description

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