Dotonbori is one of Osaka’s (大阪) most popular and appreciated entertainment and dining districts. It is located within the southern Downtown called Namba. The district is home to an abundance of restaurants for all budgets, all delivering quality food.
Osaka, Japan’s (日本) third biggest city, is known as a culinary hotspot. This can especially be witnessed in Dotonbori, where dishes which Osaka is famous for, namely Takoyaki (たこ焼き) and Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き), can be found all over the place.
Dotonbori is also a great place for nightlife. If you haven’t yet had enough of the vibrant excitement that is Roppongi (六本木) back in Tokyo (東京), you can enjoy a similar experience here in Osaka. In addition to that, you have funky street illuminations and signs all over the place, giving it a bit of a “Cyberpunk” vibe.
Rather than a big district, Dotonbori is actually more like a long street that stretches throughout northern Namba. I highly recommend trying either Takoyaki or Okonomiyaki here as these are their most well-known dishes (well deserved!).
There are two very popular restaurants for these two dishes that are located right in the middle of Dotonbori.
For Okonomiyaki, you can go to a restaurant called “Chibo”. It is open from 11:00 – 24:00 every day. Because of its popularity, you should prepare for some waiting time during busier hours.
For Takoyaki, I recommend the “Dotonbori Konamon Museum” to the west of Chibo. It has a huge octopus sculpture attached to the building, you can’t miss it. Here, you can also make your own Takoyaki if you want. The museum is open from 11:00 to 22:00 every day.
Many shops, bars and restaurants in the Dotonbori area are open 24 hours a day, or very close to it. This makes it an even better nightlife location since you won’t have to worry about finding things to do at night.
How to get to Dotonbori
Dotonbori lies in southern Osaka in a bigger area which is called Namba. The two closest train stations to Dotonbori are Namba Station and Kintetsu Nippombashi Station. From both you can reach the district within about 5 minutes of walking, either from the western or eastern side.
Starting at Osaka Station:
To get to Namba Station you first walk about 5 minutes to the nearby Umeda Subway Station. From there, you take the Midosuji Line for 8 minutes and 230 Yen (1,83€/$2.09; exchange rate as of March 2019).
Getting to Kintetsu Nippombashi Station is practically the same route, you just add another trip from Namba Station to said Kintetsu Nippombashi Station. If you’re at Osaka Station, this trip obviously doesn’t make a lot of sense (unless you want to visit something specific on the eastern side of Dotonbori and do not want to walk).
However, if you’re somewhere in eastern Osaka, then this station is a better destination to go for.
Dotonbori is easily one of the first areas that you will want to visit when coming to Osaka. It’s an amazing place for any food enthusiast as well as people that are into nightlife. But even if you’re neither of those you can still have fun exploring the flashy street decorations and funky bars.
As it is located in the southern downtown area (Namba), you can easily walk right around to some other awesome sights that are in the area. I will cover the Namba district in a separate article very soon.
And that’s it for Dotonbori, I hope you enjoyed it!
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