Dotonbori, Osaka

Life of Shal_Dotonbori_Osaka

Osaka is known as the culinary capital of Japan with Dotonobori forming one of the best places to fuel your gastronomical Asian journey. The name Dotonbori comes from the merchant Doton Yasui who actually began construction of the river in 1612. The area is now known as one of the best symbolic places representative of the Osaka region, Dotonbori is well-known for its bright neon lights, intensely glowing signage and a range of bars and restaurants. It’s no wonder this area has become one of Osaka’s most visited tourist destinations!


Life of Shal_Dotonbori_Osaka

The food culture lining these streets have certainly made Dotonbori more well-known and you will often hear the locals describing it as kuidaore meaning eat till you drop. Over the years, Dotonbori has become famous for its eye catching signs and billboards that capture the attention of those passing by, luring them in for a few hours of tasting and wondering. Look out for the giant pufferfish, octopus, the Kani Douraku crab and the Glico Running Man located above the Ebisubashi Bridge.


Must try foods and restaurants in Dotonbori:

Takoyaki: look for the big red octopus that serves as a landmark for one of the many Takoyaki restaurants nearby.

Life of Shal_Dotonbori Japan_Takoyaki Restuarant

Life of Shal_Takoyaki in Osaka 3

Fugu (puffer fish): look for the giant puffer fish and venture inside if you’re feeling a little more daring!

Life of Shal_Dotonbori Osaka_Puffer Fish Restaurant

Gyoza (dumplings): Gyoza is originally a Chinese dish that is usually made with meat and vegetables wrapped in a thin layer of rice dough before being boiled or fried. In Japan, you will find a lot of yakigyoza which are dumplings grilled on an iron plate.

Life of Shal_Dotonbori Osaka_Dumplings Restaurant

Kani Doraku: this place is famous for its moving crab sign located just above the restaurant. Visit this place if you are looking to try crab!


Life of Shal_Dotonbori Japan_Takoyaki Restuarant 2

How to get there:

From Osaka (Namba Station): Dotonbori is a five minute walk from Namba Station.

From Tokyo (Tokyo Station): Take the JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line for 2 hours and 30 minutes from Tokyo Station to Shin-Osaka Station. Then take a subway from Shin-Osaka Station to Namba Station.


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Hi World! I'm Shal - an environmental microbiologist, writer, teacher and artist from Durban, South Africa. I've spent the last two years traveling and teaching Chemistry and English to young kids in Asia. Life of Shal was founded as a way to share travel experiences, tips and other worldly magic with you! Join me on my journey!

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