If Japan is known for anything, it is known for electronics. When I first came to Japan, I was expecting everyone to have the best and newest electronics in the world, and all the kids to travel to school in their own Gundams or something. While I was rather disappointed that I could not buy a giant mech suit at my local convenience store, I did find a place in the heart of Osaka where you can get nearly anything. It is an area near Namba called Nipponbashi or Denden Town.
This area was originally known as Nagamachi in 1792. In 1872, the Osaka municipal government renamed the area to Nipponbashi and many second-hand bookstores began to open. After World War II, electronic shops also began to open. Since Osaka is a natural port, many foreign electronic goods began to flow through Osaka. Nipponbashi became a great area for electronic shops to open up, and the name Denden Town was associated with the area.
Denden Town is the Akihabara of Osaka. It is a giant strip mall chocked full of electronic shops, bookstores, toy and collector goods stores, and even costume shops! I have spent hours walking up and down this area finding little nuggets of awesomeness.
You can find virtually anything in Denden Town, but it is most famous for its electronic shops. They have literally dozens of well-stocked electronic shops. If you want the newest and flashiest electronics, go no further. If you are looking for cheaper used electronics, you also have found your place.
When my computer monitor died, I took a walk down to Denden Town and spent a while looking. I found three different monitors at three different shops. One great thing that you can do in Denden Town that is less common in other places is negotiating. The art of negotiation is very particular to Kansai. Most retailers in Kansai are willing to negotiate. I told all three vendors about the other monitors I was looking at and played them off each other to get an even better price. In the end, the 2nd store was willing to offer me the best price, and I walked away with an awesome new monitor for a great price.
If you are into anime or games, Denden Town is your home. There are many hobby shops that sell everything, from statues to costumes. It is also a popular area for Japan’s famous maid cafes. If you are a collector of anime goods, you will find dozens and dozens of great shops here.
Next time you are in Osaka, come down to Denden Town. I guarantee you won’t regret it!