Osaka reflects the development of Japanese food, culture and people. A densely populated metropolis of 2.6 million people in a prefecture of 223km2, you can expect the human activity in Osaka to be similar to that of Singapore. Osaka is extremely humid and hot in summer, which lasts from June to August every year. Like many countries, it has four seasons, but in our travel blog‘s opinion, it is best to visit Osaka in Spring (between late March to April) because the cherry blossoms are in full bloom during this season will give you the best memories (and covetable photos) of Osaka, especially when you take them at the beautiful Osaka Palace.
I recently made a trip to Osaka and stayed in Sheraton Miyako Hotel. I loved the location of this hotel because it is central to the attractions, and Osaka-Uehommachi train station is literally located at the basement of the hotel. As I had a day of R&R, I decided to visit one of the prefecture’s most-loved shopping and food street – Dōtonbori street!
Dōtonbori, a must visit when in Osaka, is located right outside Osaka-Namba station and is just two train stops away on the Kintetsu (blue) line from Osaka-Uehommachi station. I purchased a ticket at the self-service machine for 150 Yen, and got a change for my 1000 Yen note. There are many gates at the station, but you can seek the help of the station masters in uniform who are friendly and understand basic English. I was directed to take the train at Uehommachi at Gate 2. Once at Namba station, take Exit 14 and you will be at the doorstep of Dōtonbori!
Much to the delight of our Singapore Food blog, the streets of Dōtonbori are lined with street food, Japanese restaurants and souvenir shops. You can get a decent bowl of ramen at the restaurant for 1000 Yen which usually includes free flow of sencha or hojicha. If you don’t mind the wait, you’ll also be able to find 2 outlets of the popular Ichiran Ramen in and around Dotonbori street.
The famous street delicacy in Osaka is Tako Yaki, which I had at five for 370 Yen. They are savoury octopus ball snacks served hot with a generous topping of takoyaki sauce and katsuobushi bonito shavings, and a must-try when you are there!
You’ll also be able to find sushi shops with sushi starting from just 100 Yen and my personal favourite, smoked Alaska king crab legs.
Another famous street food you should try if you haven’t already is the famous cheesy delights from Pablo. The good thing about the Pablo at Dotonbori is that they offer a dine in option on the 2nd floor which is big, because in our personal opinion, Pablo taste best when eaten directly out of the oven.
For the shopaholics, you’ll be able to shop from a variety of both local brands/products and international brands such as Zara etc along the street. There’s also a huge snack shop that you’ll be able to find all sorts of snacks from around Japan such as Pocky, Kit Kat, Mochi etc. If thats not enough, malls such as Takashimaya are also within walking distance from Dotonbori.
After a day of shopping and food-tasting, do not leave before taking a few mandatory shots of Dōtonbori River from the Ebisubashi bridge in your OOTD, as well as with the Glico Man sign which can also be seen from this bridge! I took my photographs at 2pm when it was really bright and hot, so I would recommend taking the photographs in the evening when the photos will be less washed out. I would also recommend visiting Dōtonbori at night to experience the street in its vibrantly-lit splendour. Lastly, don’t forget to also check out our recommendation of other things to do in Osaka to make full use of your trip.