The empire of the culinary senses in Dōtonbori

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The empire of the culinary senses in Dōtonbori

Along the canal of the same name, Dōtonbori is an area that has been devoted to entertainment since the 17th century and, above all, a major tourist attraction in Osaka.

A canal, the Dōtonbori Gawa, runs through the middle of the quarter, which reflects the illuminated signs and advertisements at night. The Dōtonbori area attracts filmmakers from around the world, eager to capture the flashing neon that sculpt the facades, as well as tourists and Osakaites, drawn by the smell of kushikatsu (vegetable skewers and fried meat) or takoyaki (meatballs made of octopus) and, of course okonomiyaki (savoury Japanese pancakes).

In this city dedicated to gastronomy, traditional restaurants and cabarets compete with each other via their culinary specialties. Cinemas and shops provide an extra touch of colour and gaiety. Further south of the canal, between the stalls, a paper lantern marks the entry of a small 17th-century Buddhist temple, the Hōzen-Ji. In the dark and away from the world, you pour water on the shoulders of the moss-covered statue of Fudō Myōō. Here, lanterns hang, and their faint glow, like fireflies, reminds us of the soul of the old Osaka of the Edo period.

Dōtonbori
Chūō-ku, Osaka
Osaka Prefecture 554-0031

www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/regional/osaka/dotonbori.html