The popular district of Ame Mura, (short for Amerikamura) which means American Village in Osaka, was once nothing more than parking lots in an empty neighbourhood. However, the launch of a hip cafe in 1969 saw a rise in business and soon the neighbourhood transformed into the most happening market district for many American imported goods, including records, vintage clothing and unique trinkets. The name Amemura caught on, thanks to the many stores selling American imports, and soon it became a hang out place for anybody looking for a unique shopping and social experience. Today, the small mom & pop stores have been replaced with shopping complexes, movie theatres, and upscale stores. But, it still a great ‘off-beat’ place to hang out, with many bars, tattoo parlours and hair salons acting as a magnet for the young and hip people from all over Japan.
Amemura is also a great spot for anime and manga lovers, with its several themed spots and shops. Let’s find a few favourite spots that anime and manga lovers should not miss when they are in Amemura, Osaka.
Sankakukoen, or Triangle Park, is the place to visit in Amemura, and is the heart of the neighbourhood. People come here to show off their sense of fashion, to watch and entertain others with live dance and music performances. It gets really special during Halloween, when everybody comes over to Triangle Park in the most outrageous outfits, dressed up as their favourite anime, manga or cosplay characters. Amemura shuts down to traffic on Halloween weekends, as the people take over, and come out to enjoy, drink, dance and have a great time.
Name: Triangle Park
Address: 2-11 Nishishinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka 542-0086
2.Mandrake Grand Chaos
One of the top stores in Japan for used and new Manga, toys and fan-drawn dojinshi (self-published manga novels), the Mandrake store in Amemura is the perfect spot to get lost in the world of manga and anime. They have everything here, from cosplay costumes, dolls, little collectibles and even your favourite anime figurines. And if you are worried, that a grown up adult might stand out here for being excited about toys and cartoons (sorry…anime), guess what? You’re not the only adult here, so don’t you worry. Be as excited as you want. Chances are the guy next to you is as excited too!
Name: Mandrake Grandchaos
Address: 542-0086 Nishi Shinsaibashi 2-9-22, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Business Hours: 12:00 noon – 20:00
Phone Number: (+81) 06-6212-0771
Official Website: https://earth.mandarake.co.jp/shop/gcs/index.html
3.Video Game Bar Space Station
This video game themed bar, owned by an American, has more than 500 video games software for all games fans. Including Nintendeo, SuperNintendo and Famicom. Enjoy your favourite retro games from your childhood here, while enjoying a cool beer.
Name: Video Game Bar Space Station
Address: Nisishinsaibashi Iwamura Building 2F, 2-13-3, Nishishinsaibashi, Chuo-ku,Osaka
Business Hours: 20:00-02:00 (Sun – Thur); 20:00 – 05:00 (Fri – Sat)
This popular shop is not only a bookstore to pick up some latest Manga comics, but is in fact a single stop store for almost everything in Japanese pop-culture : anime, vinyl records, buttons, curios, soft toys and even refrigerator magnets. You may even be lucky and find some DVDs and VHS of your favourite manga shows from your childhood.
Name: Village Vanguard
Address: 556-0011 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Naniwa Ward, Nanbanaka, 2 Chome−10−70
Business Hours: 11:00-21:00
Official Website: https://www.village-v.co.jp
Standard Bookstore has been an iconic landmark in Amemura since, well, almost forever. You can browse through its collection of magazines, including manga as well as photography and lifestyle magazines. Enjoy a coffee and a brownie while you read the magazine you have just purchased, and leave all your cares for a couple of hours.
Name: Standard Bookstore
Address: Krista Grand Building, 2-2-12, Nishishinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka 542-0086
6.Volks Osaka Gallery
A few minutes walk from Triangle Park, is Volks Osaka Store, which specialises in supplying specialty hobby goods as well as model trains, robots, plastic anime toys. This is an ideal shop for all anime hobbyists, who want to pick up some interesting toy models for their collection.
Name: Volks Osaka Store
Address: 4-9-18 Nipponbashi, Naniwa-ku, Osaka-shi
With it’s loud music and funky lifestyle, Amemura is not for everybody. But if you check out these places in the list, we’re sure you’ll not complain about your trip to ‘Mericatown, in downtown Osaka!
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