We’ll start our walk from Namba Station, which is connected to Shinsaibashi area by a long and very interesting underground pathway, packed with shops of any kinds.
It’s also perfect on rainy days: no need to juggle with holding your umbrella, your partner’s hand and a cream puff at the same time!
Namba and Shinsaibashi areas are notoriously very crowded, but you’re here to enjoy your time with your sweetheart so you two can take it easy! From the station, head to “Namba Walk”. If, for a moment, you might think you mistook your way and ended up in a museum, don’t worry! That’s the “Chicago Gallery”, a lovely walk passage surrounded by replicas of some of the most famous paintings of all time.
Walk on and, when you reach the crossroads, choose whether to keep your right or your left: both ways are full of nice shops where to buy your souvenirs and cafes or restaurants where to have lunch.
Discovering Japanese delicacies
For a sweet treat, our first stop is going to be where the two streets meet again. Here you’ll find
”, a shop specialized in Japanese confectionery.
If you’re interested in Japanese traditional sweets, you must try this shop’s specialties.
Dango are sweet dumplings of sticky rice on a skewer, usually covered in some kind of sauces or toppings. The most popular here is the sweet soy sauce dango (mitarashi amakuchi). With the warm rice and sweet sauce, I assure you this shop has one of the best mitarashi dango I’ve ever tried! Other options include azuki bean jam, sweet black sesame paste or soy bean flour. Why don’t you challenge your partner and see who picks the most delicious one? Each skewer is less than 80 yen: definitely worth a try!
Bean jam and soy bean flour are not exactly your cup of tea? No problem, I’ve got you covered! From doughnuts (look for “Mister Donuts”) to ice cream (“Baskin Robbins” has so many flavors to indulge in), from cream puffs (“Beard Papa’s” offers the most delicious choux creames) to cookies (try out “Aunt Stella” for a cookie buffet!), here in Namba Walk you can find all your favorite western desserts.
Now that we’re done with exploring this area, we can go to the more chaotic Shinsaibashi shopping arcade. Head to exit B14, climb the stairs and you’ll see the entrance to “Ebisu-bashi suji” shopping street in front of you.
Cheesecakes are one of the trendiest sweets in the area. While walking around you’ll notice various shops selling this rich and decadent dessert, but two of them are ruling the scene: “Pablo” and “Rikuro’s”.
No matter which one you choose, expect to wait in line for some minutes because of their high popularity!
, which has more than one store along Shinsaibashi shopping street, is one of the most famous shops for Japanese rare cheesecakes.
Their cheesecakes are served in a tart (in fact, they’re best described as cheese-tarts). Pablo offers many types of cheesecakes: from the time-limited seasonal one, whose flavor depends on the season, to the original/plain one. The latter can be enjoyed baked at different levels of doneness: rare (that literally melts in your mouth) or medium (fluffy yet firm). You can share your cheesecake with your partner in the cafe on the second floor, or grab some “mini” cheesecakes to eat on the go. These are bite-sized tarts that come in different flavors: plain, rich and creamy matcha, rich and creamy chocolate and the seasonal ones.
Rikuro’s is famous for its oh-so-fluffy cheesecakes, with raisins at the bottom and the smiling face of Uncle Rikuro on the top.
Try this and you’ll feel like you’re eating a cloud of fluffy goodness that literally melts in your mouth. These cheesecakes are best served hot, while still jiggling and fluffy, so, if the whole cake looks too much for you and your partner to eat, you can get a slice of it with a cup of coffee and have a sit in the cafe on the second floor. On the other hand, if you’re planning on heading back to your hotel and cuddle up with your partner while bingeing on movies and cheesecake, then go ahead and buy the whole thing for 695yen! It can also be refrigerated and eaten within 3 days. In front of the shop you’ll see two different lines: on the left there’s the line for cheesecakes that were previously baked, on the right there’s the line for freshly baked ones. ‘Guess I don’t need to tell you which one has the longest waiting time! 😉
Indulge without guilt
Do you like to indulge in not-diet-friendly treats but your partner is health-conscious? No problem, you can still share a lovely break time together at “Green Bar Smoothie”!
As the name suggests, here you’ll find super healthy yet delicious smoothies (for 500yen you can choose among green, carrot and acai smoothie) as well as whipped cream and chocolate filled crepes. If your taste buds are begging for something salty, go for a vegetable soup or some bagels, and you won’t be disappointed. I recommend you to enjoy your treats at one of the tables in the nicely decorated outdoor area: a very small and quiet alleyway where to take a break from the chaotic Shinsaibashi shopping street.
Some tips for a romantic night
The area along Dotonbori river is very romantic at night: the perfect place to have a nice walk holding hands. If you want to snack on something, you’ll find many stands or small shops that offer delicious street-foods: if you’re in Osaka and you’ve never tried takoyaki (octopus-filled balls), what a better chance? You can grab some and have a seat at one of the open-air tables facing the river.
Another great option for a romantic night date is the river cruise: a 20-minute “stroll” along the waterway that will allow you to enjoy the beautiful lights of the neon billboards from a different perspective.
Last but not least, if you’re not afraid of heights, I recommend you try the recently reopened Don Quixote Ferris Wheel, also known as Ebisu Tower. What is unique about this Ferris Wheel is that it’s elliptical shaped. For 600yen you can experience a 15-minutes ride that will take you at 77meters-high to let you enjoy Osaka’s nightview at its fullest.