Drifting Down Dotonbori
Written by Sophie, March 2021
Writing about Osaka Castle last week had me reminiscing about my trip there, and mostly about strolling down Dotonbori and all the wonderful food I had.
Dotonbori is the kind of place that comes to mind when many people think of japan – neon lights, crazy signs, giant animatronic crabs on the side of restaurants… (maybe not that last one!). It’s a food lovers paradise – one of the most famous food streets in Japan. Osaka is known as the kitchen of Japan after all.
I started my evening with snow crab legs that had been grilled over charcoal. Possibly one of the most recognisable restaurants in Osaka, Kani Doraku is most well-known for the giant crab on the front of the building (with moving legs and eyes I might add). Whilst their sit-down meals can be pretty pricey, they offer far more affordable grilled morsels for you to take away – just be sure to get there before they sell out!
I moved on to takoyaki. The only way I can think to describe them are as savoury pancake balls, filled with spring onions, ginger, tempura bits and octopus and then slathered in mayonnaise, tangy bbq sauce and bonito flakes. They’re one of Osaka’s most famous foods and as such there are plenty of stores selling them. Pick one and watch the chefs skilfully turn an absolute mess of batter and toppings on their pan into a tray of perfectly golden-brown balls as you wait in line. Be careful though – they’re red hot inside.
As you continue down the street, there’ll be so much more on offer – Melonpan, chicken wings, tornado potatoes (all of which I just had to try). As well as the food, there’s gachapon machines, souvenir shops and even more giant animal mascots advertising food. Also bear in mind that there are some really great restaurants tucked down the side streets.
To finish my feasting, I picked up a freshly cooked taiyaki – a sea bream shaped waffle-like cake, filled with sweet red bean paste. Delicious.
I made my way back down the street to Ebisu bridge, to have a look at the iconic Glico Sign. Originally installed in 1935 by the Glico confectionery company, the sign has evolved with the times and is now a bright, electronic billboard with the Glico Running Man. The views down the Dotonbori Canal from the bridge are also spectacular.