If the JR Yamanote line is the most convenient train line in Tokyo, the Osaka Municipal Subway’s Midosuji Line would be its Osaka cousin. Many of Central Osaka’s tourist spots are accessible via the Midosuji Line (colour-coded red) and it is the oldest subway line in Osaka.
Many of its stations are transportation hubs that link the subway with JR services, Hankyu and Nankai Railways, making it a very convenient line for tourists to explore the beauty of Osaka.
One of the stops on the Midosuji Line is Shinsaibashi Station, a famous shopping spot in Osaka. The Shinsaibashi-suji is a covered shopping area where over 180 shops cater to all your Osaka needs; uniquely Osaka souvenirs, traditional kimonos, takoyaki restaurants as well as western boutiques and fast food restaurants. Shinsaibashi-suji can get crowded on weekends, as it is not just a popular shopping area for tourists, but for locals as well.
An important train hub in Osaka is Namba Station. The Namba district is a well-established shopping and entertainment district in Osaka. There is the Namba Grand Kagetsu, a theater used by Yoshimoto comedians to put on various comedy performances daily. In fact, the mega-popular sister group to AKB48, NMB48, got the NMB in their name from Namba. The popular group has regular performances in their theater at Yes Namba, a building that has both restaurants and shopping facilities in it.
You will have plenty of choices in Namba, with the huge Takashimaya Department Store near Nankai Osaka station, as well as covered shopping arcade at Doguya-suji, and underground shopping arcades that span the whole of Namba.
Further up the street is the famous Glico Man, and Dotonbori is within walking distance from Namba Station. In Dotonbori, you can expect to fill your belly with delicious Osakan food such as Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki, as well as mingle with tourists and locals along the characteristic Osaka shopping street.
A popular shopping route in Osaka starts from Shinsaibashi, walking to the American-influenced Amerikamura, then to Dotonbori where all the delicious Osaka street food will satisfy your cravings, and finally to Namba.
Tip: Getting an IC card is preferred when travelling in Japan. It will save you time from queuing at ticket machines to get one-way travel tickets, especially during rush hours.
With so much to do, see, and eat, waste no time in using the Midosuji Line to navigate your way through the hustle and bustle of Osaka.