Updated: July 12, 2019
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Nipponbashi's DENDEN Town & Ota Road | Access, good spots and more!

Osaka City

If you're visiting Osaka, one thing that you should have on your list of things to do is visiting DENDEN Town and Ota Road, the over-the-top 'electric' district where you can find everything related to the otaku subculture of Japan!

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Nipponbashi: Osaka's otaku town

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Whether you're into otaku (geek) culture or not, the Nipponbashi area of Osaka is a fascinating place to visit. Often compared to Tokyo's super famous Akihabara district, you'll find there an incredible concentration of stores selling cheap electronics, gadgets, toys, mangas, animes, and basically everything related to Japan's otaku culture. It's also in this area that you can find plenty of maid cafes if you'd like to experience that.
cosplay
Cosplayers are also out in the open in Nipponbashi.
nipponbashi_cosplayers
The rise of DENDEN town - Nipponbashi's nickname which translates roughly to electric town - started post WW2, when electronics became widely commercialized. With the major economic crisis of the late 1980s, shops started focusing on selling mostly discount electronics, and as a complement to these products otaku culture-related goods followed.

Access

You can walk to the Nipponbashi DENDEN town area from Namba Station in about 10 minutes. Exit 9 is the one that is closest to the area. The Nipponbashi Station (one station away from Namba) of the Sennichimae subway line is a little closer but it's not really worth taking the subway if you're in Namba.

If you are in Umeda, take the train to Namba Station on the Midosuji Line.
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There are two main streets to explore. One is the main shopping street of DENDEN town (in blue in the map above), and the other is the Ota Road (in red).

DENDEN Town main shopping street

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You can start with the main shopping street of DENDEN Town. It has a plethora of small shops and some very big ones too. Volks Osaka Showroom is one of the flagship large stores you can't miss there. Explore on eight floors the huge selection of toys, figurines, and all kinds of things related to otaku culture hobbies.

Volks Osaka Showroom address: 4-9-18 Nipponbashi, Naniwa Ward, Osaka

Ota Road

otaroad
Ota Road is a back street parallel to DENDEN Town's main shopping street to the west. This street is mostly pedestrian and has a vibrant atmosphere.

One of the main multi-story shops on this street is Animate Osaka Nipponbashi Location. There you'll find all the manga comic books, animes, card games, and figurines you can dream of.

Animate Osaka Nipponbashi Location: 1-1-3 Nipponbashi, Naniwa Ward, Osaka
gram_cafe_nipponbashi
There are a few restos and cafes worth the try as well. How about some super fluffy Japanese pancakes at gram's? You'll be amazed by how jiggly they are. They're done souffle-style so they aren't that heavy despite their impressive volume.

In closing...

The DENDEN Town main street and Ota Road are must-see spots in Osaka. Once you're done exploring them, at a very short distance walk to the north is an equally famous spot called the Kuromon Market which is extremely popular for its delicious and unique kinds of street foods that vendors grill on the spot for you. Make sure to check out that spot as well!
tabikamome
Japanese food culture enthusiast. Love to explore new areas and discover local specialties.

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