Day Tour in Osaka: What to Do in Dotonbori--Osaka's Heart
Updated: Oct 31, 2019
Day Tour in Osaka: What to Do in Dotonbori - Osaka's Heart
Dotonbori is the bustling entertainment district of Osaka designated between the bridges of Nipponbashi and Daikokubashi on the Dotonbori Canal.
Your Osaka trip is not complete without exploring Dotonbori.
What’s with Dotonbori anyway? When in a new city, there’s always that part of the place where you hang out at any time of the day. In Osaka, it’s Dotonbori. It has everything you need to explore a new place — food, entertainment, temple, among others.
Located in Minami, the southern part of Osaka, Dotonbori shines bright at night. But at day time, it’s a different place. Here are a few things to do in Dotonbori that are included in most day tours in Osaka:
1. Try river cruise
If walking seems like a chore to you, taking a river cruise along the Dotonbori Canal might just be the perfect thing to do. This 20-minute day tour in Osaka starts from near Namba Station up to the end of the canal. Flamboyant, massive signages and billboards line up Dotonbori Canal’s promenade, so taking a river cruise allows you to see them from a different perspective. And, Dotonbori is quite a tourist spot. Taking the cruise avoids the sometimes annoying foot traffic.
2. Kuidaore (“Eat till you drop”)
Osaka’s obsession with food is no secret. It’s not called “Nation’s Kitchen” for nothing. This is summed up with the Japanese word kuidaore, which is often interpreted as “eat till you drop.” But kuidaore in literal sense means to splurge on food until you break the bank. There are so many amazing food places in Osaka that you should try, but Dotonbori is where you get some of the best. Some must-visit restaurants in Dotonbori include Kani Dourako, Kukuru, Hariju, Kushikatsu Daruma, and Zubora-ya.
3. Spot famous signages and billboards
Sure, spotting famous signages and billboards is best done at night, but if that’s not an option, you can definitely do it in broad daylight but still experience these in all its glory. If you are with your friends, you can make it a game day spotting these. Some of the most popular giant signages and billboards you should find are clown, octopus, crab, pufferfish, and the Glico running man. The Glico running man billboard is the most symbolic of all which has been around since 1935.
4. Shop at Shinsaibashi
If you need retail therapy, we highly recommend including Shinsaibashi in your Osaka itinerary. Shinsaibashi is one of Osaka’s longest shopping arcade where both local retail shops and international clothing brands like H&M, Forever 21, Zara, and Bershka coexist. It’s a great place to observe Japanese trends and fashion if that’s something you are interested in. Shinsaibashi is also packed with restaurants and cafés serving traditional Japanese and western delicacies.
5. Pray at Hozenji Temple
Hozenji Temple is a Buddhist temple that has a rich history that dates back as early as 1637. Though situated near the bustling area of Dotonbori, the temple remains quiet and tranquil, perfect for praying and finding your inner peace. Most parts of Hozenji were destroyed during World War 2 with only two buildings left standing. The temple pays homage to Fudo Myoo, the god who protects people from evil and demons and grants all wishes.
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