Since I ended up staying at Shinsaibashi during my stay in Osaka, I had a very close access to the Dotonbori shoutengai (shopping street) which has a variety of shops and restaurants. My first impression of Osaka is that it’s a very busy city similar to Tokyo but the people seem far more laidback. The Shinsaibashi and Dotonbori areas themselves are pure assault on your visual sense. You can see large neon signs and various ornaments adorning the shops that line up alongside the street. What makes the Dotonbori special is that the place has a little canal complete with colorful Ferris Wheel which circles around a tall building nearby. Obviously it looks pretty at night.
One thing that I couldn’t stand about Osaka, however, is the heat. Of course with this month still being summer, it’s expected that the weather will be hot. However, the heat in this city is inhuman in comparison to the heat in Tokyo. Actually, I find that the further West you go in Japan, the hotter the weather ended up being. I was soaked by sweat during a visit to Miyajima Island, which was 5 minutes away from Hiroshima. The bad thing about the heat is it makes you feel unmotivated to do any sightseeing. It’s hard to be excited about it when the weather is humid and makes you sweat every step of the way. So if you want to go to Osaka, I’d recommend not to do it during summer.
Osaka is pretty famous for its foods. Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki are said to be originated from this area. The same thing can also be said for Warabi-mochi. I actually took some photos of the foods that I purchased while I’m here but I’ll save that for another post since this one is already filled with a lot of pictures of the city. The Dotonbori area seems popular with the young people. Despite the fact that the heat makes everyone sweat like there’s no tomorrow, it doesn’t seem to damp their enthusiasm to hang out and eat Takoyaki in the area. Ah, word of warning, if you do go to Dotonbori, do not enter the Dotonbori Gokuraku building. I think it’s a rip-off.
To begin with, you actually have to pay 315 Yen just to enter the building. Once inside, you’ll find out that all that the building have is just a collection of restaurants. The only difference is that the setting is a re-creation of Osaka during Showa period. If you’re really that desperate to see this kind of period re-creation, I’d suggest that you go to the Floating Observatory basement level. They have similar period re-creation but you don’t have to pay for just entering the area (unless you go to the observatory tower). Besides, Dotomburi itself is a street lined with lots of restaurants. If you go here, you should see this giant Takoyaki that one shop sells. Hmm, maybe I should buy that tomorrow.
How to go to Shinsaibashi: from Shin-Osaka station, take the Midosuji subway line stopping at Shinsaibashi station. Use exit number 6 to go straight to the Shinsaibashi’s shopping street.2 comments