Okay, so I was super excited about going to Osaka for a number of reasons, mainly because I’d heard it was awesome for shopping.
The two main areas we stuck to for shopping were Shinsaibashi / Dotonbori, and Americamura. Dotonbori is an old shopping street, mostly filled with little noodle shops and bars, and Shinsaibashi is a HUGE covered pedestrian arcade brimming with stores and people, spilling out into a Times Square-esque plaza of neon lights and massive, robotic seafood sculptures.
This crab wiggled its legs, and its eye stalks moved up and down. Yeah, I stood there and giggled at it for a good five minutes.
Late night hustle and bustle. Osaka is filled with these standing noodle shops, where businessmen slurp down bowls of noodles within seconds.
Cycling is by far the preferred mode of transport in Osaka; regardless of age and profession, nearly everyone seemed to be on a bike. Oh yeah, and I found another huge Forever 21, much to Eoin’s excitement!
This area got super busy at the weekend; it felt even busier than Shibuya!
Funky little old-time alleyway, in between all the big neon lights.
Americamura is a short walk away from Shinsaibashi – just keep an eye out for the Statue of Liberty, and these funky human-shaped streetlamps.
I was really excited about Americamura, because I’d read that it was like Osaka’s equivalent of Harajuku, filled with eclectic, independent shops and funky people; however, it was kind of a letdown. There were some vintage stores and quirky shops, but mostly Americamura was just filled with tacky rip-off stores, and it was way smaller than I’d been expecting.
My best find was this Angelic Pretty store, which was super pink and filled with loads of lolita delights. Kawaiiiii! ❤
We walked down the canal on our way back to the Shinsaibashi subway station; there’s really not that much to see along this mini-boardwalk, aside from this huge ferris wheel..
…yet, there were a couple different tour boat companies constantly going up and down the canal. There were mostly Japanese tourists on the boats, who didn’t seem all that excited, until they saw us, then they started waving like crazy. We probably should’ve asked the tour boat companies for a commission to stand by the canal all day.
During our summertime excursion to Tokyo, I’d been so overwhelmed by all the awesomeness around me that I didn’t get a chance to do much Sanrio shopping, which I was pretty bummed about when we got back home. I definitely remedied that on our Osaka trip, making about five visits to the Sanrio Gallery in the Shinsaibashi arcade!
Three floors of Sanrio heaven!
There was an entire floor completely dedicated to Japanese-themed Hello Kitty stuff!
Osaka is so packed with stores everywhere, especially in the underground walkways between train and subway stations, that you never know what you’re going to find – I definitely wasn’t expecting to come across a huge Rilakkuma shop!
Eoin refused to even step foot inside. He was probably just too overwhelmed from all the CUTENESS!!
Rilakkuma teddies dressed up as fawns for Fall, OMG, I wanted to cry.
And for some proof as to how kind and considerate Japanese people are, even though this shop was in a busy subway station, EVERYONE walking past smiled, stopped, and stood back to let Eoin take this photo of me with Rilakkuma. You rock, Japan.