Fun and Delicious! 5 Recommended Concept Restaurants and Izakaya in Osaka’s Umeda Area
Umeda, situated in the heart of Osaka, is filled with many concept restaurants and izakaya (Japanese gastropubs) that you will find yourself bragging about when you get back to your country. Here are five of the top restaurants and izakaya that are found in the Umeda area that offer dishes and fun experiences not available in ordinary restaurants.
1. Dagashi Tabehodai Hokago Bar A-55 – Osaka Umeda Branch
This is a restaurant where you can eat as much as you want from 100 kinds of “dagashi” at the rate of 500 JPY per hour. “Dagashi” refers to cheap Japanese sweets made so that children could buy them with their small allowances. Dagashi Tabehodai Hokago Bar A-55 offers a lineup of many sweets that should be familiar to every Japanese person as these sweets would probably remind them of their childhood. There are also famous computer games available and guests can play with whichever one they want. Enjoy the feeling of dropping by a dagashi shop or a friend’s house to play, something that Japanese children did in the past on their way home from school.
2. Rokunen'yonkumi Umeda Branch
Located on the 33rd floor of a building, this is private room-type izakaya that has managed to recreate a Japanese elementary school up to the minutest details, which ought to look familiar to anyone who studied in Japan. You can even take a photo while carrying a “randoseru" (a firm-sided knapsack made of leather) that is used by Japanese elementary school students. This restaurant is filled with a lot of creative gimmicks, as guests are treated to dishes that really look like lunch provisions which they can eat within the comfort of a private room that resembles a classroom, as well as drinks such as the Rika no O-Benkyo (Food Study) (1,058 JPY (excl. tax)) that packs a surprise as the liquor is inside a test tube and orange juice is in a flask. All the staff and servers wear sweats and a white gown, making them look like teachers. This is an izakaya that will give you a simulated experience of elementary school life in Japan.
※Entrance fee is 500 JPY (with all-you-can-eat dagashi) and the restaurant implements a one-drink two-order system
3. Hakuri Tabai Hanbey Umeda Branch
Designed based particularly on the images from the early parts of the Showa period (1926 – 1989), this is an izakaya with a vibe that totally feels like that of a theme park. “Hakuri Tabai,” the name of this izakaya, means "large sales at small profits", so this place only serves low-priced dishes. While every dish here comes in a small serving, there are many simple dishes such as the Yakitori (Grilled Chicken Skewer) (50 JPY (excl. tax)) and “Ika Sashimi (Squid Sashimi) (190 JPY (excl. tax)). The alcoholic drinks are also very reasonably priced at 190 JPY (incl. tax) and above. This izakaya also has posters from the early Showa period, porcelain enamel signs, tin toys, and various other antiques from that era, so you have to check it out!
※The interior shot is from the Suidobashi branch
4. Shimauta Live Ryukyu
This is an izakaya that will let you enjoy Okinawan food while watching Okinawan live performances that are shown thrice daily. The live show changes every night, and turns the place into a big party of drinking and merriment. At the end of the show, the women and men raise both arms with their hands forming “paper” and “rock,” respectively, and then stamp their feet and dance around the bar in “kachashi" (this means “to stir” in Okinawan dialect) fashion. This dance will make the audience feel the best sense of unity! You can also try authentic Okinawan cuisine at this izakaya, so you will actually feel as if you are in Okinawa. There are also a wide array of local alcohols from Okinawa like “awamori" (Okinawan rice liquor) and Orion beer. Note that there are no private rooms in this establishment, so it is recommended to those who want to fully enjoy Okinawa-style live shows.
※Photo shows “Shimauta Live Juri” at the No.2 Bbranch
5. The Lockup Umeda Branch
The Lockup is a restaurant where you can experience surprisingly real prison life with creative food that looks dreary and mysterious looking cocktails in a dimly lit private room with windows with grills on them. The dishes here are elaborately done, so even though they look quite frightening, you need not worry because they are actually delicious. While you are having fun eating, an eerie siren will begin to echo inside the prison and make you wonder about “that person underground!” The fun part about this restaurant is that it will keep you looking forward to what happens next. The Lockup is a prison restaurant where you can relish delicious food and a boisterous party with daily attractions that could push your heart close to stopping.
As soon as you enter the shops on this list, you will be drawn into the world that each of them recreates. So, enjoy their food and their restaurant ambiance to the fullest.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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