Strolling on the busiest street of Dotonbori 道頓堀 at Osaka, Namba District is like taking a walk in the future world. Huge signboards illuminated the canal, created a shimmering illusion of an underwater world. The glittering neon lights of the Glico man and Asahi Super “DRY” signboards beckoned travellers from near and far, making the entire area bursting with endless business opportunities. It is the centre of entertainment for all Osakaites – endless lineups of eateries, amusement facilities and better yet, this is an area infested with drugstores.
Daytime at Dotonbori shows off a different temperament. Rows and rows of massive cuteness dangling on the signboards cultivated a merrier image of Dotonbori.
A Gastronomic Mecca of Seafood in Japan, the streets of Dotonbori never fail to please. Street food is always the highlight of each trip down to Dotonbori. Follow your senses and listen to the sizzling sound of fresh seafood and other delicacies on the grills, in the pan, and on the carts thronged along the streets. Fancy some plump and juicy scallops sautéed in garlic sauce? Hell yeah. I can smell the garlic doing some magic to the dish from a thousand miles away.
When the night falls, walk along the south bank of Dotonbori-gawa canal and see pedestrians faces glowing from the gleam of the glittering neon lights from the buildings. Osaka is the true city that never sleep!
Ichiran (一蘭拉麵), a renowned ramen chain hailed from Hakata area. Operating 24 hours, satisfy your ramen cravings at 1 am is no longer Arabian Nights at Dotonbori. Simply fill in the order sheet and follow the queue. At the entrance, purchase your order from the vending machine. Then, hand the receipt together with the order sheet to the kitchen assistant at your designated seat. A bowl of satisfying ramen will be ready in no time.
Like any other Japanese cities, this symbolic area of Osaka is best seen by foot. It is vibrant, busy and bustling with colourful neon lights, an ideal place for people watching. Plan your trip wisely, if you wish to witness the two different looks of Dotonbori.
As a rough guide: I did a brief tour in the morning at Dotonbori after visiting the Kuromon Ichiba Market, slotted in a cafe visit at the Orange Street, a hipster area nearby, toured around Osaka Castle, joined the Tenjin Matsuri before returning to Dotonbori again.
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