Hope you got to see the beauty of the Strawberry Full Moon.
Summer solstice, "Kupała Night" in Poland, Midsummer Festivals in Europe. The beginning of summer.
In Southeast Asia, it is the middle of the rainy season.
The flowering of the latest cherry varieties has ended in Japan…. It's a pity, it's a beautiful time. This sight and smell ...This is a feast for the "spirit".
What about the body? we will find something. In Osaka.
Not so long ago, we visited Kyoto, which together with Kobe and Osaka create an economic counterbalance to Tokyo and at the same time are the cradle of Japanese culture.
If we want something for the "body", Osaka has it all. I invite you for a walk around one of the main tourist destinations of this city - Dōtonbori.
Dōtonbori or Dōtombori (道 頓 堀) is a magnet for tourists from all over the world. It is a historic theater district that stretches along the Dōtonbori Canal from Dōtonboribashi Bridge to Nipponbashi Bridge in the Namba District. It is now a popular nightlife and entertainment area, characterized by a quirky atmosphere and large illuminated advertisements. If you remember Japanese films about Godzilla, such decorations reign in this place. Colorful, flashing, stunning.
The history of Dōtonbori dates back to 1612, when the administrator of the local canals, Nariyasu Dōton, began building a canal at the southern tip of Osaka. The canal was completed in September 1615. The new lord of Osaka Castle, Tadaki Matsudaira, named the canal and Dōtonbori Street which runs along it ("bori" from "hori" means "canal").
The character of Dōtonbori was defined in 1621 when the shogun Tokugawa designated Dōtonbori as Osaka's entertainment district. Interesting, isn't it?
Until 1662, there were six Kabuki theaters and five Bunraku theaters on the avenue, as well as the unique mechanical Takeda Karakuri puppet theater. Many restaurants and cafes have been created to satisfy the appetites of tourists and entertainment seekers who flock to Dōtonbori every night. Walking along the canal, I still have the impression that eating thousands of dishes is the main activity of people on the way. Although, as it will turn out soon, not the only one.
Over the years, declining interest in traditional forms of entertainment has led to the closure of most of Dōtonbori's original attractions. The five remaining theaters were bombed and destroyed during World War II.
In the 1960s, a reconstruction project was started to improve the water quality in the canal. The areas on the northern and southern shores were reclaimed in order to raise the river walls, half of the reclaimed land was sold to landowners by the canal, and the other half was allocated to a green belt.
Further development of the area bordering the canal began in 2001, and 170 meters between Tazaemonbashi and Ebisubashi was opened to tourists in 2004. Previously, development along the canal had mainly focused on parallel streets: Dōtonbori Street on the south bank and Sōemonchō Street on the north bank.
At the northern end of Dotonbori you will find an indoor shopping arcade - Shinsabashi. Together with the neighboring Amerika - mura, they form a shopping center. Roofed, full of shops with goods of world brands. In the 30 minute walk I counted 29 - from Apple to Versace. This center has become a mecca for young Japanese people. Easily accessible from metro stations M19- Shinsaibashi, N15- Nagahori Tsurumi and Y14- Yotsubashi is always full of colorful and quite extravagantly dressed youth. There are also Chinese customers. Their wallets can bear any spendings. Phew ...
Kuidaore (食 い 倒 れ) is a Japanese word for ruining yourself by extravagant spending on food in line with the motto "eat till you drop".
This phrase is part of the Japanese proverb: "Make yourself fall by fashion in Kyoto or ruin yourself with meals in Osaka" 「京都 の 着 倒 れ 、 大阪 の 食 い 倒 れ」, reflecting local priorities - clothing and food in Kyoto and Osaka respectively. So, as I mentioned at the beginning - there is also something for the body.
This phrase is directly associated with Dōtonbori and used in travel guides and advertisements. We can also find it in the name of the mascot - Kuidaore Taro or, no longer existing restaurant, Cui-daore.
Dotonbori is a popular tourist destination and boasts many well-known restaurants offering a wide selection of traditional and modern Japanese cuisine. But not only the culinary offer is stunning. I have not come across so many colorful signs and powerful mobile advertising structures anywhere else. It's an art in itself. The whole thing is very impressive.
So let's see the offer.
These are just a few of the hundreds of small bars and restaurants you'll find in Dotonbori.
Another attraction of Dotonbori are the bridges and footbridges connecting both banks of the canal.
Motor vehicles cross the canal, either the Dōtonboribashi Bridge (part of Midosuji Avenue) at the western end or the Nipponbashi Bridge (part of Sakaisuji Avenue) at the eastern end of the main Dōtonbori district, and between them are several footbridges connecting the Namba and Shinsaibashi shopping districts of Dōtonborbashi and Tazatonborbashi, such as Aiaibashi.
Another bridge, Ebisubashi, is to the east of the Glico Man billboard. Originally built to provide access to the nearby temple of Ebisu, this bridge is the site of the legendary curse of the Osaka baseball team, the Hanshin Tigers. More practically, the bridge connects the shopping areas of Shinsaibashi-suji and Ebisubashi-suji.
Due to his knowledge of Glico Man, Ebisubashi is a convenient meeting place, hence his nicknames, nanpa-bashi, used mainly by foreigners, and hikkake-bashi ("train bridge"), used mainly by native Japanese.
Stunned by the bustle and crowd, I decided to relax with a mug of Sapporo beer and a bowl of ramen, pondering the truth of the proverb:
„Make yourself fall by fashion in Kyoto or ruin yourself with meals in Osaka”
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