Welcome to Osaka: Exploring Dotonbori

Osaka has to be one of my favourite cities. It’s one of the largest cities in Japan with a great balance between old and new. One moment you’re walking through the busy streets of Dotonbori, then marvelling at the sights of Osaka Castle. I never got around to sharing the remaining segments of my Japan travels and I felt especially inspired to revisit these memories since my next visit is just shy of 3 weeks away (eep!)

Dotonbori offers countless shops, arcades, bars, restaurants and street food stalls. The main street runs parallel to Dotonbori canal and is decked out in glittering neon lights and giant seafood. The best time to visit is from sunset to experience golden hour transforming into a bustling night life where you can go kuidaore – literally, eat til you drop.

The famous Japanese street food, Takoyaki originated in Osaka and there are many stalls in Dotonbori that sell these little delicious gooey grilled octopus balls. There’s a popular stall along the canal that always has a large queue so it would be pretty hard to miss if you’re in the area. The coolest thing was seeing how fast the takoyaki chefs flip the takoyaki on the grill and I highly recommend trying takoyaki at least once in Osaka. It’s a must.

You can experience the Dotonbori canal on foot as well as water. The Tonbori river cruise takes you along the river, starting from Namba station. There’s also a 40 minute sight seeing cruise with a live jazz band. It’s a great place to people watch and relax. By the way, that giant yellow thing on the right is the Donki ferris wheel, that you can actually ride. I know right?!

The Glico Maaaan! Arguably the most photographed spot in Dotonburi where you’ll see a bunch of tourists copying his jump pose heheh.  Fun fact: It’s a pretty big sign around 20m tall and 10m wide. It’s a famous symbol of Osaka and the Glico company produces the much loved Pocky snacks :3   It’s so fluffy!

We tried these delicious souffle pancakes at A Happy Pancake located in the middle of Shinsaibashi. The line went out the door because it was that popular and man was it great to have fruit (fruit and vege is uber expensive in Japan). There are sweet and savoury options and I like that they’re on the lighter side so you won’t leave with a food coma.

One of my absolute favourite places to shop in Japan is LOFT. We visited the loft in Umeda, a tall building with multiple storeys of stationery and household items that make a great place to buy souvenirs. It’s a chain store with plenty of stores in Tokyo as well and honestly, I don’t even know how many times I set foot in one (I came home with a lot of washi tape).

 

Bought this outfit from a cute fashion boutique in Shinsaibashi. Two years on and I still wear these pieces all the time ^_^

Be ready to be tempted by thousands of claw machines =_= The cuter the prize, the harder it is to walk away.

Another popular must-try is PABLO’s freshly made cheesecakes and tarts. We ordered the original 15cm cheesecake for takeaway and enjoyed it in our Airbnb as a late night snack. I just read that you can actually choose to order them ‘rare’ or ‘medium-rare’ – like steak haha. They’re rich and creamy, pretty fluffy with a crispy crust mmm….

We ventured out of our comfort zones on one of the last nights of the trip, walking into one of the last restaurants open that did not have any english on the menu :’) so worth it. 

 

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