The lively Dotonbori Area / Osaka

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The atmosphere of Dotonbori – exciting area

When visiting Osaka, a good choice would be visiting the Dotonbori area. Dotonbori is considered to be downtown Osaka. Packed into the Dotonbori area are tons of restaurants, gaming centers and internet cafes. A canal runs through the Dotonbori area which has neon signs and billboards that are monstrous and only matched by Tokyo. One of the billboards that particularly stands out is the Glico image of a runner crossing the finish line. The Glico billboard is adjacent to the Nipponbashi Bridge and stretches stories tall.Although Dotonbori is a town modern as any, it has a history which dates back to 1652. A local entrepreneur named Yasui Doton began building up the area by expanding the Umezu River hoping to increase commence for the region. The Dotonbori area did have 5 movie theaters that were unfortunately destroyed during World War II.

Restaurants and famous local foods – ‘Konamon’ ‘Okonomiyaki’

The customary foods the Dotonburi area is known for are okonomiyaki (a thin pancake filled with soba, cabbage and sauces), takoyaki (octopus snacks) and kitsune udon noodles. The restaurant Zubora-ya serves the famous Japanese blowfish, fugu. It has a giant blowfish hanging outside of its front window. Popular ramen is served by a small chain of ramen noodle shops called “Kinryu Ramen.” The restaurant boasts golden billboards with three dimensional dragons, and has outdoor seating available. For extra satisfaction, the Kinryu restaurants offer an all you can eat garlic and kimchi bar.The landmarks in the Dotonburi area include Kuidaore Taro which is a mechanically clown that has been in operation since 1950. The city of Osaka hosts a Grand Sumo Tournament that lasts for 15 days, before the start of that tournament there is a tradition for the sumo wrestlers to take photos standing in front of Kuidaore Taro.The restaurant Kani Doraku has a six and a half meter crab mounted to the front of the restaurant. Like Kuidaore Taro, the crab is mechanical and able to move its arms and eyestalks. This mechanic wonder has been at the restaurant since 1960, almost as old as the clown.

Culture and legend - Ebisubashi

The bridge Ebisubashi which is just under the Glico man was constructed to provide access to the Ebisu shine, locals say the bridge is the location of a where a curse was given the Hanshin Tigers baseball team a curse. The legend goes that the KFC founder Coronel Sanders cast a curse on the Tigers after one of his store front statues was thrown into a river. Comparisons have been made to the Curse of the Bambino said to have been cast on the Boston Red Sox.From Shinagawa take the Nozomi bullet train (shinkansen) to Shin-Osaka, from there transfer to the Midosuji Subway Line, get off at Nanba Station and Dotobori will be in walking distance.■Access 5 min walk from Namba Station (Subway Midosuji Line)■URL http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/regional/osaka/dotonbori.html

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