Search
Online Shop Book a hotel JapanTravel

Japan Travel Logo
Blooming cherry blossoms

Den Den Town: Nipponbashi

Osaka's answer to Akihabara

06 December 2011
Rent a car
Find a hotel
Den Den Town Sign Den Den Town Sign

Den Den Town, also known as Nipponbashi, is Osaka's answer to Akihabara. Stretching from Shinsekai and reaching as far Namba, this specialty area is most famous for its electronics stores – hence the names “Den Den Town,” and “Denki no Machi,” literally “Electric Town.”

My first trip down to this area – slightly seedy-looking even in daylight – was alone and at night. It probably wasn't the best idea. I had just moved to Osaka and was looking for a used video game system to fill the long stretches of time in my tiny apartment, which had about three pieces of furniture and no cable or Internet. Each time I tried to get out to Den Den Town from my apartment in Hirakata, I ended up arriving after most of the shops were all closed. (8 P.M., for future reference!) So my first impressions of this strip were of shuttered storefronts, flashing lights outside of adult video stores, and hobos curled up in doorways.

But wait – I promise that's not all there is to Nipponbashi! I started wandering around during these trips, checking out the places that were open. Den Den Town has some great media “recycle shops” selling used CDs, games and the like. A couple of pawn shops and toy stores are open late as well as some of the multi-storey electronics shops. The 7-11 bathrooms have clean public toilets, and at the end of the stretch, Tsutenkaku Tower over in Shinsekai is of course best seen at night. Of course, if you are interested in Den Den Town's more adult lures, I doubt they ever even close!

In the daytime, Den Den Town is still a little more unkempt than your standard Osaka tourist spot, but the shopping is fabulous and cheap. The best time to hit the area is probably around dusk, when you can enjoy the crazy flashing lights and beckoning shopkeepers who are so iconic of the area. In fact, I always preferred Nipponbashi to Tokyo's Akihabara – the shops were accessible and easy to find, it's less crowded, and the layout of the area is much more suited to strolling and browsing than Akihabara is.

Walking from Ebisuchō Station Station to Namba (take a left on Sennichimae Dori, as you reach the Kintetsu Namba station!) is a nice way to see everything Nipponbashi has to offer and finish your journey in a great spot to have a bite to eat and find the right train home. And 5,000 yen for a Super Famicom and a handful of games – you just can't beat that.

Where to go next
Nippombashi Street Festa
An annual festival held in Den Den town to celebrate the area's unique pop culture scene; Nippombashi Street Festa 2012 will be held on March 20. More
Where to eat
Tako Tako King
Tako Tako King is a little chain of three shops in Shinsaibashi area. A little peace of Osaka to enjoy alone or with a good company... More
Where to stay
Kaneyoshi Ryokan
The 60’s are now in the oh-so distant past but the essence of this magic era still remains. Surrounded by the modern neon glow of Soemon-cho, Kaneyoshi Ryokan hotel continues More
Ashley Haley
Written by Ashley Haley
Contributor
When I was young, I dreamed of going overseas and having a great adventure. By the time I was in university studying Japanese, I knew that place would be Japan.After three years teaching and learning...
Join the discussion
Share your thoughts with us
If you would like to share your thoughts with us, please login. If you don't have a Japan Travel account yet, then why not create one?

Are there any errors in this article? Let us know here.

Your name
Your e-mail address
Your message

Unable to update your favorites. Please refresh your browser, ensure you are logged in, and try again.

Loading Loading...

Please login or register to save favorites.

Or login using Facebook:

Osaka City, Nipponbashi

Website (Japanese)

Japan Travel Specials
Kaigai Connection
Fuji Guidebook
Wi-Fi in Japan