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If you are coming to Namba, explore the excitement of Osaka around Dotonbori.

hannkagai oosakaminami
This busy Downtown section of Osaka is commonly called “Namba(難波)”. (nicknamed Minami). It is a lively spot that symbolizes the city of Dotonbori(道頓堀).
There is good access (within walking distance) from each railway line. There are many domestic as well foreign tourists that come here. People come to see the Osaka special octopus and crab signs as well as the huge Glico billboard. It is a firmly established entertainment center that flourishes as a city of food and play.


Visit the bustling streets, and classic photo spots!

oosaka ousyou
The octopus, crab, and puffer fish signs are really noticeable!
The cityscape itself has an exciting atmosphere, like a theme park.
Among the famous tourist spots of the Namba neighborhood is the signboard of Glico. It often appears in the media. You will see many people on the Ebisu Bridge (戎橋)standing for commemorative photographs. They stand with both arms raised, mimicking the glyco pose. Others can be seen wearing wearing Japanese soccer uniforms or wearing the uniforms of the Hanshin Tigers and being photographed in front of the signboard. These souvenirs will provide a valuable topic of conversation for years to come.

Travel the Tonbori Riverwalk and enjoy the”water city of Osaka!”

In 2004 they opened the “Tonbori Riverwalk.” It is a walkway on the side of the Dotonbori River, which extends from the Nihon Bridge (日本橋) to the Ukiniwa Bridge(浮庭橋).
While the overhead Ebisu Bridge is crowded with people you can have a leisurely stroll along the banks of the river.
By the way, Dotonbori River, is really a canal that was built in 1615.
It was named after one of the creators of the bridge, a merchant named Doton Yasui(成安道頓).
terasusekiThere are many restaurants with terrace seating along the walkway. It is highly recommended dining experience during nice weather. In particular, on the south side of the promenade which has fewer people walking by. Enjoy a slower pace from the Osaka bustling landscape.

View the city landmarks from the water surface on the Tonbori River Cruise.

donki ho-te
In front of the large Don Quixote sign you will find the boarding area for the Tonbori River cruise. While listening to the pleasant guidance from Osaka guide, you will enjoy the voyage of about 20 minutes. The neon signs provide a colorful different view of the city at night. So if you have the chance, you should take a river trip in the day time and at night. (Boarding fee: Adults 900 yen, children 400 yen).
The view from the ship offers a different view than from the street. It is an amazing daytime trip that is usually crowded with people.
There is often special activities and musical events along the Riverwalk so check out the schedule of activities in advance.

Why a dwarf in Dotonbori?

doutonnbori imai
On the east side of the noodle shop “Dotonbori Imai,(道頓堀 今井)” there is a narrow alley about 4 feet in width.
issunboushi jinjya
On it you will find a small shrine for the “Issunboushi dwarf (一寸法師)” embedded in the wall of the alley. This is a hidden power spot.
You may wonder, “why a dwarf here?” The story is that the dwarf began rowing from this land of Namba towards Kyoto using a bowl as a ship.
You can purchase a “dwarf fortune ticket” for 100 yen. The tickets have pictures of old Japanese characters and a humorous fortune written on each one. So please try your luck.

Smart tip
  • Dotonbori started in 1615. From 2015 – 2016, to commemorate the 400-year anniversary there is a large number of events being planned. So Check out the scheduled activities before visiting.
  • Osaka used to have five playhouses. There are three still remaining. The National Bunraku Theater, the Shochiku-za Theater, and the Dotonbori Theater.
  • This area has a number of restaurants and souvenir shops and is usually crowded with a lot of tourists. But if you go one street over to a side road you can find a quiet area and enjoy a few retro shops. Remember the main roads of Osaka all travel North to South so please explore and not worry about getting lost.
What's interesting

There are a lot of tourists in this area and many people trying to get their attention. It has really busy shops where you can try genuine Osaka food such as takoyaki, kushikatsu and okonomiyaki. When you walk through this area you can appreciate it more knowing that it has been around for 400 years and yet there are still new places to discover.