Dotonbori

A photogenic town filled with eye-catching signs
View Gallery
Dotonbori is a popular tourist destination in Osaka. There is never a boring moment in Dotonbori, a town covered with colorful signs and neon lights. And don’t forget to try the large variety of Osaka’s delicious food.
Address
Dotombori huo-ku Osaka-shi, Osaka
Phone
(06) 6211-4542

Photos & Videos

View Gallery

About

Start out with “sign watching”

Dotonbori refers to the district from the Nihon bridge to the Daikoku bridge; it is a bustling downtown area that spreads along the south bank of the Dotonbori river. At the streets that are perpetually crowded by people throughout the year, you will find a great variety of restaurants, diners and shops serving okonomiyaki (savory pancake), udon noodels, deep fried pork skewers, blowfish dishes and much more! It is also “the kitchen of Osaka” where Osaka gourmet shops cluster together. For those coming to Osaka for the first time, we recommend “sign watching.” The street is crowded with colorfully illuminating neon signs, three-dimensional objects appearing to jump out in front of you and many more unique, entertaining signs. Images that best represent the Osaka Minami (south) area, and often seen in guidebooks, all collect in Dotonbori: the kuidaore (eat till you drop!) doll, the crab of Kani Douraku restaurant, the blowfish of Tsuboraya restaurant and many more. Especially, the Glico sign of the snacks manufacturer Ezaki Glico has enjoyed the most fame as the symbol of Dotonbori ever since the first version was set up in 1935. The sixth version of the Glico sign newly featuring LED neon lights was introduced in the fall of 2014. One of the popular activities when touring Osaka is to stand on the Ebisu Bridge and take a picture with this huge neon sign in the background. This bridge is also called the “pick up bridge” and used to be known as a place for picking up girls in hopes to at least have a cup of coffee together.

Walking route for fully enjoying the water metropolis, Osaka

We also recommend focusing on the Dotonbori River itself. With the improvement in the water quality compared to the conditions in the past, the path along the river is popular today as a walking route where you can fully enjoy the water metropolis, Osaka. You can also go on a boat ride on the Dotonbori River. The Tonbori River Cruise offers a ride that cruises around the Dotonbori area for about 20 minutes. While unfortunately no English explanations are given, the guide speaking in the Osaka dialect humorously explains the history and other information of Dotonbori. Because this area has always served as the frontline of the latest trends of Kamikata (Kyoto-Osaka region) culture, there are many shops and restaurants in Dotonbori that have been favored by actors, actresses, and cultural figures over many years. This cultural aspect that is not your typical image of Osaka makes Dotonbori even more attractive.

read more

Plan your trip to osaka

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.

Request a Tour

Reviews

2 years ago
A riot of colour and movement
Loved Dotonbori. Just an eclectic noisy mix of everything. Top stuff!
read more
2 years ago
Love it here!
Definitely the kitchen of japan! The whole street is filled with food stalls and restaurants. You can have takoyaki, gyoza, sushi, kushikatsu and anything that you can think of japanese food you'll get it there! Dotonbori is really a must place to go to
read more
3 years ago
Mixed bag
One of the slightly seedier areas of Osaka is kind of charming in a weird way. Filled with Clubs, Pachinko and all forms of vice catering to whatever tickles your fancy, Dotonbori doesn't disappoint those looking for some fun. Though this is also a double edged sword, as I would class Dotonbori as one of the more dangerous and slightly unfriendly areas in Japan. Some bars will reject you based on the fact you are not Japanese. Some clubs will attempt to rip you off at entry (5000Yen in my case). BUT. I can honestly say that I had a lot of fun in Dotonbori. Probably the best nightlife spot I've been to. There are some pretty good food joints around too, if you get the munchies. All in all, super fun, but bring your wits with you. You'll need them.
read more
3 years ago
Many great shops and restaurants
The pavement here is littered with small restaurants and Pachinko parlors. The restaurants are stacked high, each with brightly coloured signage that becomes illuminated in the evenings. If you are interested in shopping or eating, this area is definitely for you.
read more