Enjoy shopping at Japan's longest shopping street, “Tenjinbashisuji Shotengai” in Osaka
Under an arcade of 2.6 kilometers, nearly 600 shops line up the street, creating Japan's longest shopping district, “Tenjinbashisuji Shotengai.” As we looked around items not available in buildings containing fashion-related stores, or department stores, we stopped by places of interest.
Taking up the challenge of collecting stamps to visit all the shops!
The Tenjinbashisuji Shotengai that has recently become an attention grabber among foreign tourists to Japan, is the nation's longest shopping street, covering from Tenjinbashi 1-Chome (street) to 7-Chome. They are currently doing an event where you walk through the shopping street and get a stamp in all the designated shops, you will get a “Manpo-jo (certificate of reaching the goal walking).” We are now going to walk from south to north of the street as we collect stamps on this “Tenjinbashisuji burari aruki shinkoku-fuda (form to get stamps).”
First, we stopped by at “OHGA Pharmacy” on 1-Chome. This is where you start your stamp collection. They are closed on Sundays and national holidays, so if you go on those days, go to Osaka Tenman-gu Shrine to get your stamp form.
The shopping street starts at 1-Chome (street). The nearest stations are Minamimorimachi Station and Osaka Tenman-gu Station. The area is the approach to Osaka Tenman-gu Shrine, and is bustling with people.
This is the first shop. The entrance curtain is closed, so you may think they are closed, but if you slowly open the door…
The shop looks like a simple coffee shop, but if you go further inside…
This is “Fukuro no mise Osaka,” a coffee shop where you can come in contact with owls. Depending on the time of day, different kinds of owls will come out.
You'll feel relaxed with the quiet owls in the soft light.
If you walk a bit more, an interesting looking shop called “Tenman Tenjin MAIDO-ya” comes into view on your right hand.
It is a multi-brand shop, carrying many of Osaka's “eemon (good things).” The Tenman Kiriko (carved glass from the Osaka area) glasses and Osaka artifacts seem to be popular among foreign tourists.
They also have good old confectionaries and food made in Osaka.
On our way to 2-Chome, we came across on our right the “Tenman Tenjin Hanjo-tei,” famous for their rakugo (comic story). The stage seems close to the seats, and you can see manzai (comic act) and acrobatics, too.
Next to it is the “Osaka Tenman-gu,” affectionately called “Tenjin-san.”
As we walked further, there was a line of people that caught our eye.
The people were lining up for the croquettes sold at “Nakamura-ya,” a famous shop that has been in the business for 40 years.
As we ate their sweet tasting crisp croquettes that were deep-fried in lard, we walked further north.
A bit further from the street intersection of National Route 1, there was the 2-Chome shopping street. Its symbols are the “omukae ningyo,” which are dolls that greet divine spirits that had crossed the river during Tenjin Festival. Each of the dolls is wearing red, which is said to exorcise epidemics.
This is the entrance of the shopping street on the other side. They are Kabuki characters such as Hideyoshi Hashiba, Takatsuna Sasaki, Minamoto no Yoshiie, and Kansuke Nakamura.
The 3-Chome shopping street has four torii (large gateway) in different colors, in the image of the front approach of Tenman-gu Shrine. The four colors used for torii are traditional colors from old times in Japan as motifs. This “masoho (a kind of red)” is mentioned in Japan's oldest Wakashu (collection of poetry), the Manyoshu.
“Kikyo (a kind of deep purple)” is the color mentioned in dynastic style literature, depicting fall season.
“Asagi (a kind of pale blue)” was used in the Shinsen-gumi's haori (short coat for kimono).
“Moegi (light yellowish green)” is used in Kabuki curtains.
When we were walking in the shopping area, we came across a shop that rents kimono.
At “Tenma kimono,” where their underlying theme is the flourishing Taisho era, you can rent a kimono, have assistance wearing it, and enjoy a stroll outside for an hour.
If you make a reservation, you can have a souvenir picture taken!
I think you'll make a lot of fun memories of your trip in Japan after you have help wearing the kimonos and visit the Tenman-gu Shrine.
“Dachinya” has typical Japanese sundries and cheap confectionaries displayed together. Dachinya is a cute shop produced by the well-established pottery shop next door.
Most of the items are affordable, such as traditional cheap confectionaries, sundries that are designed in the old-fashioned Japanese style, and maneki-neko.
