I’d been to Osaka many times, but never had I seen those things I always saw in pictures of Osaka in travel guides and on people’s blogs, like the running Glico man and the huge crab. Apparently most of those pictures are taken in tourist hotspot Namba, but we’ve never been there before because Yasu feels it’s a noisy and dirty place. But today Yasu humored me and let me be a tourist and took me there, and being the city girl I am I totally loved it! And even Yasu had a good time in that noisy (but not that dirty) neighborhood of Osaka.

Dotonbori is the most exciting part of Namba, it’s a shopping/restaurant street running alongside the Dotonbori canal. Apparently it used to be a red-light district, but now it’s famous for it theaters, shops, restaurants and the very entertaining colorful neon and mechanized signs. You can find some of the most interesting, monstrous, creepy and even cute exterior building decorations in Dotonbori:

As you can see we also came across that creepy Kuidaore Taro (with the red and white striped outfit) proudly banging a drum in front of restaurant with a banner that supposedly reads “eat until you’re dead”. I didn’t see the banner, that may be because I don’t read Japanese that well or because Yasu failed to point it out to me or because it’s been replaced with a huge text balloon saying that the gluttonous clown’s restaurant will be closing down in July. I guess eating until you drop dead isn’t that popular in Osaka anymore. I enjoyed all the flamboyant decorations in Namba, even that creepy clown but my absolute favorite was definitely the famous Glico man:

Glico is a snack and candy manufacturer and they have a giant electronic display of a runner crossing the finish line on a building above the Ebisubashi bridge. The Glico man was originally installed in 1935, and is one of Osaka’s landmarks often featured on postcards, advertisements, travel guides and people’s blogs. I’d been looking forward to seeing this running guy the most, and it didn’t let down at all! Yasu was surprised how ‘energized’ the billboard made every time I saw it and probably wondered if I ever felt like I’d taken enough pictures of it. I loved Namba, and anyone that’ll visit me in Osaka in the future can expect me to drag them to this place!


One thought on “Namba

  1. Zoals beloofd, een reactie bij Namba! Nah, ik vind het niet zo gek dat je gek bent op Namba…de kleuren en het levendige spreekt jou wel aan toch? Wat ik er verder van begrijp een beetje “kruidenbuurtachtig”-wijkje van Osaka… over Kruidenbuurt gesproken, die herken je niet meer terug! Hoge torenflats! Niet voor te stellen heej maar tis echt waar! Als je er weer bent rijden we er naar toe. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX DVK je Moemie.


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