Experience the colorful neon heart of Osaka along this canal, where travelers, couples and entertainment seekers throng the streets.
Marvel at the illuminated billboards and savor gourmet meals at Dotonbori, Osaka's primary entertainment district. This glitzy precinct, situated around the Dotonbori Canal, offers diverse shopping, compelling landmarks and a large selection of high-quality Japanese restaurants.
Dotonbori was first developed by local businessman Yasui Doton in 1612. Over the subsequent century, the area was designated as Osaka's entertainment district and hosted a number of kabuki and bunraku theaters. Enjoy the same activities more than 400 years later.
Today the district's lively entertainment spirit endures. See bunraku puppet shows, explore high-rise shopping plazas and join milling crowds on its neon-lit streets. Admire the Glico billboard; its depiction of a victorious athlete has become an Osaka icon. This famous landmark, installed in 1935, is a popular meeting place for groups of friends.
Wander Dotonbori Avenue, running parallel to the canal, to find the Kani Doraku crab. This huge mechanical crustacean is displayed above the entrance to a well-known crab restaurant. Also look for the nearby Kuidaore Taro, a mechanical drum-playing clown.
Step away from the Dotonbori bustle at the Hozenji Temple. This 17th-century shrine features a moss-covered Buddha statue called Mizukakefudo. Stroll down Hozenji Yokocho, an old-fashioned stone-paved lane. Stop at the Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum to inspect exquisite woodblock prints depicting kabuki actors.
Shop in Dotonbori's Shinsaibashi-suji and Ebisubashi-suji arcades. Browse brand-name stores or challenge your friends in video gaming parlors. Visit Don Quijote for quality discounts on a range of items.
Dotonbori is known as the region of "Kuidaore," a term which loosely translates to "excessive enjoyment of extravagance in food." Try delectable local specialties, such an okinomiyaki (a savory pancake dish), takoyaki (fried octopus balls) and kitsune udon (a warm noodle soup). Fugu fish, pufferfish with the poisonous skin and organs removed, is also popular among braver eaters.
Dotonbori is located in central Osaka, between the Dotonboribashi and Nipponbashi bridges. Walk here on foot from Namba Station. Revel in the exciting atmosphere of this buzzing district.