Delve into Nishinari, the deepest part of Osaka and see Japan from times long gone
Very few areas like Nishinari exist, where the architecture of Showa and Taisho periods contrasts the bright and famous tourist spots of Tennoji or Shinsekai. Full of quirky stores and nostalgic shopping arcades, it offers you a unique and memorable trip through time.
Join us on our tour of arguably deepest, least touristy parts of Osaka and we will take you through Japan you’ve never seen before. In Nishinari the old history meets the unusual and we will take you through the infamous red light district of Tobita we will uncover obscure street art so unusual in Japan and come in direct contact with the locals and their culture in the cherished izakayas. It does not get deeper than this tour!
▼The shopping arcade arch remains unchanged since the Taisho period
▼Long lines form daily at this local offal grill.
We will start at Shinsekai and head out for Nishinari after the Tsutenkaku Tower
Before venturing into Nishinari we will first start with Shinsekai. It is famous for the Tsutenkaku tower, ever-present Billiken shrines, Kushi-katsu fried skewers and much more. Despite its turbulent history it is immensely popular with foreign tourists, so enjoy a bit of “the normal” before we head out into Nishinari.
Let’s have a taste of fried skewers at JanJan-Yokocho, where the stores fiercely compete for the title of the best!
Shinseki is renowned as both the birthplace and holy ground of one of the most delicious, budget-friendly and representative soul food of Osaka, Kushi katsu fried skewers. There’s no lack of competition especially at JanJan Yokocho, the shopping arcade where time stood still for the past few decades. Gorge not just on the unique, nostalgic atmosphere but also on the famous treats of Osaka like the skewers, doteyaki, and sushi.
Travel back in time with just a single step into Nishinari
Next we will pass the shopping arcade by the Osaka City ZOO, the unofficial northern entrance into Nishinari. Just a few steps from Shinsekai the scenery and architecture changes drastically. This is where the truly deep experience really starts.
▼The “entrance” into Nishinari, the Doubutsuen-mae Shopping Arcade.
▼Japan from times long gone await you on your first step in
▼Beloved by locals, Tamade Supermarket originates from Nishinari and is a vital life-blood for not just the destitute
Perfect snapshots taken by your guide in all the right spots
Nishinari offers a unique chance to take pictures that won’t leave anyone cold. During the tour your guide will happily take all the snapshots you like in all the special places.
▼One of the few surviving public theaters Os Gekijo makes for the perfect photo background
▼A credo typical for the men in Nishinari, author unknown
A world of mystery lies beyond the scribbled walls and intimidating gates
Tobita Shinchi is without a doubt the deepest spot in Nishinari. Venture inside this area hidden from the sight of tourists and learn about the sad, dark history as well the harsh present-day reality and societal problems plaguing Japan.
▼Locally dubbed as the “Wailing Wall” this wall tells a story of tragedy
▼Whilst designated as important cultural heritage, Tai Yoshi Hyakuban operates even today
Countless colorful pieces of wall art are hidden in the shadows
As we leave the red light district behind us we head out to the Airin-Chiku area. In the past as well as today the area is known as refuge for day workers, the destitute and those down on their luck. Flashy wall art breaks up the doom and gloom.
▼Even on the store shutters
▼Countless pieces painted along the Nankai Takano Railway Line adorn the walls...
▼…making for the best photo opportunity!
Warm your body and soul with the locally beloved Kasujiru
Lastly, we will stop by at a local Izakaya to get a taste of homemade sake-lees soup “Kasujiru”. The soup is made from the lees, left over from the rice wine making process and enjoys extremely high popularity in Kansai region. It warms up both body and soul and is the prefect meal at the end of our day!
▼Sake lees soup, just like moms in Kansai used to make
▼Lastly we will give you a photo album as a gift!
▼Photo albums with the iconic scenes painted by Hokusai used as motif