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Osaka: The insider’s guide to shopping & the city

With subterranean malls, hipster stores and entire designer mini-districts, this Japanese port is a shopper’s paradise.

By Rebecca Barnes

Known for its striking architecture, thriving nightlife and excellent yet uncomplicated street food, Osaka combines retro charm with a modern edge.

While many tourists simply transit this large port city, at Sailawaze we think you should spend a little longer to soak up the vibrant culture, delicious food and superb shopping.

With a notable LGBTQ population, the Doyamacho neighborhood is also home to Japan’s largest hub of gay bars and clubs outside of Tokyo; along with a drag house, you’ll find clusters of small bars perched atop the buildings.

And for those who want to indulge in some retail therapy, Osaka is a shopping mecca with something to suit all budgets. From underground malls to fashionable boutiques, we’ve rounded up our hot picks.

Harajuku fashion is popular in Osaka

NipponbashiDen-Den Town

Interested in electronics, cameras, games, anime, manga or pop culture served up Japanese style? Head to Den-Den Town in the Nipponbashi district. Concentrated along two long streets, it’s easy to walk around and isn’t too crowded most of the time. There’s also a number of cutesy maid cafes and an annual cosplay parade, which sees thousands take to the streets dressed as their favourite characters.

Hipster NeighbourhoodNakazakicho

Located close to Umeda station, Nakazakicho is Osaka’s quaint hipster neighborhood with a vintage vibe and a number of trendy, quirky stores and cafes to discover. You’ll find some interesting retro items and clothes from the 1970s and ’80s at the colorful and well stocked Green Pepe, while Only Planet sells animal-inspired goods including homeware, accessories and ornaments.


Namba NanNan Town underground mall

Underground Shopping MallNamba NanNan Town

Japan’s first underground shopping mall, this set the trend for similar subterranean retail centres popping up all over the country, and is the place to head for basics over designer garb – although if you crave a high end hit, it’s also connected to Namba City and Namba Walk with its exclusive boutiques. There are also many cafes and restaurants to choose from if you get peckish. Find it underneath Namba station. 

Bargain Hunters ParadiseRinku Premium Outlets

Located outside the Asian city, a few steps from departures at Kansai Airport, this outlet mall looks like a mini town, and houses international designer brands including Ralph Lauren and Kate Spade. A bargain hunter’s paradise, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants where you can take a breather, along with a 100 yen store for those all-essential souvenirs.

Shopping in Osaka is very popular
osaka Amerika Mura

International street styleAmerica Mura

Also known as Ame-Mura and the first place in the Asian city to sell affordable, imported American clothing, this is where hip, young Japanese shop for international street style and urban apparel. No matter what your style, you’ll find something to suit, with more than 2,000 inexpensive fashion stores to check out along with cafes, bars and restaurants. While its roots are very much western, shopping here is still uniquely Japanese.

Published 03.02.22