What's in Season

Summer means fireworks! Come to Matsuyamachi for getting hold of the best fireworks of this summer!

“Matsuyamachi” is affectionately called “Matchamachi”. Right at “Matsuyamachi Station” on Subway Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line, “Matsuyamachisuji Shopping Street” is lined with doll wholesalers dating back to olden times, which gives an image of “Doll Town”. It is transformed to fireworks only at this time of the year!! We visited some fireworks professionals to get their recommendations for this summer. Also we will show you the secret of Matsuyamachi as well as how people are sticking at it and trying hard.

Did you know? History of Matsuyamachisuji Shopping Street

     A very long time ago, a large quantity of roof tiles were manufactured in the Matsuyamachi neighborhood while the town damaged in the Battles of Osaka was making its recovery. Once a “Town of Roof tiles” where tile craftsmen gathered, it changed to a “Town of Dolls” as they began to make bisque dolls and became permanent residents.

     “But that’s not all”, says Mr. Saito, president of Wakasaya Kami Shoten, a prestigious paper wholesaler. “There used to be lots of paper wholesalers like us, also stationery and sweets wholesalers and printing shops, making a big business center in the neighborhood. Rumor has it that the cartoonist and animation creator Mr. Tezuka Osamu brought in his manuscripts here.” It was a center of trade, “one stop for all”. The street was packed in busy times. Wholesalers and shops began to decline due to various factors including change of distribution, namely the coming of large-scale mass retailers, aging shop owners and successor issues, and the face of the town is changing.

Enjoy the events and communication of the entire town!

     Alarmed by the impending crisis, Mr. Saito and other young shop owners established the Matsuyamachi Style Study Group within Matsuyamachisuji Shopping Street Promotion Association, organizing the “Spring Battle of Matsuyamachi”, a samurai parade held after the vernal equinox every year when the Boy’s May Festival doll sale starts.
     This samurai parade has won the favor of the masters of the town as well as the general public, gradually attracting attention to the town. “If only people’s interest in the town could be triggered by the parade. In Japan, shopping streets like this one are rare where people stand in front of their shop and invite customers in a busy downtown. Once upon a time wholesale was the norm, while most of the shops welcome retail customers now. Please take a look at these various shops.” A lot of shops “accommodate” their prices depending on negotiation. It pays to actively talk to the salespersons.

Solely steeped in fireworks in summer?

     “And Matsuyamachi in summer means fireworks. Doll shops and toy shops start selling fireworks at once at this season of the year.” And a lot of people come in from the Kinki area to make their purchases. “The town will be high-spirited soon. I think you can get a feel of summer just by looking at the window display”.

Interview with the professionals, popular fireworks of this year!

Ningyo-no Tenmeikan

     “We try our new products before the season. Let us know your condition, and we can accommodate you.” says Mr. Niu of Tenmeikan. He wants us to make the best of traditional face-to-face sales style.

     “Among the handheld fireworks, we recommend the ‘Botanzakura (\1,000)’ genuinely made in Okazaki in Aichi prefecture, a fireworks trading center, a fine product to enjoy the delicate work. If you like gaudy ones, the ‘Laser Beam (\150)’. If you like movement, the ‘Abarenbo (\250)’. As for the rocket type, the Japan-made ‘Uchiageyashi (\1,500)’ soars beautifully. The shiny blue ‘Hyakka (\700)’ is also interesting. I hope you will enjoy a perfect summer with these fireworks.”

Mr. Niu, Senior Managing Director of Ningyo-no Tenmeikan Co., Ltd.

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Mikinao Shoten

     According to Mr. Miki of Mikinao Shoten, “We are proud of our line-up. We do research beforehand and sell only products we can be proud of.” About 300 kinds of selected fireworks are available.

