Dotonbori, Osaka: A Guide to the City's Most Vibrant Entertainment District

Dtonbori, sometimes known as Dtombori, is a popular tourist attraction in Osaka, Japan, that runs along the Dtonbori canal from Dtonboribashi Bridge to Nipponbashi Bridge in the city’s Chuo ward. It was once a theater neighborhood, but it is now a popular nightlife and entertainment area known for its quirky ambiance and big illuminated signboards.

One of the area’s most notable features, a billboard for chocolate firm Glico depicting a runner crossing a finishing line, is regarded as an Osaka icon within Japan.

One Night Out in Dotonbori in Osaka - Rome by the Hour

Dtonbori dates back to 1612, when Nariyasu Dton, the supervisor of local waterways, began construction of the canal on Osaka’s southern outskirts. Yasui Jih, Yasui Kuh, and Hirano Tjir accompanied Nariyasu Dton. Yasui Jih died following an illness, while Nariyasu Dton died during the Siege of Osaka in July 1615, having fought on Toyotomi Hideyori’s losing side. The canal was completed by September 1615, thanks to the efforts of Yasui Kuh and Hirano Tjir. Even though Nariyasu Dton had been on the losing side during the siege, the new lord of Osaka Castle, Tadaki Matsudaira, named the canal and boulevard opposite it Dtonbori.

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The tale evolved over time to attribute the canal to a fake local entrepreneur named Yasui Dton. According to the altered version, Yasui Dton began widening the little Umezu River on his own dime in 1612, seeking to boost regional business by connecting the two branches of the Yokobori River with an east–west canal; he died during the Siege of Osaka, and his cousin completed the canal in 1615. The popularity of the amended story led to the construction of a stone monument for Yasui Dton at the north end of Nipponbashi in 1915. Based on Yasui family documents dating back to the 1600s, it was found that Yasui Dton was a fake character in the 1965 Dtonbori Trial opposing the canal’s ownership rights.

Eating Around Dotonbori in Osaka - Roaming Hills

The Tokugawa Shogunate initiated urban planning in 1621, establishing Dtonbori as Osaka’s entertainment district, and Dtonbori’s character was defined. Yasui Kuh is credited with luring playhouses and performance tents to the region, and the Yasui family was rewarded by the theatre owners by reserving a box for each performance. By 1662, there were six Kabuki and five Bunraku theaters on the avenue, as well as the Takeda Karakuri mechanical puppet theatre. Many restaurants and cafes were established to accommodate the nighttime influx of tourists and entertainment seekers into Dtonbori.

The Best Things to Do in Dōtonbori, Osaka

Kuidaore is a Japanese phrase that means “to damage oneself by excessive food spending” or, to put it another way, “to eat until you drop.” It is frequently romanized as cuidaore, and it is part of a wider proverb: “Ruin yourself with styles in Kyoto, ruin yourself with meals in Osaka,” which reflects local preferences (and artistry) in Kyoto and Osaka, respectively, in clothes and food.

The word is synonymous with Dtonbori, and it appears frequently in visitor guides and marketing. It appears in the names of various Dtonbori sites, including the mascot Kuidaore Taro and the defunct restaurant Cui-daore.

Okonomiyaki, takoyaki, and kitsune udon are some of the cuisines associated with Osaka and kuidaore.

Osaka is a popular tourism destination for both domestic and international visitors. Visitors to the city flock to the Dotonbori district, which is home to a number of well-known restaurants serving a variety of traditional and modern Japanese dishes.

Dotonbori - Osaka: Get the Detail of Dotonbori on Times of India Travel


Kinryu Ramen: In Dtonbori, there are three Kinryu (Golden Dragon) Ramen restaurants, one on each end and one in the middle. The business, which first opened its doors in 1982, is known for its three-dimensional golden dragon billboards and tatami mat seating. Kinryu Ramen, unlike many Japanese eateries, is open 24 hours and has a free garlic and kimchi bar.

Kani Draku is a crab restaurant in multiple locations that is known for its moving crab billboard. The original/main western (Honten) location near Ebisubashi, the Nakamise (middle) location near Tazaemonbashi, and the eastern (Higashimise) location near Nipponbashi are all located south of the canal on Dtonbori Street. The current moving crab sign was built in 1996, after the original facility opened in 1962. The sign has been involved in previous events, including a 1984 mishap in which a leg fell off and struck a customer, and a 2003 incident in which fans of the local Hanshin Tigers baseball team climbed the sign and removed the eyes.

Otakoya : A popular takoyaki stand that first opened in 1972 on Dtonbori Street near Tazaemonbashi, but had to relocate in 2010 due to municipal land. The size of the octopus employed is one of the main attractions.

Zubora-ya is a fugu restaurant with a massive blowfish light in the front. Zubora-ya first opened its doors in Shinsekai, Naniwa Ward, in 1920, and eventually expanded to include a second store on Dtonbori Street. For the COVID-19 pandemic, both locations were temporarily shuttered on April 8, 2020; the closure was made permanent on September 15.

Dtonbori Ramen Taishokudo is a ramen restaurant made up of eight well-known ramen businesses from all across Japan.
Hariju is a steak restaurant that first founded in 1924 and moved to Dtonbori in 1948. They solely utilize Japanese meat. One of the more well-known beef eateries.
Imai has been serving Udon noodles since 1946, and the flagship and original site is frequently referred to as Dtonbori Imai Honten. At the location, the Imai family operated a teahouse (from the 1780s) and a music instrument business (1913–1945), but the store burned down during WWII and was restored as a restaurant.
Cui-daoré, a vast eight-story restaurant with a different Osaka cuisine on each floor, said to be the world’s largest restaurant. It was founded by Rokuro Yamada in 1949, and the Kuidaore Taro bunraku puppet, with a face modeled by Yamada, was presented in 1950; the restaurant and puppet were designed to appeal to families with small children. In 1959, the building was enlarged into a massive concrete structure, however it was closed on July 8, 2008. Since then, the building has been restored and is now known as the Nakaza Cui-daoré Building, which houses a variety of stores and restaurants.

LOCATION: Dotonbori, Chuo-ku, Osaka

1-10 Dotonbori, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi,Osaka 542-0071

DIRECTIONS:Right outside Namba Station on the Nankai and Kintetsu Railways and Osaka Metro Midosuji, Sennichimae, and Yotsubashi Lines


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