Naniwa Kuishimbo Yokocho (なにわ食いしんぼ横丁)
Naniwa Kuishibo Yokocho was built for Expo '70, the world fair of Osaka that was held between March and September of that year. As such, it has retained the spirit of the era! Going there is like exploring a retro aspect of Japan. The idea was to make a place showcasing the various traditional dishes of the Osaka region. "Naniwa" is actually the former name by which the Osaka region was referred to.
Walking through the place, you will see many things reminiscent of the Showa Era of Japan.
What Foods To Try
Our advice is to have something that tickles your fancy because everything is actually quite good. Many stores are of long standing and are beloved by the locals. In any case, if you really want to discover the true Naniwa food culture of the 1970s, perhaps these are the things you should try out!
This is a famous kind of Japanese curry you probably won't find anywhere else. The curry roux is mixed in with the rice and there is a raw egg as a topping. This item is ¥780. This dish is really an emblem of the place so you should consider having it!
Takoyaki, The Original Octopus Balls
You surely know if you are in Osaka that takoyaki balls are the best thing about the city's cuisine according to many locals. They can be found at virtually every street corner. If you want to taste the real original ones, however, you can at a resto called Oishimbo in the Naniwa Kuishimbo Yokocho. 12 balls for ¥550.
Omurice (omelette and rice)
Sometimes, simple and traditional is better. This is especially true when it comes to omurice (a western-inspired Japanese dish of omelet topped on fried rice). A restaurant called Odo serves one of the best there is, and you can have it during your exploration of the Yokocho. The prices start at ¥740.
If you are really hungry, you should try one topped with pork cutlets!
Kushiage is just so Osakan and irresistibly good. They are skewered pieces of meat or vegetables that are deep fried. You dip them in a soy sauce-based tare before eating them (dip only once as the sauce is shared among all customers). You can find good ones at Naniwa Kuishimbo Yokocho that are just ¥100 a piece.
If you want something on the healthy side, try to find the maguro (tuna) don of Maguroya. The combination of green perilla, tuna sashimi and the tare and egg yolk is just so irresistible.
Address: 1-1-10 Kaigandori, Minato-ku, Osaka
Access: 5-minute walk from Osakako Station on the Subway Chuo Line
Hours: 11:00 - 20:00 (may vary)
Next to Osaka's Aquarium (Kaiyukan, 海遊館)
The Naniwa Kuishimbo Yokocho is right next to the Osaka Aquarium, one of the biggest in the country. If you are visiting the area, consider going there as well! Here's a guide if marine life interests you.