In Japan there are thousands of shopping streets and even just in Osaka more than a hundred.
Unfortunately not all of them are lively these days any more because people prefer shopping at a convenience store, shopping mall or just online even without going out.
But still some of the streets attract people all the time and Tenjinbashisuji shopping street is one of them.
If you’re the latest & world famous chain store lovers such as UNIQLO, Muji and Starbucks etc…, Shinsaibashi and Dotombori area is more recommended, but if you’re an explorer who love to meet local stuff, Tenjinbashisuji must be your place !
The total length from the north to south end of the arcade is 2.6km. If you just walk along the street, it takes about 40 minutes from one end to the other, but once you stop to find what’s going on, a few hours goes so quickly !
The street has about 600 shops, some are old which are more than 200 years old (the stores themselves have been restored a few times though), and some are new which could open within these few weeks. This balance of the oldness and newness makes the street different from any other shopping streets.
Beside the street, there is one shrine called Osaka Temmangu, which is one of the most famous shrines in Osaka. Generally the shrine is not so busy nor touristy and you see some local people visiting there to worship. You’ll find Japanese people are not super religious but still shrines and temples are in our daily life.
The shrine gets full of people on New Year’s Eve, and around 12 am in the midnight you’ll see people filling the shopping street as well.
Otherwise July 24th and 25th are another coolest time to visit there, when they have the biggest festival in Osaka called Tenjin Festival. Don’t miss the mikoshi (portable shrine) procession going on the shopping street held by local people !!!!
It’s not only the street but just step out of the arcade street and you’ll find the neighborhood has many cool shops such as takoyaki, plums and miso, and even a lively local market.
The area has different faces on the daytime and evening. Around the market on the daytime it’s pretty quiet while people are doing some merchant business, and after 5 pm there are more and more restaurants and bars opening such as craft beer, okonomiyaki, kushikatsu, sushi, yakitori and so on, each of which are so characteristic and this is one of the most popular places among local people to go barhopping in the evening.
What makes the street and neighborhood so lively and attractive ??
It could be something sold there but the biggest attraction is people, all living, working and visiting there.
Don’t expect them to speak English a lot nor many foreign language signboards (probably drinking people would speak more English though), but people there are ready to talk to you in Osaka dialect at least!
Big chain restaurants and world famous stores could be easier to go into as they’re something you know, but if you want to learn a real Osaka world and get closer to the local people, Tenjinbashisuji is a gateway for that !!
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