Dotonbori is a vibrant shopping district in Namba area in Osaka. I first explored Dotonbori Street, later walked over to Ebisu-bashi footbridge to check out the neon lights. This area is one of Osaka’s most popular tourist destination for shopping and food.
Let’s “Kuidaore”食い倒れ in Dotonbori Street
Kuidaore (食い倒れ) is a Japanese saying to eat till you fall! Lets go explore the top food in Dotonbori Street Osaka.
1. Kani Doraku Dotonbori
Kani Doraku is an icon in Dotonbori, it is a famous crab restaurant found few locations around Japan. But Kani Doraku Dotonbori is the honten (main branch). Kani Doraku serve many “kani”/crab dishes eg kani sushi, kani sashimi, kani Cawanmushi/steam egg with crab and many more. A giant crab in decorated at the front of the restaurant also one of the important icon in Dotonbori.
2. Wanomiya Kobe Beef
Kobe beef is one of the top grade beef in Japan and if you are thinking of spending some money, this is the place to break your wallet. A minimum of USD 150-200 per pax.
Kobe beef is renowned for its superior flavor, tenderness which melts in your mouth. Do you believe that the Kobe cows are given beer to induce appetite, massaged daily and lastly cows lived in a relaxed environment with classical music played at the background 🙂
Note: “Wagyu”和牛 is not necessary Kobe beef, “wagyu” means Japanese breed cow, can be anywhere from Japan.
3. Kinryu Ramen in Dotonbori
The ramen shop is full of tourists when I was there. Kinryu Ramen is famous for its giant three-dimensional golden dragon billboards, it opens 24 hours and there are several Kinryu Ramen in Dotobori. A bowl of ramen cost about 600 yen/USD 5.50.
4. Showa Taishu Horumon
Great “yakiniku” BBQ place if you want to try Kobe beef with more affordable price. Mostly served meat only. You cannot miss this BBQ place as there is a big cow displaced outside the restaurant. Beware of the smoky environment.
5. Tayoshi Fugu Restaurant
This is the Japanese restaurant for “fugu”/pufferfish sashimi or techiri hot-pot. Techiri is a popular dish in Osaka consist of puffer fish in hot-pot. There is a huge puffer fish hanging outside the restaurant.
Pufferfish is poisonous if the chef did not remove the toxic part properly. The only qualified licensed chef can kill the puffer fish and served them to the diners. The toxic parts can be contaminating the meat and kill diners. Notorious dish but very expensive. A plate of puffer fish sashimi can cost up to USD 100 and above.
6. Little Osaka – Omiyage Market
Little Osaka with the iconic Glico Running Man is a gifts shop for tourist, you can get your snacks or little trinkets here.
7. Sushi Zanmai Dontonbori
If you are looking to eat some fresh and quality sushi, Sushi Zanmai is the place. There are chain stores found throughout Japan and their icon is the sushi chef with his open arms.
Takoyaki – Osaka Snacks
There are tons of Takoyaki/Octopus balls stalls in Dotonbori street. In fact, one dish you cannot miss is trying out the Takoyaki here. I have managed to capture a few very popular stalls. The price range is from 450 yen/USD 4.00- 500 yen/USD 4.40.
8. Takoyaki Creoru
The shop has many red lanterns displayed at the front of the stall. The red lanterns act as their menu, each lantern has a dish written on it.
9. Takoyaki Kururu
Few steps away, there is another Takoyaki stall, called Kururu Takoyaki.
Kururu Takoyaki has a giant octopus at the front of the stall. Be careful when you eat takoyaki, it is so hot that it may burn your tongue. First, have a little bite (have an opening) of the Takoyaki ball, let the hot steam/air come out from the ball, blow few times, slowly bite the white piece into your mouth.
Danger: Do not immediately insert the whole takoyaki ball into your mouth as it will burn your tongue.
10. Takoyaki Juhachiban – Special recipe
The Takoyaki here is a little different from the others, Takoyaki Juhachiban has their special recipe to stand out! They have added tenkasu (crispy tempura-fried bits of dough) and small shrimp for the extra crunch in their Takoyaki.
11. Gyoza no Ohsho (餃子の王将)
This is a famous chain store serving gyoza/dumpling and some other Japanese Chinese cuisine. “Gyoza no Osho” translated as King of Gyoza. Personally, I find the gyoza were not pan-fried properly.
See, what I mean. Over fried.
12. Gyoza hotdog Hybrid @ Osho Gyoza
This is a new hotdog hybrid and only available at Dotonbori branch Osaka Osho Gyoza. It combines bread with gyoza/dumpling pot stickers.
After you have tried some of the street food in Dotonbori, walk over to Ebisu Bridge and enjoy the neon lighting.
Glico Running Man
The Glico running man is the most well-known landmarks in Osaka. Both sides of the rivers are brightly lit up with signboards and Glico running man is the most outstanding one of all. Glico is the famous brand for confectionery company and Pocky is their signature product. Have you tried Pocky before?
Young Japanese in weird costume performed near Ebisu Bridge.
Namba Shopping Mall
On the other side of the bridge, you see Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Arcade. Great place to swipe your credit cards.
My purchase in Dotonbori
I bought a dog costume from Dotonbori. The dog tee-shirt in red with “Osaka Takoyaki” printed cost 1,000 yen /USD 8.85.
Final thoughts :
Dotobori is the place for foodies and shoppers. It is best to come at around evening for dinner and check out the neon lights in this area. And yes, shooting a picture with a Glico Running Man is a must to prove that you are here.
Have you tried any Japanese food and which are your favorite, sushi, sashimi or tempura fried stuff or any other Japanese food?