Dōtonbori is one of the principal tourist destinations in Osaka, Japan. It is a single street, running alongside the Dōtonbori canal between the Dōtonboribashi Bridge and the Nipponbashi Bridge in the Namba ward of Osaka.
A former pleasure district, Dōtonbori is famous for its historic theatres (all gone now), its shops and restaurants, and its many neon and mechanised signs, including snack/candy manufacturer Glico’s giant electronic display of a runner crossing the finish line.
The character of Dōtonbori became defined in 1621 when the newly minted Tokugawa Shogunate instituted urban planning, designating Dōtonbori as the entertainment district of Osaka. By 1662 the avenue boasted six Kabuki theatres and five Bunraku theatres, as well as the unique Takeda Karakuri mechanical puppet theatre. Many restaurants and cafes were built to cater to the flood of tourists and entertainment-seekers pouring nightly into Dōtonbori.
As a domestic tourist destination, Osaka is known for its food, and Dōtonbori is the main destination for food travel in Osaka. It is always featured in guidebooks for both foreign and domestic tourists. Osaka regional cuisine includes okonomiyaki (pan-fried batter cake), takoyaki (octopus dumplings), udon (a noodle dish), as well as regional sushi and other traditional Japanese foods.
Photo Credit: Mikael