Chances are you’ll find whatever you’re looking for in this shopaholic's dream ‘hood.
For all the crowds, bright lights, and current fashion, you wouldn’t know it, but Shinsaibashi has a history that stretches all the way back to the 1600s.
In 1622, a man named Shinsai Okada built a long wooden bridge across the Nagahori-gawa canal. The bridge was named after him (Shinsaibashi, or Shinsai bridge). The bridge spanned the area between Shinmachi, known for its “pleasure quarters,” and Dotonbori, known then for its excellent theater. Shinsaibashi flourished and became a popular shopping district, as it is today.
Shinsai’s bridge went through several iterations – it was torn down and replaced with an iron bridge, which in turn was eventually replaced by Osaka’s first stone bridge in 1909. This bridge featured a row of four-leaf clovers carved into its railings and eight gas lamps. Although the canal was eventually filled in to become a road, now Nagahori-dori, part of the bridge was saved to decorate the pedestrian walkway that crosses this street, above the Crysta Nagahori underground shopping mall.
Big international names like Uniqlo, Forever 21 and H&M are found here, as well as Japanese brands like United Arrows and BEAMS, and more budget-friendly shops like Spins, WEGO, and Berushka. There is also a wide variety of restaurants and cafes tucked among the stores.
For those with money to burn, the surrounding area is home to some of Osaka’s chicest brands, like Gucci, Dior, and Chanel. Japanese speciality shop Tokyu Hands is across the street from Shinsaibashisuji.