Continuing the story…
On Wednesday morning, we got up early and took the train to Osaka. We decided to first take a quick look at Den Den Town (also known as “Electric Town”) in the Nipponbashi district. The area is often compared to Akihabara in Tokyo, but it’s not nearly as prominent or as densely packed. After having already been to Akiba, I didn’t find it particularly amazing. Still, there’s plenty to please an otaku.
When we got there most of the shops were still closed or barely opening, so we didn’t go through too many places, but we did at least pass through Osaka Gundam’s, a fairly impressive multilevel Gundam store. One neat attraction is at the top of escalator to the second floor, there’s a large Gundam fist breaking through the wall. Unfortunately, no pictures were allowed. There are also a lot of neat customized gunpla on display (again, no pictures).
After passing through several blocks of Den Den Town, we found ourselves at our next destination: Shinsekai. This neighborhood used to be a favorite place for my friend Nate while he was in Osaka. It has the atmosphere of a less modern urban Japan, and is situated in a destitute area of Osaka, so there are generally many homeless people around. Shinsekai also has somewhat of a reputation as a seedy area. Even local Osakans tend to avoid Shinsekai, though in reality it’s supposedly not so dangerous (it’s still Japan, after all). Some sources on the web say there used to be a lot of crime in previous decades, but I don’t really know much about the history of the place. In any case, you can be sure it’s full of interesting people.
The central landmark of Shinsekai is the Tsutenkaku tower. Compared to other towers, it’s not that tall, but among the surrounding buildings, it definitely stands out.
Anyway, some pictures of Shinsekai, all including the Tsutenkaku from different angles:
A main entrance to Shinsekai
Just past the entrance
One of the Shinsekai intersections
A view from deeper inside Shinsekai