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Goin’ Japanesque!

Explore Osaka Minami Dotonbori: Funny Billboards & Fabulous Osaka Food!

Osaka’s commercial districts can be roughly divided into two areas; Kita (north) and Minami (south).

Kita refers to the area around the Osaka Station and Minami is around Namba. Dotonbori is in the Minami and it has heavily Osaka-esque atmosphere and characteristics.


Unique Billboards in Dotonbori

1. The Sixth Glico Billboard in Dotonbori (Daytime)

Writer’s Photo, Map

This is the giant billboard of Glico, located on the southwest side of Ebisu-bashi, Osaka Dotonbori. It’s a famous spot, because the first thing people remember when Dotonbori is mentioned is this billboard. Of course this billboard is very popular among foreign visitors, too.

The sixth generation billboard debuted in October 2014, and they say its economic effects for the first year in Osaka Prefecture were a whopping 12.849 billion yen!


2. The Glico Billboard in Dotonbori (at Night)

Writer’s Photo

The Glico billboard is lit up 30 minutes after sunset and it goes on till midnight. The sixth generation uses as many as 140 thousand LED bulbs, and they offer special video of the runner going through the world to entertain the viewers. The billboard added another fun that is different from the daytime.

The area around the Glico billboard is called Dotonbori, and many different restaurants are jostling there. And restaurants are competing for people’s attention with outlandish billboards in Osaka-esque directness of “outshine or be useless!”


3. The Whole View of Dotonbori

Writer’s Photo

Look at this chaotic fever!

Osaka is the town of “eat till you bankrupt”, and their food is guaranteed fantastic no matter what you eat. How about sampling some of them, while enjoying unique billboards here and there?


4. A Crab Billboard at Kani Doraku

Writer’s Photo, Map

Crab legs make fidgety moves! Under the billboard in the restaurant is grilled crabs offered over the counter and its delicious aroma is everywhere. What a temptation… why not? Let’s eat till you drop!


5. The Billboard of Kushikatsu Daruma

Writer’s Photo, Map

The face is mad! This is an offended face of the restaurant’s famous owner, who imposes the strict rule of “Don’t double-dip your skewer in the sauce”. Be warned! You will be yelled at if you don’t observe the rule.

Writer’s Photo, Kushikatsu

The Osaka style is to dip kushikatsu into sauce and dig in. I cannot believe how many I ate while chugging beer.


6. Dotonbori Konamon Museum

Writer’s Photo, Map

This is a theme park of konamon food under the supervision of Nippon Konamon Association (!). The admission is generously free.

Osaka is the Mecca of konamon. What is konamon? Of course it is foods like okonomiyaki or takoyaki, made with kona (flour). In this Konamon Museum, you can even make wax food display of takoyaki. Please try it yourself!

Related Articles:
Crucial Points to Know in Advance: How to Choose Okonomiyaki Restaurants in Osaka


7. The Puffer Fish Billboard of Zuboraya

Writer’s Photo, Map

This puffer fish billboard has been here since forever.


8. Nigiri-zushi Billboard of Genrokuzushi

Writer’s Photo, Map

Look at this huge hand, picking up sushi and sticking out to the street, lol.

This is truly the competitive spirit of Osaka to “outshine” and “be funny”. Take the Osaka power home with you!


Hozenji Temple Mizukakefudo


Writer’s Photo, Map

Hozenji is famous for Mizukakefudo, and it is located in the nook of a narrow alley between Dotonbori and Sennichimae-dori. The Mizukakefudo is well known for the body completely covered with thick moss, which has grown as worshippers splash water on it. What do they pray for by splashing water, success in business or romance?



Writer’s Photo, Map

Meotozenai is a zenzai (sweet bean soup) shop in front of the Hozenji. There are two small bowls, and this is a serving for one person.

C’mon, let’s go to the hustling and bustling Kuromon Ichiba Market next!

Related Articles:
Osaka Minami: Eating on a Stroll at Bustling Kuromon Ichiba Market

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About the author

I am a licensed guide (in English) who was born and raised in Nara. I hope to convey the beauty of Nara and its history, the current Nara as well as the old and new of Kansai Area. Trust me to keep you in the know about Nara and the Kansai Area!

View all articles by Atsuko