The “Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street” stretches approx. 2.6km north to south, and boasts of being the longest straight shopping street in Japan. Approx. 600shops varying from good old specialty shops to quite business-minded idea shops, and literally Osaka-like restaurants. Drop by here and there, invited by the smile at the storefront, and you will be filled up both in your stomach and heart. We suggest going there on the way to worship at Osaka Temmangu or to give your spirits a fillip on New Year’s Day!
Tenjinbashi neighborhood was one of the earliest shopping streets in Osaka. Shops were already lining the streets of Osaka Temmangu area in the early Meiji era (1868-1912), and it is said to have grown to be close to the current size by the advent of the Showa era (1926-1989).
Walk the history-rich shopping street from one end to the other, and pick up some gems among the shops! How many shops did you find unforgettable?
1-Chome on the south end starts not too far across the Okawa river from Nakanoshima. The starting area is an open-air shopping place. The fashionable neighborhood includes an art gallery in a retro building built in 1923.
Restaurants with their own character make it difficult to decide already. Entering the arcade in the middle will excite you as if you were “jumping into a fun zone!”
A shop specializing in miso, established in the Edo era (1603-1868). The secret of the taste is the naturally brewed miso starter fermented for a long time. Heihachiro Oshio, a Confucian scholar, was a regular customer.
Turn right at Osaka Temmangu for 2-Chome.
Lined with shops as though it were an approach way to a shrine. Temmatenjin Hanjotei, a permanent rakugo theater, seems to give a boost to the liveliness.
We found people waiting in line right in front of us! They are waiting for “Nakamuraya”, famous for its hot croquettes and ground meat cutlets. You can buy as little as a single piece, so try one, and walk on further.
On crossing the National Highway Route 1, we looked up to find four lifelike dolls! They are “welcome dolls” to greet holy spirits at Funatogyo during the Tenjin festival. It is very Osaka-like and first-time visitors often become perplexed.
Success-wishing buns are popular among students taking examinations and they share the good luck of Temmangu. The eldest son grew up eating them and was admitted to Kyoto University and Tokyo University Graduate School for the elite. Please try one of these blessed buns.
3-Chome is the longest and has the most shops.
“Kunkundou”, a Japanese sweets shop, has been watching over the street for over 150 years.
The shop makes rice cakes and dry confectionary for Temmangu. Also popular are their novelty sweets such as “Hatsutenjin”, associated with a rakugo piece.
We walked on and found “Bunkyudo”. An ordinary stationery shop, yet do not miss the “Toryanse Pencil” and “Success Eraser” for the coming season.
A cheap joke? No, do not underestimate its power when you wish for examination success!
Kunishige Cutlery Shop
The line up runs from kitchen knives and scissors to high quality cutting tools for professional gardeners and flower arrangement artists.
Many of them are hand-crafted whose durability is also their charm.
Tamaichi Doi Chinaware
Various dinnerware from household to professional use. Trendy Tagine pots are popular.
You may find a rare gem in “Shuki”, a corner especially for sake drinking sets opened last winter.
French Patisserie Le Moule à Tarte
Popular cakes and baked sweetmeats make good use of their ingredients and are made by the owner who trained in France for his customers to casually enjoy French traditional pastries.
4-Chome stretches from subway Ogimachi station to JR Temma station.
The area near Ogimachi station is nicknamed “Tenyon”, while the area north of 4-Chome near Temma station is nicknamed “Tenshi (a homophone of the word for “angel” in Japanese) Kita”, a place with an angelic character from its name. However, the incessant pedestrian traffic consists of angels….no, of course they are all just people. Shops also have a character from bargain-priced supermarkets to sophisticated interior shops and specialty shops with rich personalities.
All the fun of shopping is condensed into this area.
The shop is filled with a playful mood, with fashion items lined up such as small articles and goods, bags and accessories in addition to clothes with good taste.
They will do total coordination for you.
The street becomes narrow in 5-Chome, full of energy, as if shops on both sides all seemingly coming at you shouting “Maido”.
The bars are fairly crowded even in the daytime. Lots of discount shops with signs claiming “All Hats \1000” or “Sandals \300”.
Please note “Narita Kimono Shop”. This may be the only kimono shop where kimono are sold in auction style. An authoritative voice resounds in the shop for about 2 hours from 14:30 every Sunday. Bidders raise their hands and do janken (Stone, Paper, Scissors). Anybody can join in. It is fun just to watch them.
Aiming further north while enjoying the crisp crust of a hand-baked fish shaped cake of “Taimu” we found on the way.
Shop specializing in curtains since the Taisho era (1912-1926).
You can have the size altered on the spot if you find something you like (for free).
The cash register machine has been going strong for over 80 years, a sight worth seeing.
The arcade at 6-Chome, the end of a shopping street with an arcade, is in stained glass style and gives off a sophisticated air, yet the Tenjinbashisuji atmosphere is here!
You may find a gem in a discount shoe store or clothes shop. A retro coffee shop offers good taste also.
We recommend the experience of Osaka in the Edo–Showa era at The Osaka Museum of Housing and Living in a building directly connected with Tenjinbashisuji 6-chome station.
Lined up with various things from kitchen items to cute sundry goods.
Good items to enrich your life. You will feel excited just by looking at them.
Our shopping street crossing ends in 7-Chome.
Though there is no arcade, you tend to find a lot of shops with a personality in such out-of-way place.
Stroll beneath the blue skies and walk toward the goal of Tenjinbashi Shopping Street!
Torii in 4 colors like the red and blue hung on the top of some arcades, fitting for the approach way to Osaka Temmangu.
You can enjoy shopping while feeling blessed!
Stone monument at “Meotobashi” – helps you to find “the right one”?
This stone monument lies between 3- and 4-Chome. There used to be two ponds, for a husband and wife. Lots of stories were written on the theme of this bridge. There is the Meotobashi Jizo statue nearby, the best location to pray for a harmonious marriage.
Jumbo ladybug, no, “Tenyon Bug”
The arcade façade has a ladybug with four black spots on a pink back. four ladybug spots - spots (“ten” in Japanese) four (“yon” in Japanese)…tenyon…. Yes, this is 4-Chome!
Market in a building “Purara Temma – Temma market”
Temma market has been selling fresh groceries since the time when Osaka Castle was built. It prospered as a symbol of Osaka, the kitchen of Japan. It is in a modern building, yet its existence as a place to offer fresh ingredients at reasonable prices remains unchanged.
Trendy area! Tengo Nakazaki Dori Shopping Street
This shopping street extends at a right angle to the west from Tengo Shopping Street.
An area of focus with tasteful cafés, shops and restaurants one after another.
There are two kinds of merchants.
Business merchants deal with consumers only. Town merchants greet everyone and anyone with hospitality. This shopping street is full of town merchants with a personality, just waiting for your visit.