Japan Trip: Osaka for Otakus
Due to a packed schedule, most of my anime-comic-game shopping took place during the first day, when I was still in Osaka. Thanks to an acquaintance of my fellow companions who lives in the city, we were able to hit the important ‘spots’ during the first night (even though most of the shops were closed by the time we got there).
The concentration of the big-name shops in Osaka could be found along Nippon-bashi, a place comprising of shops, shops and more shops, from electronics to porns to game shops. After making a quick trip through Nippon-bashi on Saturday night, I recall seeing shops such as Sony-retailer, Gundam Shop, Nobunaga Bookstore (the same ‘Nobunaga’ as in Oda Nobunaga, the famous warlord), and a multi-story porn shop (too bad I didn’t have time to wander into the building).
However, that’s not the part of Nihon-bashi that we Otakus want… well, with the exception of Gundam store for the few of you who are interested in that franchise. According to our local pal and guide KIR, the part of Nippon-bashi which appeals to Otakus is not located on the ‘main’ street. For those of you who has (or will have) the chance to visit Osaka’s sanctuary for the Otakus, get off at the Ebisu-cho stop of the subway – NOTE: not the Nippon-bashi stop!
For you otakus that’s reading this column, the place you’d want to visit is conviniently named the “Otaku Road”.
In many ways, this little strip of land (and some shops on the main street of Nippon-bashi) is like a compact Akihabara. While the selections may not be as great, its much easier to cover the majority of specialized shops if you’re short of time.
So what are the shops on “Otaku Road”? You have shops like Animate, Melon Books, Tora No Ana, Volks, K-books, and even Softmap. Yes, you bet – it’s definitely a ‘heaven’ for Otakus living in the Kansei area.
Seriously, if I have one extra day in Osaka, I would probably switch back into the hopeless otaku-fanboy for the entire trip. There’s just simply too many temptations.
Talking about temptations, this is one item that I should have purchased… unfortunately, the shop wasn’t open by the time I left.
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