A Night Tour of Minami
Once upon a time, Dotombori was lined with playhouses and comic story theaters. After the shows were finished, actors and writers would walk along the alleys and enjoy a drink at Hozenji Yokocho. So step back into the Osaka of days gone by with a night tour of the city's old entertainment quarter. After watching an evening Bunraku puppet show, take a stroll along quiet alleys, tucked away from the noise. In the charming, atmospheric alley of Hozenji Yokocho, enjoy shops, bars and restaurants that have been there for centuries.
|Subway Sakai-suji Line / Sennichimae Line Nippombashi Station|
|1.||1 min walk||National Bunraku Theatre|
|2.||Approx. 7 min walk||Hozenji Yokocho|
|3.||A short walk|
|4.||A short walk|
|5.||A short walk|
1. National Bunraku Theatre
Bunraku is a traditional art Osaka is proud of to present to the world. The National Bunraku Theatre, right at the Subway Nipponbashi Station, where Bunraku performances, appreciation classes, young performers' groups, etc, are held at all times. Familiar tragic romances by Monzaemon Chikamatsu, historical stories, horror stories, etc, various performances can be enjoyed any time. The narrator's voice, sound of the music instrument shamisen, and the Bunraku puppets who are seemingly brought to life by the puppeteers. The three become one on the spectacular stage to draw the audience in. Audio guide available, good for beginners.
During the performance season, 2-3 shows are put on every day. Make sure to check beforehand. After enjoying the evening performance, take a stroll to Dotombori.
|Admission||Varies according to the performance|
2. Hozenji Yokocho
Approx. 7 minutes walk from Bunraku Theatre. Glancing at the noisy main street, look up to find a big signboard "Hozenji Yokocho". The board up on the gate of the west side of the alley was written by Kanbi Fujiyama, and the one on the east side was by the third Harudanji Katsura. The Yokocho with two alleys, each 80m in length, 3m in width, extending east to west, is filled with long-established Japanese restaurants, bars, okonomiyaki restaurants, and skewered cutlet shops, etc. Clicks of footsteps echo on the stone pavement with ambience. This area was originally within the premises of Hozenji temple of Tenryuzan, Jodo sect, and the stalls for worshippers developed into the alley. The temple and the alleys were burnt down in the air raids of WWII, and they were revived as an entertainment district after the war. It is known as the place of "Meoto Zenzai (Bravo for the couple)" by Sakunosuke Oda, and was depicted in a popular song "Hozenji Yokocho under the Moon". The Fudo statue which survived the war is covered with green moss from the water poured by worshippers who make wishes upon it. Shrouded in incense smoke, it seems to be smiling.
* Many of the shops at Hozenji Yokocho were burnt down in the two fires which broke out at the former Nakaza Theatre, but the area was miraculously revived by a signature collecting campaign by the many citizens and efforts of storeowners. There are still an abundance of shops to love in Yokocho, leaving the ambience of the past, and keeping the sentiments of Naniwa. It is a 'different' space to appreciate.
3. Shoben Tangotei
A Japanese restaurant with a long history, established in 1893. It was introduced in "Meoto Zenzai" by Sakunosuke Oda. There is a stone memorial with a passage from the novel in front of the store. The unusual name means "Our store with sincere heart, we behave rightly." It was burnt down in the fire of former the Nakaza Theatre in September, 2002, but was rebuilt within a year. It was faithfully reproduced in pre-fire fashion. Inside is Japanese Modern atmosphere. At the table which feels like personal room, enjoy the noted Miso oden (￥630).
"All right, let's splurge tonight!" Spiny lobster is the thing for such occasion! The lobster cooked to order at Hozenji Yokocho is plump and sweet. All-jobster menu includes sashimi, stewed lobster in a broth, suki-nabe, deep fried lobster. Enjoy the subtle taste of the 'Queen of the Sea'.
5. BAR "Michi"
The master of the BAR "Michi" succeeded his mother over 30 years ago in the corner of Yokocho. Regulars flock to him one after the other. "I treat everybody as an ordinary customer no matter how great or famous they are. I think that is why the customers like to come here and relax." So do not worry if you are a first-timer. He will provide you with comfort as if you were a regular. Open the door, and about 600 kinds of liquor and master's homemade raisin butter welcomes you. Mild taste, time slowly passes by.