Notes from the Banks of River Dotonbori, Osaka

It was the eve of Christmas and we were walking towards Midosuji Avenue, the main street in Central Osaka in Japan. My husband and I had landed in Osaka only a couple of hours ago from Bengaluru and it was our first time in Japan. 

Our steps gathered momentum as we eagerly walked towards the first destination in our Itinerary. We experienced no fear in losing our way because everybody seemed headed in the same direction and once we reached there we knew why. The street was decked with colorful lights and it felt like a million starts had descended down on both sides of the road. 

Famously known as Midosuji illumination, this lighting beckons tourists from all over the world. Iconic brands line this street and they formed an impressive backdrop for the changing hues of the illumination. The roads were busy with people bustling around and getting greeted by Santa Clauses who swapped their sleigh for Kawasaki motorbikes.

We walked further down to reach one of the most popular tourist destinations in Osaka, Dontonbori river. Flanked by shops and restaurants that sport world renowned names in neon billboards, the banks of this river are lively and happening. Amidst the walls of the lofty buildings is an equally huge and brightly lit signboard of a running man. This is the landmark spot called Glico Man of Osaka. The Dotonbori river cruise even makes a halt in front of this signboard and the river tour guide ensures that he has taken a picture of you with the running man behind you. 

Dotonbori is full of surprises, take a turn and you will find yourself in any of the shopping streets. But turn up hungry in Soemoncho, the food street, all you have to do is to let the aromas lead you to an unforgettable gastronomic experience!

We had our trysts with many dishes that led us to firmly believe that if Osaka is famously known as the kitchen of Japan then Soemoncho dons the hat of the head chef. 

Takayoki, Okonomiyaki, Avocado Tuna Salad, Yakisoba and Matcha flavoured desserts are some of the “must trys” in Soemoncho.

What we also cherished, cautiously, in Osaka was Kuidaore, a Japanese word which roughly means, “Eat yourself to bankruptcy”. Grab a bottle of Sake to indulge in this tantalizing notion when you are in Osaka. Kampai!

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