Japan Press Trip Part 15
Osaka is famous for shopping, and several shopping arcades crisscross the city. One of the most popular is Shinsaibashi, which is where the locals head to see and be seen – and do some serious retail therapy.
Shinsaibashi-Suji Shopping Street is one of Osaka's best known shopping arcades. It is famous for wide selection of shops – and all manner of food and beverage outlets.
Long before the shopping mall there was Shinsaibashi! Running 600 meters, the roofed shopping arcade dates back 380 years.
There are hundreds of shops selling everything from Western suites to kimono, antiquarian books to the latest fashions from Paris, Milan, and NewYork. As the saying goes, if you can't find it Shinsaibashi, it probably doesn't exist.
There is also an un-ending parade of restaurants, cafes and bars. Many outlets sell snacks, which you can eat on the run. You won't go hungry in Shinsaibashi!
After flying from Sapporo to Osaka, I bid sayonara to the rest of my entourage. I take the train from Osaka Kansai International Airport to downtown Osaka, which takes about an hour.
A friend has booked a hotel room for me, and he says I can get there on foot. His directions take me along the Shimsaibashi Shopping Street, which gives me an excellent introduction to Osaka.
I pass a stately theatre and a shop selling squid before entering a covered shopping arcade, which seems to go on forever. Am I headed in the right direction?
After about 40 minutes, I find myself at the Uniqlo outlet, which is where my friend said I should turn right.
I do. Several minutes later – with the help of some friendly passers-by, I locate the Ark Hotel, which I will call home for 6 nights.
Shinsaibashi Shopping Street seems to be more about seeing and being seen than shopping.
While I enjoy parading up and down the arcade, I find my self making more purchases on some of the nearby thoroughfares.
Shinsaibaishi-suji Shopping Street, 1 – 2 Chome, Namba, Osaka, Japan. Telephone: (06) 6211-1114. Shopping Center Website: Shinbaibashi
To Be Continued
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