My friends and I decided to spend our first night in Dotonbori at Namba district mostly because, according to reviews, it is best to go there at night. Since we could not check in at Tenma Itoya Guesthouse earlier, we were not able to go Osaka Castle as initially planned.
Our Accommodation in Osaka
We were able to check in at around 4 in the afternoon at Tenma Itoya Guesthouse. Sachi-san, one of the staff, led us to our room, a traditional Japanese room complete with Tatami (type of mat), Shoji (wooden sliding doors), cushions and futon bedding. We rested and settled in before we go and explore Namba particularly Dotonbori.
When I stepped out of the guesthouse, I shouted “Ittekimasu!” meaning I am leaving and it was heard by Sachi-san. She answered, “Itterasshai!” meaning see you later. It was surreal! I know those are just words but I really feel welcomed. Arigatou Sachi-san!
Dotonbori is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Osaka. This street, which runs parallel to the Dotonbori canal, offers abundant dining and shopping options. It is best visited at night because the street is lit by hundreds of neon lights and extravagant signage, including the iconic Glico Running Man sign.
How to get to Dotonbori
Dotonbori is located at Namba District, which is basically the heart of Osaka. To get there, we need to go to Namba Station, which isn’t a single station. It has several platforms, including Kintetsu’s Osaka Namba Station, Nankai Namba Station and JR Namba Station. It was confusing but we got used to it after two days. Lol! It was hilarious we got lost so many times!
For first time travellers, don’t get so OC when it comes to Japan’s railway system because you will get lost once or a few times. Just know where you are going and what station you need to get off to. Japanese people are polite and they will surely help you out if you really don’t know where to go.
Dining at Dotonbori
Dotonbori experience will never be complete without sampling Japanese cuisine. We went to a random Yakiniku place and waited for about 40 minutes to get in. The beef was so tender and the flavour was divine! I could have ordered various beef set platter if I was not on a budget! Just like in the Philippines, a bowl of cooked rice is a central part of traditional Japanese meals. Rice is Rice, right? But in Japan, it is delicious and fluffy white! This was something I really enjoyed as a Rice lover. Japonica Rice FTW!
Shopping at Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade
When in Osaka (or anywhere in Japan for that matter), shop at H&M! Prices are lower compared to H&M Manila and the weak yen makes it even cheaper. I got a winter scarf for only JPY 300 or about PHP 110! My friends Jett and Maki get to stock up on their wardrobe too!
Count on the Japanese to have the best shoes and weird selection of platforms. Japanese girls walk around a lot, so you cannot question the quality of their shoes. It won’t survive the whole day if it was poorly made. They have this technology to create durable and comfy shoes. My cousin Ate Ann bought a 3 inch platform wedge type shoes for me which I wore for one whole day. I was really surprised I survived all the walking! Not only it provides you with extra height, but it also provides great solution for people like me who struggle with stilettos.
Japan is basically the perfect place for a Nike sneakerhead! Not only their Nike concept stores are huge, they also have shoe boutiques that specializes in out of print sneakers and hard to find stuff. There are so many designs that I’ve never seen in the Philippines! The price is also a lot cheaper here. I got two Nike Air Max (a present from my cousin) which costs around JPY 9,500 per pair. That’s like PHP 3,500!
Glico Running Man and Dotonbori Canal
After a long walk at Shinsaibashi’s shopping arcade, the Glico Running Man sign welcomed us. There are so many photo bombers in this area. It was almost impossible to get a good selfie. This area also has a lot of Ikemen (good looking guys) hanging around, inviting people to visit their clubs and restaurants. We walked towards the other side of Dotonbori and we saw a lot of weird looking people. We got a little scared so we went back. Lol!
Don Quijote Dotonbori Store
Before going home, we went to this huge Donki store (short for Don Quijote) along Dotonbori canal. I was actually overwhelmed because they sell almost everything! From stationary to household goods and foods to make-up products and adult items, you’ll find anything you want. The best part is, you can buy bulk of chocolates at reasonable rates! I bought different flavors of Kitkat, Pocky and Macadamia! Chocolate panic buying? Not really. Lol!
That’s it for Osaka’s Namba District! Though I was pretty tired on our first day (we went back to our guesthouse at around 12 midnight), it seemed like I had an infinite amount of energy. So please stay tuned for my picture spam in the next couple of days!
I could not visit Osaka, so I’m hoping I can do it on my next visit to Japan.
Same… I was hoping for Autumn as well 🙂 Japan is beautiful during Sakura season and during Autumn. Thought of clubbing it along with Tokyo Games Show which usually takes place in let September.
That's alright! You'll have more reasons to go back! My next visit would probably be next year Autumn 🙂 How about you?
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