Welcome to Dotonbori! (Photo: Chong SH)

Dotonbori Shopping Arcade

The heart and soul of Osaka

Welcome to Dotonbori! (Photo: Chong SH)
Jeannie Gan   - 3 min read

Be mesmerized by the masses of neon lights, labyrinthine of streets with multi colored shops including pachinkos, karaokes, drug stores, boutiques, souvenirs shops to restaurants that cater to all kinds of demand. The street is always full of noise, full of light, full of energy. Dotonbori is the heart and soul of Osaka, a street that never sleeps.

Osaka is known as the food haven of Japan- especially here in Dotonbori, come and experience “Kuidaore”, literally meaning eat till you drop. From the takoyaki stands to the okonomiyaki restaurants, you can never get enough of the gastronomy galore here. Join the crowd at the line for takoyaki and enjoy them by the canal. Remember to take a picture with the star of Dotonbori,- “Mr. Kuidaore”, you will never miss this a male doll dressed in red and white stripes playing a drum standing in front of the Nakaza Building.

Dotonbori is full of energy and delight. The whole street is like a theme park, with so many oversized and playful decorations. Kanidoraku- a giant crab with moving arms to welcoming you for a crab delight or the giant blowfish in front of Zuboraya for those who are game enough to try the delicious yet notorious Japanese torafugu or blowfish.

By now, you’ve be awed by one advertisement board emitting bright lights with a giant neon athlete with his tracks. This other star, Glico Man looks like an advertisement for a sports related company but is actually the symbol for Glico Candy, the manufacturer for the very famous Pocky and Pretz. Yes, these are great souvenirs to bring home; you can find them in supermarkets and drug stores anywhere in Japan. However, make sure you try the famous Takoyaki-flovored Pretz which is only available in Osaka. The Glico Man with his famous victory post has even become a symbol for Osaka.

For those love to shop or still wandering what to get for your loved ones at home, Dotonbori is an enticing shopping paradise. The shops here can be rather luring, selling Osaka only cookies and cakes to key chains with miniature food, you can surely find something for everyone here. Head down to drug stores looking more like supermarkets for the latest product for skincare or the amazing variety of tasty morsels that you cannot resist.

Also look out for the 100 yen shops that sells everything for 100 yen, to my personal favorite, “time-limited” sales (タイムセール) and “closing” sales (閉店セール). You know you are at one when you see the shopkeeper holding up a big card board shouting at the top of their voice.

The “time-limited” sales as the name suggests is limited to certain hours of the day, and the shops sometime slash as much as 70% off the original price.

Dotonbori is an entertaining place and a memorable one for years to come. Explore this awesome street with an amalgamation of everything Osaka.

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Jeannie Gan

Jeannie Gan @jeannie.gan

Hello, I am from a small town called Tangkak in Malaysia. It was my dream since young to come to Japan and I was given the opportunity in 2005 to come to Japan for a 3 year graduate program. But little did I know that I would I end up extending my stay here. Since, I’ve lived in Tokushima, Tokyo ...