Next door is “Tamaichi Doitoki,” where it is the mid-check point of the stamp collecting challenge.
This shop has many fashionable potteries that are very affordable. You should shop here, too, not just stopping by for a stamp.
The road of 1-Chome to 3-Chome uses “ume (plum)” as a motif, since the area is the approach of Osaka Tenman-gu Shrine. But if you go further, the atmosphere changes somewhat, and the closest stations have changed to Ogimachi Station and Tenman Station.
If you need some energy, how about a snapping turtle?
If you are a foreigner and love the Japanese language, recommend these joke T-shirts are recommended.
If you want to have a feel of a deep Osaka, go to “Super Tamade supermarket.” The store would look good on SNS.
From here, check out the shops on an alley that crosses the street from east to west. Here, a lantern with the word “yakiimo (roasted sweet potatoes)” on it catches the eye.
This is actually a crepe shop called “crepe amanojaku (contrariness).” They told us, “We do have roasted arrange fleshed yam, but crepes are selling well. It's going to be difficult for us if they become even more popular, so we don't want to advertise it.” Just like the name of the shop, they were amanojaku.
Their crepe was crispy and chewy, with smooth cream inside. I had never tasted such crepe before.
This is the middle area of the shopping street, 4-Chome. The entrance of the shopping street calls itself “Fourth Avenue,” but you'll pass through it very fast.
Further inside, the 5-Chome area suddenly becomes narrow. As you can see, the area in the foreground is 4-Chome, and in the back is 5-Chome. The shops are sticking out into the street.
5-Chome is a deep zone. There are many catchphrases such as “pokkiri (neither more nor less) price” and “going out of business,” etc etc… You really can't tell if they are true or not.
They were so cheap, we were very surprised. Shops in the 5-Chome area sell dirt cheap clothes.
A famous shop in 5-Chome is “Pokkiri 1000,” a hat shop selling all the hats at 1,000 yen. Carefully selected cool caps and hats are displayed.
Hard to believe they are all only 1,000 yen.
I bought one while I was collecting information. They were that attractive.
We are now close to the climax of Tenjinbashisuji Shotengai. At the simple entrance of 6-Chome is very close to the goal.
“Wanaka Tenjinbashi Shop” is the No. 1 popular takoyaki (octopus dumpling) shop in the area.
Takoyaki is a local comfort food, made from creamy batter and the good flavor of octopus. The boat-shaped dish for takeout is old-fashioned and not something we see often anymore.
We have now walked through the shopping street very fast, and now we are strolling around 7-Chome. We had coffee at “Baisen-kobo Café de Timely,” which is the goal of the stamp collecting event.
If you want to start your stamp collection at 7-Chome, you can get your stamp form here. They are closed Sundays and national holidays, so in that case, go to “Atelier Alcyon” to get your form.
It's not just shopping and eating. Revisit the attraction of a shopping district!
If you get stamps at the starting point, the middle point, and the last point, you will get a “Manpo-jo (certificate of reaching the goal walking).” It's very nice looking, but I won't let you see it here, so that you will have something to look forward to. I highly recommend walking through “Japan's longest shopping street” from start to finish. I am sure you will find out how much fun it is to walk around Japan's shopping street.
About the places we introduced, please see below for reference.
●1-12-1, Tenjinbashi, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi
●Closed: Sundays and national holidays
"Fukuro no mise Osaka"
●1-10-13, Tenjinbashi, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi
●12:00-20:00 (starts at 11:00 on Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays)
●Closed Mondays (when a Monday falls on a national holiday, the following Tuesday is closed)
"Tenman Tenjin MAIDO-ya"
●2-1-23, Tenjinbashi, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi
●2-3-21, Tenjinbashi, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi
●Closed on Sundays and national holidays
●Tenman Garden 2nd floor, 3-4-14, Tenjinbashi, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi
●3-9-6, Tenjinbashi, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi
●3-9-6, Tenjinbashi, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi
●Angel Tenman 103, 4-5-2, Tenjinbashi, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi
●5-8-29, Tenjinbashi, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi
"Wanaka Tenroku Shop"
●6-7-20, Tenjinbashi, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi
"Baisen-kobo Caf? de Timely"
●7-2-10, Tenjinbashi, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi
*The above information was last updated February 28, 2018. For further information, please contact the facilities directly.
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