Dotonbori Street (道頓堀) in Osaka, Japan
Dotonbori is located in Osaka, and it is well known as an energetic arcade full of shops and eateries. It's really bright at night, with all the neon light ups which makes you feel like the city never sleeps. There are so many stores and places in Dotonbori Street that you won't want to miss.
Things to do in Dotonbori, Osaka
Dotonbori may seem overwhelming because of all that is going on and the potential destinations, especially when it's your first time visiting. So here's a quick guide to introduce you to some of the recommended places you don't want to miss out in Dotonbori!
1. Glico's Running Man Signboard, Osaka's Symbol
You've probably already seen this famous signboard; it is Glico, a famous Japanese food company's advertisement board. People usually take photos on the bridge with Glico's signboard in the background.
2. Ebisu Bridge
Ebisu Bridge is a bridge that is located in the heart of Dotonbori. You can walk around and take photos of Glico signboard from this bridge. It's typically crowded.
3. Kuidaore Building
Have you ever seen this guy? He has rounded glasses and a colourful outfit. He is called "Kuidaore Taro", a drummer which was installed for advertisement purpose and is the symbol of Dotonbori, and even Osaka. Osaka's known as a city of "Kuidaore", meaning "ruin oneself by one's extravagance in food". Osaka is historically a city of merchants, and this has greatly impacted its food culture. And I sure am grateful for that because Osaka has some damn good food!
The drummer is located in front of a building that has "Dotonbori ZAZA", where you can watch comedy lives.
There are also many stores where you can buy souvenirs in Osaka! There is a store called Glico-ya, where they sell snacks that Glico produces. If you are interested in what Japanese snacks look and taste like, definitely check it out!
You can also stop by "Ichibirian" where they sell souvenirs! You can have a satisfying experience just by looking at all the souvenirs lined up in the store. Can you Osaka's symbol, the drummer boy?
4. Tonbori River Cruise, Awesome Sightseeing in Osaka
If you are walking down the street of Dotonbori, you will see a yellow boat cruising the river. If you purchase a ticket (¥900 for adults and ¥400 for children), you can have a relaxing river cruise in the middle of Dotonbori! It's open from 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm on weekdays and 11:00 am to 9:00 pm on weekends. You'll get to see a lot of Osaka's tourist spots on the way.
Daruma is a really famous Kushikatsu store in Osaka! Kushikatsu is one of the signature food in Osaka, where deep fried katsu or vegetables are on skewers, usually eaten with Kushikatsu sauce. There is an interesting rule for when you are eating Kushikatsu - you cannot dip Kushikatsu into the sauce more than once! It's really important so keep that in mind when you are visiting Daruma, or any other Kushikatsu places.
PABLO is a really famous cheese cake store in Osaka! They have several branches in Osaka. Since it is so popular, there is usually a long line. Don't forget to check out their seasonal menu! In May they will have "Chestnut and Red Bean Green tea Cheesecake Tart" and in June they will have "Peach and Yogurt Cream Cheese Tart"! They also have limited menu at different branches, so make sure to check that out too!
7. Konamon Museum
Konamon Museum is a place where you can eat, make and experience Takoyaki, Osaka's soul food! What does that even mean? On the first floor they sell Takoyaki, an octopus ball, and on the second floor they have a space where you can make fake Takoyaki using wax. You can bring back a replica of Osaka's famous food for your friends to see.
People from Osaka really do love their takoyaki.
If you are looking for a place to eat Takoyaki at Dotonbori, Kukuru is where you go. This is a very famous and popular Takoyaki store in Osaka. Their original takoyaki, "Bikkuri takoyaki", a takoyaki that has octopus' legs sticking out, is their famous menu item. Also, you should try their "akashi yaki" which is similar but slightly different from takoyaki, since you eat it with dashi (Japanese soup stock) soup!
They even serve some very original ones such as these black takoyaki balls.
Since takoyaki is so famous in Osaka, a lot of restaurants offer their original take on this classic dish.
Another outstanding signboard in Dotonbori! This huge crab is Kani Doraku's signboard, and Kani Doraku is a famous restaurant where they serve crab cuisine! You can eat in, or grab some crab street food and walk around Dotonbori. They have branches all over Japan, but this is the first Kani Doraku store that has opened in Japan!
10. Don Quijote
Don Quijote is a popular store where they sell everything! Just walk in and you'll find everything you need for really cheap. You can easily spot this store by finding yellow Ferris wheel!
You can access Dotonbori by Namba station, Osaka Namba station, and JR Namba station. It is around a 5 minute walk from Namba station.
- From Osaka station, you can walk to Umeda station and take Midosuji line to Namba station (15 minutes)
- Or you can walk to Nishiumeda station and take Yotsubashi line to Namba station. (15 minutes)
- From Shin Osaka station or Tennoji station, take Midosuji line and go to Namba station. (Around 5~15 minutes)
- From Kyobashi station, take Nagahori Tsurumiryokuchi line and transfer at Shinsaibashi to Midosuji line, and go to Namba station. (Around 20 minutes)
Make the most out of your Dotonbori Visit!
Dotonbori is a really fun place to stop by and walk around. It is really close to Namba and Shinsaibashi too, so if you have time, it's worth checking out. Hope you have a great time in Dotonbori and in Osaka while you're in Japan!
Check out Dotonbori's must-try food too!
While you are in Osaka...
Shinsaibashi is really close by, so why not visit Shinsaibashi while you are in Dotonbori area?