Shinsaibashi-suji is located at Chuo-ku ward, one of the wards of Osaka. It is famous because of the 600m roofed shopping arcade. Along the street, there is a variety of shops, café, and restaurants. It has big companies like Daimaru Department Store, chain clothing stores like Uniqlo and H&M and also local independent boutiques. Opening hours depend on individual shops. In general shops open from 11 am to 9 pm.
How to get there:
-Take Midosuji Line to Shinsaibashi Station or Take the JR Loop Line to Namba Station.
Shopping for Clothes
Uniqlo, the favorite well-known affordable clothing line is located at the beginning of the street. Walking along the street you can spot other big brands such as H&M, Zara, and Tommy Hilfiger or you can spend in local brand stores. One of the highlights which may not be well-known internationally is GU. It is the sister company of Uniqlo with a range of casual, comfortable yet trendy fashion. The price range is 10-20% cheaper compared to that of Uniqlo without compromising its’ quality. While younger crowds will prefer Japanese brand WEGO or Lowry’s Farm which would feature more “kawaii” (cute) fashion. These chain stores normally will have APPs which feature special member price and weekly promotional updates. Download these APPs before you reach Osaka.
There are also independent boutiques along the street. They may specialize in different types of fashion. For example, a shop may sell only kimono and traditional wear while another sells gothic wear. Each will have its unique style and bargains.
Shopping for Footwear
Another popular chain store is ABC Mart. They sell a variety of shoe brands like Nike, Adidas, Skechers, and Crocs. One unique brand which ABC Mart owns its’ trademark is Nuovo collection by Hawkins. This collection is famous for its comfortable and stylish footwear.
Shopping for Skincare & Cosmetics
Stop by at Matsumoto Kiyoshi for a range of local skincare and cosmetic products. There is also a variety of health-care supplements which you can choose from too. You can get discounted prices for famous brands such as SK II, Kose, and Hada Labo. They will have promotional packs with freebies at tax-free prices which will save you 20-30% that of the normal prices.
A tip when choosing skincare products is that you can buy their travel size items first. Try using these items when you are there for a few days before buying a larger pack as to see if it suits your skin. Other must-buy items include pain-relieving patches, sheet facial masks, and household cleaning products.
Shopping for souvenirs
Don Quijote Dotonbori Store is frequented by locals and tourist as it is a multistorey discount store. It has a variety of snacks, cosmetics, skincare, electronics and even sex toys for sale. Must buy souvenirs include matcha flavored or wasabi flavored snacks, facial sheet masks and multiple flavor Kit Kat.
Tokyu Hands is another store only found in Japan and it’s a chain department store selling DIY (Do-It-Yourself) items. Not only does it house a variety of art and craft, it also sells household hardware, furniture, toys, games and gift cards. They also have do-it-yourself kits you can pick up as souvenirs for loved ones.
Shopping for food
Other than shopping for the latest trend and souvenirs, tourist can eat different cuisines along Shinsaibashi-suji. These are the food you must not miss out when traveling to Osaka which includes: Okonomiyaki, Takoyaki, Fugu, Kushikatsu, and Yakiniku.
If you have a sweet tooth, along the street there will be different cafés with cakes and sweets for sale. A famous café specializing in pancake known as “cafe & pancake gram Shinsaibashi Store” is a local favorite. You could also go to “Pablo” for their signature cheese tarts and cheesecakes.
Tips for Shopping at Shinsaibashi:
-Bring your passport as most stores will have tax refund counters.
-Always ask to pay at tax refund counters (as some stores will only have it on certain floors).
-Make sure you calculate your purchases so that it reaches the minimum amount for a tax refund.
-Take off your shoes before you step into the fitting room. Leave your shoes outside the fitting room. This will also let other customers know this room is occupied.
-Cover your face with a face cover before trying on clothes if you are wearing makeup. Try not to stain the clothes you are trying.
-Always obey the maximum number of clothes allow into the fitting room (Some stores allow only a maximum 5 pieces of item into the fitting room.) If you bring more than that is allowed, you can put any extra clothes in a shopping cart and leave it outside the fitting room.
-No food and drinks are allowed in the stores. Always finish your food outside the store or keep it in the bag for later.
Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street is a shopaholic heaven for locals and tourist alike. It satisfies every age group. You can spend one whole day there and just slowly stroll down the street. If you still think that it is still not enough you can venture further south to Ebisubashi which also have the same shopping atmosphere. Make sure you wear comfortable footwear and expect endless shopping.