Dotonbori is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Osaka. It’s so popular that almost everyone in Japan has heard of it. But unless they are from the Kansai region, most might not know what exactly there is to do in Dotonbori.
It is just amazing to see the number of tourists in this area and in this main area. It’s simple, from morning to night, it’s full. The crossing at the intersection of the bridge with all the screens is probably one of the busiest intersections of all the planet.
I go through this place almost every day and I regularly ask the starbuck coffee located upstairs where we have a fast impressive on the crossroads. Yes it’s just impressive the number of people and tourists crossing the area every minute, it never stops. It becomes really tiring. If you ever come from the countryside I advise you to hang on if you do not want to feel invaded.
What is Dotonbori?
Dotonbori is the name of the downtown area of Osaka. It is also the name of Dotonbori River, which flows just north of the downtown area. There are so many restaurants and entertainment spots in this area that you couldn’t get bored even if you spent all day in Dotonbori.
The name Dotonbori comes from the merchant Doton Yasui, who begun construction of the river in 1612. ‘Bori’ from the name of this place refers to the canal that was created by digging.
Dotonbori is famous for its eye-catching signage and billboards with a giant pufferfish, an octopus, a clown, the Kani Douraku crab all vying for your attention and creating an amusement park-like atmosphere. Of all these signs however, the most famous is that of the Glico running man above Ebisubashi Bridge.
Here you can see the famois Glico Man. An advertisement for Glico candy, the 20 meter tall and 10 meter wide sign shows a man running on a blue track with his arms raised in victory. This is actually the 6th version of the sign which was last renewed with LED lighting in 2014. However, the first Glico sign was installed here in 1935 and over the years it has become a much loved landmark of Osaka’s Minami area. In fact the Glico running man and Ebisubashi Bridge below it is the focal point of Dotonbori. It is a popular meeting spot, an essential photo stop for tourists, and the site of wild celebrations when local sports teams are victorious.