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Nipponbashi (Den Den Town)

last update: February 17, 2019
Nipponbashi, also called Den Den Town, can be considered the "Akihabara" of Osaka. A Japanese "saying" says "Akiba in the east, 'Ponbashi in the west".

Things to see, things to do in Nipponbashi

It is a fairly small neighborhood, certainly smaller than Akihabara but with sometimes cheaper prices. Here you can find several electronics stores and stores for otaku, nerds, geeks, and any other interested or just curious about anime, manga, videogames, action figures, doujinshi, and other things like this.

The neighborhood has three main streets:

Nipponbashi Information Center

(opening hours 11-19, website)
Here you can receive a free paper map of shops, cafes and restaurants in the neighborhood (also available in English, Chinese and Korean). But you can also ask for help if you can not find a particular store or even a particular item, they will advise you in which store you could find it.
The center also provides luggage storage and currency exchange.

The best shops in Nipponbashi

nipponbashi gee! store

GEE! Store

(opening hours 11-20)
Chain of shops of various merchandise of the most famous anime series and above all with a huge assortment of t-shirts, costumes and accessories for cosplay. Prices are not low, but the quality of the products is very high. In Nipponbashi they have a large shop and a smaller branch (annex).
nipponbashi animate

Animate

One of the most famous chain stores of DVDs, manga, action figures and other stuff, in particular very well supplied with regard to the most popular and followed series of the moment. Little or nothing about niche series. The Nipponbashi branch is a large 4-storey shop.
nipponbashi super potato

Super Potato

(opening hours 11-20)
A chain of video games shops specialized mainly in retrogaming.
nipponbashi joshin suer kids land character museum

Joshin Super Kids Land Character Museum

(opening hours 10-20)
A shop specializing in action figures and models of anime characters. In particular, there is an entire floor dedicated to Gundam.
nipponbashi torejaras

Torejaras

(opening hours 10-21)
One of the best shops for second-hand items. Inside you can find a bit of everything, toys, action figures, comics, collectible cards, etc.
nipponbashi comic toranoana

Comic Toranoana

(opening hours 11-21)
Chain of shops specializing in doujinshi comics, self-published comics made by amateurs that often use characters of famous series. Very often doujinshi are erotic comics. There are two branches in Nipponbashi. The shop A is specialized in erotic doujinshi for men and non erotic doujinshi for everyone, the shop B in erotic doujinshi for women.
nipponbashi yellow submarine

Yellow Submarine

(opening hours 11-20)
Shop specialized in board games and collectible cards (Yugioh, Pokemon, Magic, etc.), but there are also various merchandise and action figures.
nipponbashi joshin super kids land

Joshin Super Kids Land Main

(opening hours 10-20)
A large toy and model shop aimed at both children and enthusiasts and collectors. Not only models of anime characters and robots, but also a huge assortment of model trains, airplanes, cars, and much more.
nipponbashi volks hobby square

Volks Hobby Square

(opening hours 11-20)
The biggest shop for model building and model collecting enthusiasts in Osaka. Seven floors of models and tools of all types.
nipponbashi joshin technoland

Joshin J&P Technoland

(opening hours 10-20)
One of the biggest shops in all of Osaka (5 floors) specialized in cameras, computers and peripherals.
nipponbashi taito station

Taito Station

(opening hours 10-20)
Maybe you already know it, or maybe not, but arcades are still very popular in Japan. Taito Station has 2 games centers in Nipponbashi, both very large. Inside various videogames, virtual reality, prize games, purikura. A game usually costs 100-200 yen.

Rent a Go-Kart and drive around Osaka

If you have never been to Osaka before maybe you don't know that, so let us inform you that it is getting increasingly popular in central Osaka to run into people driving a go-kart in the streets and wearing unique costumes (for example Super Mario costumes). At first sight you might think they're crazy local people doing some weird stuff, but in most cases they're just tourists who rented those carts in a specialized shop located right in Nipponbashi. And you can do the same if you want!
drive a kart in osaka
All you need is an International Driving Permit (or a Japanese drivers licence/Japanese SOFA licence).
You can rent your kart up to 5 hours, you can choose to just rent it and go around by yourself or to book an english-speaking guide too.
The guide will ride another kart and he will bring you around Den Den Town and then around other famous areas of Osaka. In this case all you have to do is to drive and follow him. The guide is highly recommended if you have never driven in Japan before. Rent your Go-Kart in Osaka

Where to stay in Nipponbashi (Den Den Town)

This is one of the best areas of Osaka to stay in, even if you do not care about anime and manga. It is served by numerous stations and the heart of Osaka city (Namba and Dotonbori) is easily reachable on foot. Also, compared to Namba or Dotonbori, prices are lower.
If you are also keen on Japanese pop culture, the area becomes unbeatable, you must stay in this area.

Hotels

Hostels

Capsule hotels

Hello Kitty apartment

A real Hello Kitty-themed mini-apartment with a double bed, a sofa, a bathroom, a microwave, and a kitchenette, located right along Ota Road, the street of the maid cafes and shops for otaku.

Cafes in Nipponbashi

Animate Cafe

(opening hours 11-21:30)
This chain of cafe doesn't have a particular style, but changes its theme numerous times during the year, each time to a new theme of a different anime. You can check the calendar of the next "themes" here.

Maidreamin Maid Cafe

(opening hours 12-23)
If you want to try the experience of a maid cafe in Osaka, the famous Maidreamin chain is the best place as they are used to welcome foreign customers who do not speak Japanese. Maidreamin has two cafes in Osaka, both in Nipponbashi.

Events in Nipponbashi: Nipponbashi Street Festa

The Nipponbashi Street Festa is one of the biggest cosplay events of all Japan.
Once a year, usually a Saturday or Sunday in March, the streets of the neighborhood are closed to traffic and are filled with cosplayers. In recent years, up to 10 thousand cosplayers from all over the country participated. On the streets you will also find stalls and numerous live shows.
nipponbashi street festa Nipponbashi Street Festa

How to get to Nipponbashi, Osaka

To get to Nipponbashi just walk north from Ebisucho station (Sakaisuji Line of the subway) or walk south from Nipponbashi station (Sakaisuji Line, Sennichimae Line of the subway).

Another convenient station is Namba, but be careful not to be confused because there are so many stations with this name in the area. For example, the JR station is quite far. The Nankai Namba station and the subway station (Midosuji Line) are very close to Nipponbashi.

Map of Nipponbashi, Osaka

Guided tours, activities and other things to do

If you are planning a trip to Japan and you want to do something more than just visiting famous places and monuments, we suggest you to use Govoyagin.

How to use Govoyagin

Govoyagin is a very useful website to enrich your travel experience, especially if you are going solo or it's your first time in Japan.
Because of the language barrier (and more), in Japan it is very difficult to interact with the locals and to get off the tourist track.
Thanks to Govoyagin you can find a lot of interesting and sometimes unique guided tours and activities all over Japan (and not only in Japan), that you would otherwise never be able to enjoy.
But there's more: on Govoyagin you can also buy tickets for several famous attractions, events, transportation and other useful services for tourists. Last but not least, you can reserve a table in hundreds of restaurants.

Some examples

Take a look at Govoyagin

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www.youinjapan.net - unauthorized reproduction of content is prohibited - Author: Davide Lee
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Author: Davide Lee