Dotonbori - Osaka

Located in the Namba District in Osaka City in Osaka Prefecture in JapanDōtonbori (道頓堀pronounced [doːtomboɽi]) is one of the principal tourist destinations of the city and the prefecture.


Dotonbori history

The history of Dōtonbori (which means Dōton's canal) could be traced back to 1612 when a local entrepreneur, Yasui Dōton began expanding the tiny Umezu River in hopes of increasing trade in the region. Sadly, his project was interrupted when he died defending Toyotomi Hideyori during the Siege of Osaka. (He was on the losing side though). 

Dotonbori - Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture

His project was continued and finished by his cousins in 1615. The new lord of Osaka Castle, Tadaki Matsudaira named the canal and avenue beside it 
Dōtonbori despite being on the opposing side during the Siege of Osaka.

Dōtonbori in the 1930s

A marker at the Ebisu bridge

Dōtonbori Canal

In 1621, Dōtonbori was designated as the entertainment district of Osaka. By 1662, the avenue already had several Kabuki and Bunraku theaters as well as numerous restaurants and cafes. Over the years, declining interests in traditional forms of entertainment followed by bombing during the Second World War closed down the said theaters.

The Glico Man sign

My wife doing the Glico Man pose.

Zubora-ya's blowfish lantern

My wife checking out the Kani Doraku Crab

Dōtonbori Avenue

I-spy the Philippines!

Today, Dōtonbori already recovered from the devastation of war and is already one of the most visited spots for tourists in Osaka Prefecture. It's also a nice place to shop and eat (just be ready for the crowd though).

Sky Billiken

The famous giant octopus of a takoyaki store

Looks like my former teacher's shop

Another Billiken

The streets have designs too like this cat...

... and the Osaka Castle designed manhole

Dotonbori was featured in Detective Conan episode 765 - Conan and Heiji Code of Love

We visited Dōtonbori during our 12th day of stay in Japan. Although the place is colorful and there are plenty of interesting restaurants and shops, my wife and I didn't enjoy it much because we brought our baby girl along. Having a baby alone affected our mobility and attention. If you'd visit Dōtonbori, make sure that the kids are not with you... unless you brought along a maid.

Dotonbori Entrance Fee

It's FREE to explore and visit Dotonbori. However, make sure to bring extra cash just in case you want to go food tripping or shopping. 

Dotonbori Operating Hours

Dotonbori is open 24/7 however, the operating hours of stores and restaurants vary.

Why visit Dotonbori?

Dotonbori is one of the most-visited and most popular destinations in Osaka City.  It's a perfect destination if you are planning to go shopping and food tripping in one day. There are numerous restaurants, food stalls, and stores here for that.

Getting to Dotonbori:

From Kansai Airport, you can ride either a JR or Nankai train going to 
Dōtonbori. Aside from that, there are also airport buses that could take you there. 

We rode the Nankai limited express "Rapi:t" train

Nankai Namba Station

When we visited Dōtonbori we rode the Nankai limited express "Rapi:t" train. It would take you only 30 min. from Kansai Airport to Nankai Namba Station compared to the Nankai Railway Main Line which has a travel time of 43 min. 


Nankai limited express "Rapi:t" train: 1390JPY
Nankai Railway Main Line: 880JPY

*Subject to change without prior notice

If you choose to ride the JR airport express, you have to transfer to JR Tennouji and ride the JR Yamatoji Line. From there board down at JR Namba Station. 

Overall Ratings


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