By Bonson Lam
Tenjinbashisuji Shotengai stretches over 2600m covering a single long street, altogether seven Chome(s) (丁目- block) boasting 600 shops of various types. The LONGEST shopping street in Japan! From the traditional kimono shops to shops cramped with chicly designed cheap T-shirts, all the way to Osaka only Okonomiyaki restaurants, almost anything can be found in this "down-to-earth" yet unique shopping street.
This shopping street has its beginnings dating back from the Edo-period as a prominent market filled with merchants hailing from all around Japan.
You can start your journey from 1-Chome, experience a more temple-like atmosphere of the Tenjinbashisuji Shotengai because of the Tenmangu(天満宮) shrine nearby. You know you are in Tenjinbashisuji Shotengai when the tarred road ends and you see tile pavements towards the long street. Your journey here starts with several restaurants and traditional shops. Just warm up by in and see how everyday Osaka people interact with each other.
Walk ahead and you will be greeted with a huge entrance with giant dolls with 天神橋２(Tenjinbashi 2) written by the side indicating 2-Chome.
A MUST try in 2-Chome is Nakamura’s Korokke (コロッケ)croquette, deep fried minced potato covered with bread crumbs . The stall is really small and easily missed if you are not looking for it carefully. My top two recommendations would be the Korokke (70yen) and the Minchi-katsu(ミンチカツ) at 120yen which is like Korokke but with minced meat.
The crispy crumbs on the outside, hot and delicious fillings in the inside are simply irresistible. The stall puts the Korokkes in small paper wrappers so that you can eat and walk at the same time.
3-Chome and 4-Chome potraits a more relaxed and downtown image of Naniwa (traditional name for Osaka), its street filled with old traditional shops that have gained public attention not only in Japan but internationally as well. Take your time to look into shops selling ceramics or cutlers selling handmade knives, scissors and even swords. If you are lucky, you can also spot some craftsman working on their lastest piece Seiro (せいろ-Bamboo Steamer).
As you move on from 5-Chome to 7-Chome, the streets get younger and energetic. Restaurants to shops selling various accessories and clothes fill the street. This is also where you can find light and unique souvenirs to bring home to your loved ones. House Kaneki (ハウス・かねき) is a shop selling almost everything from kitchen utilities to various cute and unique items.
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Hello, I am from a small town called Tangkak in Malaysia. It was my dream since young to come to Japan and I was given the opportunity in 2005 to come to Japan for a 3 year graduate program. But little did I know that I would I end up extending my stay here. Since, I’ve lived in Tokushima, Tokyo and now Osaka. I was and STILL am mesmerized with the culture, beauty and mostly the people here in Japan. I love travelling and just be absorbed with the uniqueness in Japan. It’s always fun to discover a new place or find a nice restaurant to dine in, and I hope to share them with you here. Let’s discover Japan with JapanTourist.jp!