By Franki Webb
For the fashionistas and those too hipster for your mainstream shops, Orange Street is for you. Getting to Orange Street requires a bit of walking from either the JR Namba Station or Shinsaibashi Station but it is definitely worth it. Alternatively, it is a shorter walk south of Yotsubashi.
Once you enter the large gates that read Tachibana or “Orange Street” you will see that there is no doubt that Osaka’s most talented creatives and designers have set up shop here. From the quaint to the chic, Orange Street is home to what feels like an uncountable number of select shops and unique cafes. Nearly every shop is different from the next and all of them have such distinct and special architecture and design that you will probably find yourself taking photos of them non-stop.
Fashion wise, you will find select shops with carefully curated designer goods, both international and local. If you are one for finding out what the young local fashion designers are up to these days, this is the place to see them all. Style wise, from high-street to punk rock, there is a store for every style, your only worry would be if you have the cash to back up your purchase impulses.
If fashion is not your thing, Orange Street is also home to a large number of traditional pre-war furniture shops, guaranteed to satisfy your home décor cravings. A few Meiji-era (1868 - 1912antique shops are also littered along this 800 meter long street, showcasing handicrafts that combine exquisite Japanese decoration with Western influences.
Given the length of this shopping district, you are abound to need a break at some point, at which you will be spoiled for choice. Café culture is definitely striving along this street and all the cafes have a distinct flavor. There are small French-styled café bakeries, cozy bistros, art and music cafés (complete with live acts) and even an organic cafe-bar.
Creative combinations of spaces is also common here. There are restaurants combined with furniture shops, cafes combined with pop-up stores; even that tiny shoulder-width space between two shops is a boutique all on its own.
Orange Street is somewhere where you can experience a different side of Osaka. The paradigm shift that the city’s trendsetting youths are leading starts here, so if you wish to really feel the creative culture of the young and creative of Osaka, visit Orange Street, you will not regret it.
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