John and I spent the final day of our Kansai trip in Osaka. We kept trying to pinpoint why Osaka is so intriguing, why it has so much more soul than Seoul despite being similarly commercial. For one thing, new businesses collage around the old rather than knocking them down and covering them up. But best of all, Osaka’s aesthetic feels 80s futurist—the world of Blade Runner in all its gritty, neon glory.
First we explored Den Den Town, a nerd haven of electronics and toy stores. It had all things new, used, nostalgic, and sometimes unidentifiable.
I eventually left John there to wander a little on my own. I cut through the flashy arcade near Nanba station and took a peek at the super-hectic Dotonbori area.
But my final destination was Amerikamura, Osaka’s American-themed answer to Tokyo’s Harajuku.
I loved it. The shops exploded Bart Simpson, Betty Boop, Adidas and hip-hop music out of their open facades. The area probably isn’t what it used to be—I saw an Armani Xchange in the mix—but it still has attitude.
Despite the rebellious aura the shops were maintained in true Japanese style. Check out this immaculately curated display of college sweatshirts!
We finished the night at a tasty okonomiyaki and yakisoba restaurant called Ajinoiya (味乃家). Okonomiyaki is a bit like omelet—wonderful for the first third and torture for the rest.
The next afternoon we had to head back home to Kyushu. I was pretty sad to leave. Stay weird, Osaka! ❤