Eat and shop til you drop in Osaka! More than just a hub to Kyoto, Kobe, and beyond, Osaka is the birthplace of many Japanese culinary delights and a mecca for savvy shoppers. If you’ve had enough of the reserved aloofness of Tokyoites, then head west to Osaka for some real Japanese hospitality, charming shops and delicious fare.

  1. Kuromon Ichiba Market

Osaka is famous for takoyaki, or savory grilled balls filled with a chunk of chewy octopus. It’s very likely that takoyaki stand owners need to go no further than Kuromon Ichiba Market to get the freshest catch of the day. But, you’ll find more than seafood here. Meats, fresh fruits, vegetables and Japanese pickles are just a few of the foods sold at Kuromon Ichiba Market. Go on an empty stomach, and you’ll be rewarded with the freshest seafood imagined.

  1. Shinsekai

If vacationing in a volcanic seismically active country is not daring enough, try your luck with a dish of fugu (blowfish) which can be found at one of the many restaurants that line the main street of Shinsekai. For all this kitsch and gaudy decorations you’ll find here, there’s something charming but unapologetically real about this area of Osaka.

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  1. Dotonbori

If you want a crash course in Osaka, then just head straight to Dotonbori. Formerly a theatre district, modern-day Dotonbori is a peculiar mix of entertainment and restaurants that appeal to both locals and tourists. As the sun sets,  Dotonbori becomes an intoxicating frenzy of multicolored LED lights and delicious smells. You’ll have a hard time figuring out where and what to eat.

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  1. Tenjinbashi-Suji Shopping Street

If you’re looking to stretch your yen, you’ll get your money’s worth on Tenjinbashi-Suji Shopping Street. Whatever you want, it’s probably here — everything from clothing, groceries, soirivernes and more can be found among the 600 shops in this 2.6 kilometer lng shopping arcade. You’re bound to get tired exploring Japan’s longest shopping street, so do yourself a favor and take a break at one of the many restaurants and izakaya that locals frequent.

  1. Namba Parks

Standing 8 stories tall, Namba Parks manages to stand out from neighboring shopping centers while retaining that good old Osaka charm. It’s not located in the main tourist area, so you’ll find locals who have come to Namba Parks to catch the latest movie. Don’t miss the rooftop garden for suburb views of Osaka and a chance for relaxing al fresco at a bar or coffee shop.

  1. Grand Front Osaka

Grand Front Osaka is the ritzy districts of Omotesando and Ginza crammed into a massive shopping complex covering three hectares. There’s more than 260 shops here, ranging from high street to high fashion, and nearly 100 restaurants and bars to choose from. If you’re overwhelmed with the possibilities, take a breather and unwind at Umekita Plaza,a tree-lined plaza with a rushing waterfall that’s sure to give you a moment of Zen.