Dotonbori Shopping Arcade

Heart and soul of Osaka

 By Jeannie Gan   Nov 30, 2011

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 colorful 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 (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 alas! This 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 tidbits you cannot resist.

Also look out for the 100 yen shops that sells everything for 100 yen (108 yen including tax), 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!

Japan Travel has a way to get you here. Book this tour now!

Written by Jeannie Gan
JapanTravel Member

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Lester Goh 2 years ago
Visited last year and was "disappointed" to find the Glico Man replaced by... ... Ayase Haruka. I might actually like this maintenance board-up better hahaha.