Tokyo has Harajuku and Shinjuku, well, Osaka has Amerikamura.
For those looking for a more youthful vibe (and cheaper buys), this place is definitely worth checking out. Only a 5 minute walk from the Shinsaibashi Station, Amerikamura is down the road from Dotonbori, so if you are headed there first, make sure not to spend all your cash!
Although there are no signboards stating that you are in Amerikamura, you will feel the shift in the shops that line the streets when you have reached. The retailers at Amerikamura all have their own distinct styles, although the ‘American’ theme stays true in all of them. You will know you have hit the place when you start seeing shops selling caps, sneakers, hoodies and Adidas t-shirts. The lamp-posts lining the streets of Amerikamura are also specially shaped, adding to the already funky atmosphere of the place.
Although the fashion trend at Amerikamura is supposedly ‘American’, it should be noted that the concept of American from a Japanese point of view and foreigner point of view are vastly different. Here you can find many shops that sells hip-hop style clothes and accessories while others take on a more tribal/reggae vibe. Adidas, Ed Hardy and other less outlandish western casual wear are the common stocks in most shops, but there are other smaller stalls stocking curious goods. There is a backpack store selling all sorts of whacky bags of every shape and size. If you fancy some tribal leather goods or gothic pendants, there is a shop for them too (and they play really good soul music in the background).
Second hand shops, something you probably did not know existed in Japan can be found here as well. Some focuses on branded goods while others are home of other random trinkets and pre-loved goods. If you have some old t-shirts you feel like re-styling, many of the shops here also offer t-shirt cutting services to spice up that boring old shirt of yours. If you cannot read the Japanese signs, just look for any shop with DIY cut T-shirts displayed outside (there are literally a ton of them).
Food wise, you will find typical street food found in other parts of Osaka, such as Takoyaki, but there are also American food stalls selling fries and hot dogs. A highlight in terms of food here is the super-tall soft-serve ice-cream only found in Amerikamura. It is apparently 40cm long (excluding the cone), so if you are with adventurous friends or family, it might be a worthy challenge.
There are even more hidden gems tucked away inside Amerikamura, so make a trip there and find out for yourself!