Minami (City South)
See the real Osaka here
The shopping district centering on Namba is known as Minami. It's a charming and lively area where you can visit Dotombori, with its flashy Kanidouraku and Glico signs; Minamisemba and Horie, filled with unique shops and cafes; and Shinsaibashi, home to high-class brand shops and Amerika-mura (American Village), a front-running district in youth culture. There are also many theaters where you can see bunraku and kabuki, both part of the Kansai culture since the Edo period, as well as manzai style comedy. If you want to see the real, undistilled Osaka, be sure to visit Minami.
The birthplace of Kansai's performing arts
When visiting Osaka, you can't miss a performance of local comedy. In the Minami area, manzai and comedic plays are performed daily at the Namba Grand Kagetsu (NGK), the home stage of comedy conglomerate Yoshimoto Kogyo. Other places where you can enjoy Kansai's performing arts in Minami include the Shochiku-za, which stages kabuki, musicals, and commercial plays, and the National Bunraku theatre, that specialises in the traditional puppet theatre.
Dotonbori, home of Cui-daore (eat 'til you drop)
Dotombori is filled with famous restaurants where you can enjoy classic Osaka foods like takoyaki, okonomiyaki, tetchiri (blowfish stew), and udon. Giant sculptures in the shape of crabs or blowfish add to the excitement, helping to immerse you in the buzzing market atmosphere that is a hallmark of this city. South of the bustling Dotombori area is the more old-fashioned Hozenji Yokocho, a traditional shopping street that's reminiscent of Osaka from the olden days.
Why not do some leisurely window shopping?
Horie is a fashionable neighborhood brimming with modern boutiques and classy cafes that are popular among young people. Minami-semba, once the site of many lumber businesses, has transformed into a district of distinctive stores, hair salons, and local designer shops. If you're looking to do some shopping with a difference, be sure to visit Horie as well as Amerika-mura, which is at the cutting edge of youth street culture. Large-scale shopping centers like the beautiful, semi-outdoor Namba Parks and O1O1 NAMBA MARUI are also lively destinations.
Distinctive shopping streets
Another part of Minami's charm is the selection of bustling shopping streets where you can stroll past countless vendors selling unique gifts. The Shinsaibashi-suji Shotengai, running parallel to Midosuji Boulevard, has a long history and about 180 shops, including Daimaru Shinsaibashi. Another must-visit strip is the famous Sennichima Doguyasuji Shopping Street, packed with stores selling all sorts of tools related to food, from cooking utensils like knives, pots, and cutting boards, to dishes, neon signs and paper lanterns. You can also visit Kuromon Ichiba, stocked with fresh foods, and Nippombashi DENDEN Town, an electronics district on par with Tokyo's Akihabara.