close

Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

Eat & Drink

Dotonbori 道頓堀

An explosion of neon and entertainment awaits at Osaka's Times Square

Osaka's hotspot for tourists and revelers alike, Dotonbori is filled with towering neon signs, clubs, bars, and restaurants serving up local specialties. Come here for a stimulating and essential slice of Osaka nightlife.

Don't Miss

  • Walking the neon-lit streets at night
  • Posing under the famous Glico Man sign
  • Trying local specialties like okonomiyaki and takoyaki

How to Get There

From Osaka or Umeda Station, take the Midosuji line to Namba Station. From there, walk north towards Shinsaibashi. The Dotonbori River divides Shinsaibashi and Namba, and the Dotonbori Bridge is the convergance point for both neigborhoods.

Other than the Midosuji Line, Namba Station serves various other lines: the Sennichimae Line and Yotsubashi Line on the Osaka Municipal Subway and the Nankai Main Line and Nankai Koya Line on the Nankai Railway. Namba Station is connected to Osaka Namba Station, which serves both the Hanshin and Kintetsu lines, and JR Namba Station, which serves the Kansai Main Line, covered by your JR rail pass.

400 years of entertainment

The origins of the Dotonbori area date back to the early 1600s, when a local businessman widened the banks of the Dotonbori River in the hopes of increasing commercial opportunities. Within 50 years, the area expanded in popularity, boasting six kabuki and five bunraku (puppet) theaters. Some 400 years later, this area is still an entertainment hub, attracting locals and travelers alike.

A futuristic neon cityscape

The towering walls of neon that cover the buildings of Dotonbori are a testament to Japan's bright optimism during a time when neon reigned supreme as a new and promising technology. The entire area is preserved in this retro-futurist ambiance, perfect for tourists looking for a stereotypical Japanese metropolitan vibe.

Run with the Glico Man

The unofficial mascot of Dotonbori is the Glico Man, a large neon sign featuring a man running on a blue race track positioned directly above the Dotonbori bridge. The billboard was first erected in 1935 as an advertisement for Glico, the Japanese food company that produces Pocky and Pretz. It is a popular photo spot for tourists and locals alike.

Eat, drink, and be merry

Both sides of the Dotonbori River are filled with eating and drinking establishments. Walk the promenade to find the famous Kani Douraku restaurant, which prominently displays an enormous crab above its entrance. Open-air ramen stands are scattered throughout the area, filling the air with a rich aroma. If you continue towards Shinsaibashi, you'll find a range of bars and drinking establishments.

Dotonbori after dark

Dotonbori is best explored in the evening, when the lights are bright and the people are merry. For a light meal, be sure to try Osaka's famous okonomiyaki—or savory pancake—and takoyaki, the fried balls stuffed with octopus. Consider heading to an izakaya for a more leisurely dining and drinking experience, or party all night at one of the nearby clubs.

Nearby attractions

Walk further south to Namba to find Hozenji Temple, and a plethora of dining options in Ura Namba. Walk east to Amerikamura for further eating and party options. Expect to spend an entire evening exploring the area.