Namba (Minami) is a district located in the South of Osaka and considered as one of the most dynamic of the city, with its northern counterpart Umeda (Kita). The main commercial street called Dotonbori represents its hot spot with numerous stores and popular restaurants to hang out at night.
More than this dynamism, it is also one of the most famous districts of the city, specifically with its symbolic figure of the Glico marathon runner on the huge sign above the Dotonbori canal. Namba sometimes reminds visitors of Camden Town in London: there is everything everywhere, all shapes, sizes and colors, we do not know where and what to look anymore. There is even a skyscraper with a big wheel!
On site, the experience is direct and without any filter: coming from the very organized and gridded Tokyo, Osaka appears more raw and abrupt, maybe more westernized finally! It is true that it is easy to get used to the Japanese comfort, tidy waiting lines, politeness, decency… everything that makes Japan. And then comes Osaka which is the concrete exception to the rules.
So, Dotonbori, parallel to the eponym canal, is a street made of numerous restaurants. The gigantic signs of all sorts made its celebrity and there are plentiful of places to entertain. Do not miss to taste takoyaki, the city specialty, and to visit the specific souvenir store of these little balls. Nearby, you will find dedicated arcades for shopping, and ladies and gentlemen, strong will be the temptation! Fashion, shoes, bags, accessories and many more items are waiting for you in these arcades.
Not far from there is Amerikamura, a shopping district often compared to Harajuku.
How to get to Namba
By subway -- Namba Station:
- from NishiUmeda, Yotsubashi Line (7 minutes, 240¥ / ~US$ 2.10)
- from Umeda, Midosuji Line (8 minutes, 240¥ / ~US$ 2.10)
- from Shin-Osaka, Midosuji Line (16 minutes, 280¥ / ~US$ 2.50)
- JR Yamatoji Line, JR Namba station
- Hanshin Namba Line, Osaka-Namba station
- Nankai Main Line, Namba station
Location reachable with the JRP : order your Japan Rail Pass (from ~US$ 271)