Osaka by Night
When the sun sets, Osaka’s Namba district comes alive with its bright and flashy neon signs. Famous chef turned writer / travel host Anthony Bourdain visited the same area back in 2006 for an episode of No Reservations.
The food culture of Osaka is often associated with the term kuidaore which roughly translates to eating until you go bankrupt. Kuidaore has its roots in Osaka’s early history as a city of wealthy merchants who would not hesitate to spend money in pursuit of good food.
If you want to experience the kuidaore culture, Dotonbori is your destination. A lively alleyway that runs parallel to the Dotonbori canal, the place is lined with plenty of restaurants offering good, affordable food.
One popular Osaka specialty is okonomiyaki – a savory pancake topped with various ingredients which can range from meat to seafood to cheese (basically, anything goes!). I had mine at a restaurant called Chibo which was delicious… though personally I prefer the Hiroshima version that has a layer of noodles on top.
While exploring all the side alleys, I came across this one that displayed some kawaii banners of Southeast Asian countries (not sure why though). It’s nice to see a reminder of Malaysia all this way from home 🙂
Finally, this explosion of neon signs is an iconic scene of Dotonbori… especially the Glico running man on the right side of the photo. Glico is a Japanese confectionery company that you may know if you are a Pocky fan.
And that’s a wrap for my Osaka travelogue. It was an interesting two days and I can see why Osaka is popular on the foreign tourist circuit. It has something to offer for every type of traveler whether you’re into food, adventure, culture, history or some family fun.