A temple to pop culture and eclecticism
Birthplace of the latest pop culture trends in Japan, this district of Osaka is crammed full of clothes and fashion accessory shops that you probably will not see anywhere else. When you get there, wander through its narrow streets lined with shop windows parading their exotic wares and vintage gear. You will soon pick up on the unique vibe that prevails. Everything seems eccentric and offbeat, from the outfits worn by the locals to the stick-man street lights that seem to look down on the pedestrians below. Wherever you look, your eyes are met by an endless stream of boutiques with a mishmash of styles: Gothic, reggae, tribal, manga, military… In each of these shops, you will find young ambitious designers beavering away and putting some oomph into Japanese fashion.
Further on, you will find an intriguing door, no higher than a table; push it open and enter, as if by magic, the dreamy and wonderful world of the Alice on Wednesday store. You will find yourself in the middle of a huge white room with sweet treats and biscuits on every stand, along with jewellery or every imaginable accessory plucked from the universe of children's author, Lewis Carroll. It has to be seen to be believed.
Alice on Wednesday
Asahi Plaze Shinsaibashi
2-12 Nishishinsaibashi, Chuo-ku
Eating your way round Amemura
When it comes to food, this special district is equally famous for its incredible takoyaki, a typical snack of grilled octopus balls coated in batter. At lunchtime, stop off at Kogaryu's. This once-humble local restaurant now serves the best takoyaki in the whole of the region.
Fancy a coffee break before attacking the shops again? Make yourself comfortable in one of the many small cafés tucked away down the alleys. At Digmeout Art & Diner, which doubles as an art gallery and café, you can sip your hot drink while admiring paintings by local artists.
Mid-afternoon is time to discover the tallest ice cream in Japan. Pop Sweet's claim to fame is its delicious, creamy ice creams measuring over 40 centimetres high (without the cone). An almighty challenge but a real treat for your taste buds.
Digmeout Art & Diner
Nishishinsaibashi, 2 Chome−9−32
Fashion and design until the crack of dawn
Start your nocturnal wanderings at Sankaku Koen or Triangle Park, the pulsing heart of Amemura. This is the perfect place to rub shoulders with the locals and start your evening in style. This large square is THE hangout for Osaka's younger generation, and fashion shows, concerts or hip-hop shows can often be seen there. Grab yourself a table at Bar Nayuta and sip on a cocktail as you watch the latest fashion trends pass you by.
Next, head over to Ghost Ultra Lounge, one of the city's liveliest nightclubs. Dance the night away with local party-goers to the beat of internationally acclaimed DJs in this luxurious designer venue.
Finally, once back at your hotel, all there remains to do is have a deep soak in a hot bath before snuggling up in a cosy bed, in readiness for another day discovering Osaka.
Ghost Ultra Lounge
Ark Shinsaibashi WEST B1F