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  • Shopping (Food streets, Stalls and Markets)
  • Minami (Shinsaibashi / Nanba) Area
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Minami (Shinsaibashi / Nanba) Area
Ebisuhigashi, Naniwa-ku Osaka-shi, Osaka 556-0002, Japan
  • Shopping (Food streets, Stalls and Markets)
Opening Hours
Open Every Day
Date of post:2015/05/12

The melting pot of oldness and newness

  • City Walking

Shinsekai town is located in the south of Umeda. First developed in the beginning of 1990s as the venue of an exhibition fair, later considered as the Osaka's most dangerous place, it has become one of Osaka's major tourist destinations, with the look an Osakan local town of the Showa period.

Shinsekai means "the new world", and it was designed to become the center a new tourist attraction in 1912, accompanied by the opening of Tsutenkaku Tower and Luna Park (closed in 1923).

To be honest, I haven't hung out in the area often, as it has been known as a place of crime and prostitution since old times. Yet, I have to admit its chaotic atmosphere of the old era to draw travelers' attention. Whether it is good or bad, this area is not the exception of an aging population. The local shopping arcade leads to Tsutenkaku used to be crowded with locals who bought clothes and groceries. Most of them end up closing down, or getting passed down to the next generation, according to a local lady with whom I briefly chatted at the arcade. She added "Shinsekai nowadays is a tourist place crowded with travelers and students on field trips". I do think it's worth visiting even for a short visit. These are why.

Major kushikatsu shop area
Thanks to its transformation to a traveler's destination, there are many kushikatsu restaurants in Shinsekai. Kushikatsu is the one of the most popular Osakan local food, deep fired meat, - seafood or vegetables on skewers. Some of them have long history such as Darumaya, Tengu and Yaekatsu.

Maize of good and old Showa atmosphere
The area is not that big, so it's easy to walk around. Once you wander about small alleys, you will come across the real flavor of local life with old houses, and laundry hanging on the balconies. In addition to many souvenir shops and Kushikatsu restaurants around Tsutenkaku Tower, you can glimpse local life by visiting places such as Smart Ball Newstar parlor or Naniwa Club theatre. There's an interesting knife shop near the theatre. Tower Knives Osaka offers you a unique experience of Japanese knives. They not only sell knives, but also have Japanese cooking classes.

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