After several days of day trips out to Kyoto, today is the day we start to stay put and begin to explore the many interesting sights of Osaka. My oldest looks forward as she can't wait to visit Tokyu Hands and shop at Shinsaibashi.
It was very cold, windy and rainy that day. It was a good thing that our itinerary just involved a short walk to nearby Midosuji and Shinsaibashi, and mostly just stay indoors at the shopping centers.
Mido-suji Avenue is a major street in Osaka city connecting Osaka's two largest shopping districts: Umeda in the north and Namba (where we stayed) in the south. Brand name luxury designer shops can be found along Midosuji which runs parallel to Shinsaibashi on the west side. Shinsaibashi is the big girl's destination for the day.
Teehee! Just at the corner of our hotel, waiting for the walk signal in the pedestrian light, the strong wind blows my umbrella inside out.
|The kids get their macarons from Laduree at the Daimaru Shinsabishi|
The adjacent Shinsaibashi district is a major shopping area that accommodates department stores and a wide range of specialty shops and is visited by many shoppers throughout the year. Shinsaibashi is a long covered shopping street that is full of shops selling the latest fashions.
Approximately 600 m long, this area comes alive at night, and you can probably spend some time just people-watching.
We saw a lot of trendy Japanese people walking by, and quite a number in cosplay costume. It was quite difficult to take a photo of Japanese when they are walking. I tried, but they walk really fast. As In really fast! Kinda like sprinting.:) I was able to take a photo of this one because they were just staying in one place.
There is also a KitKat store where we bought bagfuls because the husband and kids are KitKat fiends.:)
J is a Tokyu Hands addict, so we gave her two hours to go crazy inside the store. If you don't have any idea what this store is, here's A Complete Guide to Tokyu Hands.
First mission order at Tokyu Hands was to locate the Instax counter to hoard on her Instax films.
The next one was to buy Copic Markers. Copic is a brand of Japanese markers which my daughter swears by for being THE perfect marker for her illustrations. The Copic Sketch marker has two nibs on both ends (brush nib and broad nib) which allows her a wide range of use.
We left her in this section with the agreement that we will come back for her in an hour... After 1 hour, she asked for a few extra minutes to go around Tokyu Hands to look at the drawing books.
On the other hand, I went around to buy wireless stapler, punchers, nail cutters, and other small items that only the Japanese can think of making.:) There are also bento making supplies, but I didn't get any for myself.
You can also find the famous Pablo Cheesecakes at Shinsaibashi. The lines at the Pablo Cheesecake storefront are tremendously long at all times of the day.
Their best sellers are the regular cheese tart and the premium variety. Unfortunately, during the time of our visit the Premium Cheese Tart sold out already.
|One of the area's most prominent features is the billboard for confectionery company Glico displaying the image of a runner crossing a finishing line. It is one of the most photographed icon in the Dotonbori area.|
Lots of Takoyaki restaurants in this area with queues that seem to never end...
The Kani Doraku Crab is one of the original mechanical billboard in Dotonbori.
|The looong line of bicycles that are parked in one of the side streets in the Dotonbori area.|
When it was time to leave, we found it quite challenging to find the way back to the hotel that we were forced to asked for directions. In Japan, it can be quite embarrassing to ask for help, but only because Japanese are extremely courteous and go out of their way to help, especially if they know you are a tourist. The man we asked for direction quickly showed us the right way home by bringing us there, even if it was clearly the opposite way to which he was headed (because he had to turn his bike around!)
We found out that we just took one wrong turn, for in reality our hotel was jsut a 10-15 mintue walk away from the Shinsaibashi/Dotonbori area.
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