Den Den Town
Den Den Town is the Akihabara of Osaka! An area for otaku and anime fans, with:
- Anime merch
- Video games (new and retro)
- Arcades / game centres
- Cosplay goods
- Gachapon capsule toys
- Electronics and PC hardware shops
- Maid cafes
If you like anime you should definitely visit! You can buy anime figures, merchandise and all sorts of things you can usually only get online. It’s fun to browse because you don’t usually get to see these sorts of things in the shops – especially here in the UK where’s there’s only one shop at the most, unless you’re at comic con!
Tour of Den Den Town
Here’s my video tour of Den Den Town – I didn’t know much about it before I went so I wanted to show you what it’s like:
Den Den Town Vs Akihabara
Den Den Town isn’t as large as Akihabara but there is still a lot there, and more than I expected. So naturally the choice isn’t as big as in Akihabara.
The shops are more spread out – you might find a few in a street, along with other shops and restaurants, etc – so you need to explore the whole area. The streets are arranged like a grid, so you can spend a couple of hours wandering around and finding everything.
To me, Den Den Town doesn’t have the buzz and excitement of Akiba. Maybe it’s because it’s not wall-to-wall anime shops, and you can’t always hear anime songs blaring out on the street. Or maybe it’s because the buildings in Akihabara are so colourful and tall.
However, as people have said in the comments on my video, Den Den Town’s more relaxed and chilled. Akihabara is full on and can be overwhelming sometimes. In Osaka it’s easier to go shopping because there’s more at street level. In Tokyo so much is upstairs or in the basement, so it’s easy to miss out whole shops.
This might just be my impression, but I found that DenDen Town has more merchandise, cosplay outfits and supplies and general goods, while Akihabara’s focussed more on figures.
Should you go to both? If you’re going to Osaka and you like anime, definitely visit. However, if you’re going to Tokyo as well, I wouldn’t make a special trip to Osaka solely for Den Den Town, because you won’t find much there that you wouldn’t be able to find in Tokyo.
Is Den Den Town Cheaper?
I’d heard that figures are cheaper in Den Den Town than in Tokyo. Now it might just be my opinion, but I didn’t really think they were that much cheaper. I’ve noticed that Akihabara is slightly pricier than Nakano Broadway (we’ve started calling it Akiba Tax!) but I didn’t really find that Den Den Town was a lot cheaper, if it is at all. But I could be wrong! The point is, don’t expect figures to be a lot cheaper there, because I don’t think that’s the case.
However, if it’s your first time going to Japan, figures are a lot cheaper than you’d pay overseas – simply because at home you’re paying for someone to ship them around the world, with all the customs charges and import tax, etc. In general, figures are about a third the price you’d pay at comic con. For example, the Sega prize figures you can win in UFO catchers (which make up most of my figure collection!) are usually around £35 at comic con, and in Japan they’re only 1000 – 1500 yen (£10 or less).
Where is Den Den Town
Den Den Town’s in the Nipponbashi area of Osaka. It’s south of Dotonbori and east of Namba Parks shopping mall. Head for that area and you’ll start seeing anime shops and arcades. You can easily walk there from Dotonbori (which is a great place to go in the evening and a perfect way to round off the day).
More Things to Do In Osaka
Watch my other videos for lots more things to do in Osaka:
- Amemura: American Village – A quirky, alternative area with vintage American clothing shops
- Cherry Blossoms at the Mint – Open 1 week a year during cherry blossom season in April
- Umeda Sky Building
- Minoh Park
- Osaka Castle
Subscribe to Cakes with Faces on YouTube for tips and ideas for things to do in Japan – including new Akihabara vlogs.
If you’re planning a trip, take a look at my Japlanning series, with practical tips for booking your flights and hotel and how to get by in Japan.
If you found this helpful, you can support Cakes with Faces by ordering from my shop. Everything’s my original design, and many items are inspired by Japan. You can order from any country, with reasonable worldwide shipping rates.
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