We decided to pass on the castles and temples in Osaka (since we were planning to do plenty of that in Kyoto tomorrow), and pretty much spent the rest of our day in Namba, which is basically a large shopping/entertainment district. We probably should’ve taken the time to at least check out Amerikamura (aka “American Village”) since it wasn’t too far away, but I don’t think we missed out on too much.
Dotonbori is a long shopping street in the Namba district, and it’s one of the primary tourist spots in Osaka. The street is probably best known for its many restaurants, but it’s also recognized for a few major landmarks such as the Glico Man and the large mechanical crab at the restaurant Kani Doraku. Here’s a picture of the street (including the crab):
Dotonbori in Osaka
Further down this street, there was a statue of all three members of the comedy group Yasuda Dai Circus (with Dancho in his trademark loincloth). Chuck got some great pictures with the statues, while I unfortunately have none. I’ll see if I can get them from him so I can post them.
I also got my first taste of Osaka takoyaki from a nearby stand! Yum!
Anyway, we browsed through a lot of the shops throughout the day, on and off Dotonbori. I picked up lots of souvenirs, including some postcards and a pocket guide to Osaka-ben (for my own amusement).
At some point in the afternoon, we decided to go into the Sammy Ebisu Plaza. It’s a multi-story entertainment center, and the top floors are something like an amusement park. You go up the elevator and they give you a card which essentially functions as a credit card. There are several restaurants, booths, and shops in there, and you use your card to make any purchases, which you finally pay off in actual cash when you leave.
We had been looking to get some okonomiyaki, and there happened to be an okonomiyaki shop inside the plaza. It was really busy when we got there, and the only seats available were right at the counter in front of the teppan (though we were later moved to a table after the place started clearing up). I remember getting mine with shrimp, and Chuck got a “modern yaki,” which means it’s topped with noodles. Both of them were very good, and just thinking about it is making me crave some okonomiyaki right now…