The business area in Osaka from Dotonbori to the Namba area of Shinsaibashi is called "Minami" ("the south") by locals, and it's an area where you can enjoy sightseeing and gourmet and shopping. Here are 5 places in Minami that you should check out.
North of Namba Station is Dotonbori, a huge gourmet area that spreads out in neon along the Dotonbori River. It's one of Osaka's can't-miss sightseeing areas. If you come here, first you must take photos with the impressive billboards, one from the candy maker Glico, and the other from the crab specialty restaurant Kani Douraku. They're even better at night!
In the shopping arcade you can find many famous restaurants offering Osaka's representative foods takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and kushi-katsu, so it might be fun to try them and compare restaurants. Top some takoyaki, pan-fried octopus balls, with spicy sauce, and you'll grow addicted to the crispy outside and moist insides. There's a lot of food on this street so it might be good to go in with a plan.
After you eat, you can take a walk down the riverside, or enjoy a 20 minute mini-cruise where you can enjoy the sight of Osaka's cityscape called the Tonbori River Cruise (900 JPY (incl. tax) for adults, 400 JPY (incl. tax) for children elementary school-age). Definitely stop by!
1. Dotonbori: a must-stop for gourmets
Houzenji, a temple famous for Mizukake Fudoson (a Buddhist statue), was built in 1637. Mizukake Fudoson is enshrined in a long, narrow lantern-filled alley, and when you pray to him you splash him with water. It's said that he will grant your prayers for good business fortune and fortune in love, and since people visiting him are constantly splashing with water, he's become covered in lush, green moss. It's a very rare sight. You can pray at night too, so it might be good to stop by after dinner.
Also, north of Houzenji is an interesting stone-paved narrow alley called Houzenji Yokocho. Originally it was street stalls in the Houzenji area, but now it's a nostalgic area filled with old restaurants and drinking establishments serving food like okonomiyaki. It's a popular sightseeing area full of Osaka's emotions, so you should check it out.
2. Houzenji and Houzenji Yokocho: a historical area inside a business district
Kuromon Market is a shopping area that supports Osaka's food culture. In this roughly 580m area there are close to 200 shops, mostly specializing in seafood but also offering produce, dried foods, with some restaurants. Originally it was a shopping arcade for chefs and locals coming to buy ingredients, but since there's also food sales and eat-in restaurants now, in recent years many travelers go there to eat-and-walk.
You can eat lots of things like sashimi, tempura, side dishes, fruits, and more, but two stores are particularly popular with visitors: the tuna specialty store Maguroya Kurogin and the Japanese Black beef specialty store Maruzen Shokunikuten. In Kuromon many stores have signs in multiple languages so you can easily enjoy the food. Why not have some fresh food perfect for eating-and-walking for breakfast or brunch? But remember that when you shop at Kuromon Ichiba to not touch the products without asking and to not litter!
3. Kuromon Market: Osaka's kitchen where people come to fill their stomachs
After you experience Osaka's food culture at Kuromon Ichiba, walk 5 minutes to Sennichimae Douguya-suji Shopping Arcade. It’s a popular sightseeing spot in the south, and you'll be able to find it because of the large sign that has the character 道 written on it. That character means many things but in this case it's the first character in the word "douga," "tool." Here you can find plenty of stores and restaurants selling kitchen products and tableware, most of them aimed towards professional businesses.
While the everyday items like pots, frying pans, knives, tableware, and more are aimed for chefs of every level, from amateur to professionals, they also have items like signs, food samples, kitchen machinery, and even tables and chairs. It's fun to just walk around and look at everything. Some popular souvenirs are food samples made of wax that look as though they're real, cute sushi key rings, or tools to make okonomiyaki or takoyaki. This is a recommended place for people who want professional kitchen tools or just unique Japanese tools and goods.
4. Sennnichimae Douguya-suji Shopping Arcade: a place where you can buy unique cooking utensils
Amerikamura (Amemura for short) is a shopping area located south of the subway's Shinsaibashi Station. It started in the 1970s, when select shops importing American vintage clothing were very popular. Now it is still a very popular area with young people looking for the latest fashions, secondhand shops, miscellaneous goods, and food. There are more than 2,000 stores in this area! It's also full of street art so it's fun just to walk around.
After enjoying shopping at miscellaneous goods stores like Alice on Wednesday and Flying Tiger Copenhagen and shopping buildings like Shinsaibashi OPA, many people take a break at Sankaku Park. There are events held there irregularly, so if you have good timing you might be able to experience something interesting. This is the best place to enjoy Osaka fashion, gourmet, and street culture in Minami.
5. Amerikamura: the place to go to enjoy fashion
The general area called "Minami" in Osaka is a charming area full of stores and restaurants. You'll definitely be able to find something you like there, so please go look!
*Please note that the prices and other information in the article may not be the most up-to-date information
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.