     “The focus is on fountain fireworks this year. In particular we recommend the ‘Candy Heart (\350)’ with its cute and shiny heart symbol. Also the ‘Unpredictable (\300)’. It shines brightly or pops, making unpredictable moves. ‘Pink Champagne (\800)’ and ‘Hyoketsu Blue (Frozen Blue) (\800)’ are very pretty in pink and pale blue. If you want to enjoy both the charms of rocket fireworks and fountain fireworks, the ‘Funka Renpatsu 15 (15 repeated outbursts) (\500)’ is the very thing.”

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Toys and gourmet in addition to fireworks. The more you learn, the more you like Matsuyamachisuiji Shopping Street

Yamamoto Ningyo

     “An ample line-up, mainly fete day festival toys in summer. And we also have a whole line-up of associated devices.” says Mr. Yamamoto of Yamamoto Ningyo.

     “We sell products which are functional and reasonably priced, different from those made by major toy manufacturers. The unit price is around \100, and they are sold at prices several times higher on the market. Lots of customers are surprised at the price difference”. Even highly recommended items are as cheap as ‘Octopus toy (\77)’ and ‘Pig Sticker (\35)’. It is bustling with families, and you can see why.

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Matsuyamachi Bar PASO

     “The crowd thins out at night in Matsuyamachi. However, its particular flavor and culture lingers on. I thought it interesting to fuse them together.” Most tapas (finger food) and wines are available at \2,000 - \3,000 to enjoy casually, winning support from a wide range of age groups.

Assortment of 10 tapas (\1,500)     “I think the town will regain its vitality if shops like ours increase in number and attract new customers.” Mr. Miki of Mikinao Shoten comes here after his shop closes. “We want to gradually blend into Matsuyamachisuji Shopping Street and hope to be loved by everybody.”

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Wakasaya Kami Shoten

     Such a “one added touch” may be the key word which will support future Matsuyamachisuji Shopping Street. This summer, we invite you to Matsuyamachisuji Shopping Street where people are grappling with “one added touch” to bring in a new trend on top of tradition. We guarantee you will have a fun summer!

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Such a “one added touch” may be the key word which will support future Matsuyamachisuji Shopping Street. This summer, we invite you to Matsuyamachisuji Shopping Street where people are grappling with “one added touch” to bring in a new trend on top of tradition. We guarantee you will have a fun summer!

Recommended! Places to stop by after shopping!

Inariya Kon Kon

A jewelry box of inari Sushi! Colorful and cute inari sushi is popular with its various toppings.

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The natural taste goes perfectly with the Matsuyamachi atmosphere. Take a break with the famous Omatcha (green tea) Pudding.

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	Enjoy the fireworks on the organizers’side this year!? Give us a hand to keep Osaka City Fireworks Festival alive!

     Fireworks festivals to brighten the night skies. Among them “Tenjin Matsuri Dedicated Fireworks” on July 25 (Sun) and “Naniwa Yodogawa Fireworks Festival” on August 7 (Sat) represent Osaka City. But did you know these fireworks displays are under threat due to the prolonged recession? In particular “Naniwa Yodogawa Fireworks Festival” is supported by donations from local industry, organizations and residents. It can come to an end at any time.
     If you don’t want to see that happen, why not support the firework festivals yourself? Actually “Tenjin Matsuri Dedicated Fireworks” and “Naniwa Yodogawa Fireworks Festival” are asking for individual cooperation and volunteer staff. For example, “Tenjin Matsuri Dedicated Fireworks” offers the chance to launch a rocket firework plus a souvenir replica of a traditional firecracker for a \5,000 donation. Moreover, your name will be displayed on the premises of Osaka Temmangu Shrine (until July 23). On the other hand, “Naniwa Yodogawa Fireworks Festival” is asking for staff to care for lost children or guide the site on the day as well as cleaning staff on the following day. You can cooperate with a safe and clean fireworks festival. If you love your local community, if you want to spend a summer that is different from previous years, this is your chance to lend a hand!

Tenjin Matsuri Dedicated Fireworks “Launch your fireworks!”

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Naniwa Yodogawa Fireworks Festival “Volunteers Wanted”

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