Shinsaibashi can be broken up into multiple areas, each popular with a unique crowd. An area off Suomachi-suji Street has been nicknamed the “European Village” for its cobblestone sidewalks and brick buildings. The westernmost part of Sensaibashi is known as the “American Village” and is easily spotted by the murals painted on the walls; here you will find a concentration of hip Osaka teenagers and foreigners. One of the best ways to explore Shinsaibashi is simply by strolling around, window shopping, and food tasting as you wander.
For a more in-depth tour of Shinsaibashi, you can add a visit to the itinerary of your private tour of Osaka. Especially if you don’t speak Japanese, this is a great way to really get to know the shops and shopkeepers.
Things to know before you go
- Shinsaibashi is a major shopping destination and symbol of Osaka; it’s a great place to buy souvenirs.
- There is free Wi-Fi available in the arcade.
- Some stores offer duty-free shopping, so carry your passport.
How to get there
The shopping arcade is just a one-minute walk from Shinsaibashi Station on the Osaka Metro Midosuji and Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Lines. The most convenient exits to take out of the station are #5, #6, and #15.
When to get there
Shinsaibashi is almost always busy—but especially so on weekends when around 120,000 people visit—so, if you don’t like crowds, try to visit on a weekday, as early as possible. Opening hours vary between the various businesses that fill the arcade, but morning until early evening is typical.
Visiting Shinsaibashi puts you just a few minutes' walk from the Dotonbori canal district, one of Osaka’s most recognizable sights. Visit after dark to fully appreciate the area’s many flashing neon lights, including the famed Glico Man billboard, which has dominated its surroundings since 1935. You’ll also find lots of vendors here selling such typical Osakan dishes as takoyaki (fried balls of octopus).