I peer through the hotel window and spot a miniature Statue of Liberty on top of a building, reminding me I’m in Amerikamura. This is the center of Japanese youth culture in Osaka. The fashionable come here to shop, dine, and be seen.
Amemura (as it is called by locals) got its name when people started selling imported American goods here in the 1970’s. While there are American-inspired touches here and there, it feels uniquely Japanese.
A few blocks away is Dotonbori. You know you’ve arrived when you see rows of restaurants and giant billboards along a canal. Dotonbori was once a “pleasure district” and I suspect you will still find traces of its past if you know where to look.
Since it is still too early, the streets are almost deserted and the stores are mostly closed. People are at work or recovering from too much sake. I will have to wait for night time to see some action.