Platform boots, soft pastels, and kawaii accessories are the first images that come to mind when people think of Japanese fashion. It is not uncommon to think about Tokyo street fashion, Harajuku styles and shopping in Shibuya, but Tokyo is not the only fashion hub in the country. If you travel to the western region, you may find yourself in Osaka Prefecture. Osaka is home to many stores, malls, and fashion areas in Japan that are worth a visit. Here are six fashionable places to visit on your trip to Osaka.
With its 380-year history of being a popular shopping district in Osaka, Shinsaibashi has a mixture of stores that sell western clothing and traditional Japanese clothing. Shinsaibashi’s shopping street, Shinsaibashisuji also hosts high-end brand names that are recognized internationally, such as Adidas, Guess, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, as well as independent fashion boutiques. As you eat and shop, take a stroll down the street. Eventually, you will reach the Dotonburi bridge where you can pose with the iconic Glico runner of Osaka-shi. It’s a great place to shop even if it’s raining; however, it can get very crowded.
Amerikamura, meaning American Village, is also known as Amemura to the locals and is one of the hottest spots for the younger fashionable street culture crowd. Shoppers can find fashion for women at stores like Kiwi and Bombshell and bags, watches, and eyewear at stores like Tenshi no Tsuba, TIME’S GEAR, and OAKLEY. Although this area is heavily influenced by and is called America, it’s still uniquely Japanese. Amemura also has wig stores and Visual Kei fashion stores. Some people believe that with just a few fashionable shops, it can get boring for some people after a while. However, Amemura is a great place to enjoy shopping and nightlife.
Aside from Shinsaibashi and Amemura, Nanba has an underground shopping mall. This mall has fashion stores for women, men, and children. Women’s stores include Coco deal, 12 Twelve Agenda, and Titivate while stores for men includes Eden’s Garden, Deluxda and Vuess. This mall is geared towards the younger crowds, so the clothes are fresh, new, and trendy. For older shoppers who have a more old-school sense of fashion, Namba hosts a branch of the Takashimaya department store. You can find Menswear, Womenswear, childrenswear and many international boutiques.
Abeno has plenty of fashion stores including the Abeno Q’s (Kyuzu/キューズモール）mall. This mall, like many of the malls in Osaka is huge. You can find shoe stores, general clothing stores, and women-specific clothing stores. Some stores include Zara, Claires, and American Eagle Outfitters. For those who enjoy lolita style clothes, Axes Femme is a great store to visit. Karl Kani and tk TAKEO KIKUCHI are men’s fashion stores and apres le cours, JENNI, and MARKEY’S are clothing stores for children. Abeno’s branch of the Q’s mall has a stage. So while you check out all the stores, you might be able to catch a live performance from Japanese artists.
Umeda is arguably the second most popular area to shop after Nanba. The mall in Umeda has lots of fashion related shops including many earring and accessory shops filled with “too cute to pass by” items that can dress up your wardrobe. A popular place to meet friends is the Grand Front located in front of Osaka station. This mall is just as fancy as it is huge. It offers many foreign brand clothing as well as domestic fashion boutiques. The only possible downside to the Grand front is that the clothes are on the expensive side. If you don’t mind spending a bit more, the Grand Front is definitely a place to visit.
Money may be tight for those who are just visiting Japan. Yes, that is, students studying abroad. However, there is a way to get your hands on amazing Japanese fashion. There are second-hand stores all over the cities of Japan. As new trends come in, old trends go out and so does the clothes. You can find high-quality clothes for as low as 500 yen. Some people can find articles of clothes for 100 yen. This method of styling is preferred by a lot of fashionistas traveling to Japan. One hidden treasure in Osaka (Hirakata) is called Treasure Bomb. This second-hand store sells many quality brands like Forever 21 for cheap.
Shopping in Japan can be easy when you know where to go and if you have the extra money to shop. Remember fashion in Japan is all about expressing who you are through your own unique style. What better way is there to do that than to visit every single one of the fashionable areas of Japan listed and figure out which fashion outlet is best for you. Whether you are doing your shopping because you desperately need a new pair of shoes or because you want to add something to your wardrobe, you will not regret going to at least one of these six fashionable places in Osaka.
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