Hey there, fellow geeks and adventurers! If you’re planning a trip to Osaka, Japan, you’re in for a treat beyond just delicious okonomiyaki and takoyaki. While these savory delights are famous in Osaka, there’s a whole world of experiences waiting for you in the city’s diverse neighborhoods. Join me on a virtual tour as we uncover some of the coolest spots to eat, drink, explore, and shop in Osaka.
Fukushima – For the Foodies
Are you ready to eat like a true Osakan and embrace ‘Osaka no kuidaore’? Head to Fukushima, a gastronomic paradise just one stop west of Osaka Station. The heart of this neighborhood is Josho New Street, where neighborhood izakayas compete for your taste buds’ attention.
Moeyo Mensuke is a must-visit for duck ramen enthusiasts. Their duck ramen is a game-changer, blending rich flavors that will have your taste buds dancing. And if you’re feeling adventurous, give their horse-meat tartare a try – it’s a unique Osakan delicacy.
For a deeper dive into Osaka’s culinary scene, visit Izumo Unagi, a freshwater eel specialist. Their signature unadon, a bowl of rice topped with an omelette roll and grilled eel, is a mouthwatering experience. And don’t shy away from their eel skewers – they’re surprisingly delicious.
And if you’re craving soba, make your way to Sobakiri Karani, a hidden gem that specializes in hand-pulled soba noodles. Pair your meal with some local sake, and you’re in for a treat.
Shinsaibashisuji – The Cocktail Haven
Calling all cocktail connoisseurs! Shinsaibashisuji is your paradise. This central district, just north of the Dotonbori Canal, boasts a remarkable concentration of craft cocktail bars.
Bible Club Osaka takes you back in time with its speakeasy vibe. The bar’s interior, inspired by Prohibition-era America, sets the stage for an unforgettable experience. Try their BC Penicillin cocktail, infused with a mist of single malt, for a taste of history with a twist.
For more cocktail adventures, check out Bar Nayuta and Bar N. The former crafts elaborate cocktails using carefully chosen ingredients, while the latter offers a wide selection of premium local and imported whiskies in a laid-back setting. Cheers to the night!
Nakazakicho – The Hipster Hideaway
If you’re into a haphazard stroll of discovery, Nakazakicho, often dubbed Osaka’s hipster district, is your ideal destination. Here, you’ll find cozy cafes, boutique stores, and Instagrammable low-rise houses with sliding wooden doors.
Salon de Amanto is a serene cafe tucked away behind cascading vines, offering fair-trade Filipino coffee and unique monkfruit-based drinks like the rankanka. Perfect for unwinding and soaking in the local vibe.
Gallery Arabiq is a cafe known for its library and a signature frothed coffee sprinkled with colorful sweets. It’s a great spot for Instagram enthusiasts.
And if you’re into vintage shopping, don’t miss Green Pepe, a treasure trove of vintage clothing and knick-knacks.
Minamihorie – Shop ‘Til You Drop
Fashion-forward geeks, this one’s for you! While Amerikamura might be the hub of Japanese pop-culture fashion, Minamihorie has its own charm. Local artisan brands showcase their creations in small shops, making it a joy to explore.
Studio d’Artisan is your go-to for quality denim clothing, while Achroma offers high-end Osakan streetwear.
en.DAWS has a rich collection of pre-loved US clothing, and Lara Vintage specializes in vintage clothing for women. You’ll find unique pieces to add to your collection.
And if you’re a vinyl enthusiast, don’t miss the hidden record stores, like Revenge Records and Flake Records, offering everything from vintage vinyl to on-brand merch.
Osaka’s neighborhoods have something for everyone, whether you’re a foodie, cocktail enthusiast, explorer, or fashionista. So, go ahead, dive into the diverse culture of this vibrant city. Osaka is not just about food; it’s a feast for all your senses!
This article was brought to you by your friendly geeky journalist, exploring the coolest corners of Osaka.
Published in the Japan supplement, distributed with the October 2023 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Osaka Neighborhoods
Q: How do I get to Fukushima neighborhood in Osaka?
A: To reach Fukushima, take a train to Osaka Station, and then it’s just one stop to the west. You’ll find the culinary delights of Josho New Street waiting for you.
Q: What’s the must-try dish at Moeyo Mensuke in Fukushima?
A: Don’t miss their duck ramen – a flavorful treat that’s a favorite among visitors. And if you’re adventurous, give their horse-meat tartare a try.
Q: What’s the best way to experience the speakeasy vibe at Bible Club Osaka in Shinsaibashisuji?
A: Start by descending 120-year-old antique stairs imported from California. Once inside, savor their BC Penicillin cocktail for a taste of history with a twist.
Q: Is Nakazakicho a good place for vintage shopping?
A: Absolutely! Nakazakicho is known for its cozy cafes and boutique stores. Check out Green Pepe for vintage clothing and knick-knacks.
Q: What can I expect to find at the vintage record stores in Minamihorie?
A: In Minamihorie, you’ll discover hidden record stores like Revenge Records and Flake Records, offering vintage vinyl and vinyl-related merchandise.