Strolling through Den-Den Town and Shinsekai – Day 2 Osaka

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Den-Den Town

Osaka’s comics and anime district is called Den-Den Town.

I don’t understand why they’re so popular, but we often ran across these stores I could just really describe as filled with carnival games.

Gachapo machines are filled with little toys in plastic spheres. The machines look a lot like bubble gum machines. You drop in your money, twist the knob, and a plastic orb pops out containing a random, mystery toy. We could often see Japanese kids, women, and men browsing through these these shops and dropping money in the machines.

These gachapo machines can be found randomly through Osaka, definitely in the tourist areas, and even in the subway stations.

The same stores also have crane games where you use a joystick to hopefully grab a toy. I tried my hand at one and won a prize on the first try!

They always felt like tourist traps filled with absolute crap. I have no idea what the draw is with these.


Taylor often took point when it came to navigating the subway system. Google Maps and Apple Maps were amazingly useful here. They told you when the next trains would arrive, including the cost of the trip.

Lunch time

I’ve read about, and my experience backs this up, that any Japanese restaurant that has lots of English signage are often targeting tourists with “tourist prices“.

So with that in mind, we were trying to stick to regular restaurants. We found this one that was perfect.

So far, food in Japan has been really good. Lots of fried items (fish, seafood, chicken) but its always very light and never heavy (like everything out of Kentucky Fried Chicken). Soups are flavourful and noodles are excellent. Also, most of the eggs we’ve seen here have a yoke that’s a dark orange.

Japan has about 80,000 Shinto shrines all over the country. Some of them are full-sized buildings, but others are just small boxes setup on a neighbourhood street.

It was actually really common for us to encounter a shrine out of the blue.

Some weird things we saw

I don’t know what this was, but one of the shops was offering some sort of fish “treatment” where a bunch of little fish swarm around your feet. They looked like minnows and I tried to coax Taylor to try it (“Nope!”). I should of tried it just for the funny video it would have produced. There was a guy sitting there with a bunch of small fish swimming between his toes. Was all I needed to see. : )

Though there were lots of cars zipping around, we didn’t see too many gas stations. This one. here had the gas pumps hanging from the ceiling. Would have been cool to see how they worked to fill up a car.

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