Retro Osaka – Matsuyamachi & Kurahori –


We’ve introduced many different places in our blogs so far. This time you’ll feel like you’re taking a step back in time when you visit Matsuyamachi & Kurahori. Each place has a distinctly retro feel.


– Wait, where? Matsuyamachi? Karahori?

Perhaps these place names are not so famous as some of the more popular sightseeing spots. They’re hiding right under your nose: if you look at the map, they’re right by Osaka Castle. Umeda, Namba, and so on are not so far off. After you visit the hustle and bustle there, you can enjoy a quiet relaxing stroll through Matsuyamachi or Kurahori!

◆Located on the slopping sites!

Matsuyamachi is famous for fireworks, dolls and…. hills! But there’s actually an interesting story as to why it’s known for its hills.

Way back when, a battle between Hideyoshi Toyotomi, who unified Japan in Osaka, and Ieyasu Tokugawa, who began the Edo Era after the Toyotomi Era. At the end of their famous battle, the landscape of Osaka was changed: buildings destroyed, even Osaka Castle was only a shadow of its former self.

As we mentioned in another blog, Osaka Castle as we know it today was rebuilt by Tokugawa. The Osaka Castle from the days of Toyotomi is not completely lost though, as it has been partially restored in the current Osaka Castle.

At the time Tokugawa ordered not just Osaka Castle to be rebuilt, but all of the surrounding buildings that had been damaged. Many tiles were made, which came from the soil around Matusyamachi and Karahori. As the tiles were made, the soil was dug, and, naturally, hills began to form. That’s why it’s become an area with many hills!


◆- Dolls…?

Well, dolls have nothing to do with hills, right?! But a smart person like yourself might think, “Perhaps it has something to do with the tiles…?” And you’d be right!

In truth, the people who created the tiles for Tokugawa didn’t just make tiles. In the process of making tiles, it was necessary to solidify the shape on a spear, one thing led to another and people started making dolls from this process as well. It was a popular craft among those who made tiles–many made dolls as well as the tiles. Soon it became more popular than the tiles so some of the artisans began to sell only dolls! Even now you can find a wide range of traditional Japanese dolls such as those used for Hina Matsuri, or more modern dolls and figures from your favorite anime, and so on. If you’re looking to buy a doll or toy, this is the place to do it!


~ Top Spots to Visit ~

Where are the best places to visit in Matsuyamachi and Karahori? It’s mainly a residential area, but there is still plenty to do and see around here. You can enjoy a quiet afternoon here!




① Matsuyamachi Shopping Street – Macchamachi Street –

While it’s not the official name, this shopping street is often lovingly called, “Macchamachi”–just like a child’s pronunciation of Matsuyamachi. Perhaps that’s where it came from, as you will find plenty of children along the streets eager to see the dolls and fireworks. And you may feel childish excitement yourself as you walk along the street feeling like you’re in a place that is uniquely Japanese.

On top of the more famous dolls and fireworks, you can find plenty of sweets and candy–all different types that you won’t find back home. A great souvenir for a friend, or perhaps you’ll just want to try it out for yourself!

In the summertime, you can find all sorts of fireworks at many different shops. Nothing say summer quite like watching fireworks–so why not make a new summer memory with your loved ones or friends and grab some at Matsuyamachi?

➤For ideas & tips on fireworks, check out our blog here

Address   Matsuyamachisuji, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka.
Hours   Depends on the store
Closed on   Depends on the store
Nearest Station    Matsuyamachi Station – Osaka Metro Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line
Homepage   http://www.matuyamati.com/


② Karahori Shopping Street

Quick! What’s your mental image of a shopping street?

Somewhere long and flat, easy to walk through, right? Well, Karahori Shopping Street is notorious as the shopping street on a slope. At 800 meters in length, it’s a fairly long shopping street spanning Matsuyamachi Station to Tanimachi 6-Chome Station. This street took less damage from air raids during WWII, keeping it in good condition. When you visit you’ll feel like you’re in “Old Japan” with a different feel than Kyoto. Go and see for yourself!

Address    7-6-31 Tanimachi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka.
Hours    Depends on the shop
Closed on   Depends on the shop
Nearest Station   Matsuyamachi Station – Osaka Metro Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line – 1 min. on foot
   Tanimachi 6-Chome Station – Osaka Metro Tanimachi Line – 2 min. on foot




① Nagaya Saisei Fukugo Shop – Sou

Renovated from a building from the Taisho period, Sou is located right by Matsuyamachi Station. Originally it was a tenement house, but now it is maintained as a combined shop–like a mini-mall. Old and new combine to make this spot a stylish spot to visit. There are various places to visit and see inside: visit the cafe, buy odds and ends, search for a recycled kimono. There’s even a beauty salon! Sou has everything for you to have a fun time shopping.

Address   1-6-2 Kawarayamachi, Chuo-ku, Osaka.
Hours   Depends on the shop
Closed on   Depends on the shop
Nearest Station   Tanimachi 6-Chome Station (Exit 4) – Osaka Metro Tanimachi & Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Lines – 7 min. on foot
   Matsuyamachi Station (Exit 3) – Osaka Metro Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line – 3 min. on foot
Homepage    https://www.so-karahori.com/


② Oyashiki Saisei Fukugo Shop – Ren

Ren is located in a building that has been around for over 100 years. In this combined shop you can find all sorts of shops and places ranging from bars to shops offering handmade goods. And yet, even with all the different shops available, it all comes together to give a sense of unity. Moreover, on the weekends you can look forward to an art market held in the parking lot!

Address   6-17-43 Tanimachi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Hours   Depends on the shop
Closed on   Wednesdays (If a holiday falls on a Wednesday, then it will operate as usual)
Nearest Station    Matsuyamachi (Exit 3) – Osaka Metro Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line – 1 min. on foot
Homepage    http://www.len21.com/


③ Kyu Yam-Tei

After all, that walking around and shopping you’ll surely be hungry and looking for a place to grab a bite to eat. Well, have you ever tried Japanese curry? All throughout the world Indian curry is probably the most famous, but Japanese curry could be considered a different food with the same name. Even so, it is quite popular even with Indians! So, why don’t you try Japanese curry made from beef? This curry can be considered a healthy version too, as no flour is used. Can’t decide on what you want? Try the mixed curry so you can have two types!

Address   6-4-23 Tanimachi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka.
Hours   Lunch: 11:30-14:00
  ・Dinner: 18:00 – 21:30 (Last Order: 21:00)
  *Sunday Dinner Time: 18:00 – 21:00 (Last Order: 20:00)
    *Only open while supplies last
Closed on   Mondays
Nearest Station    Tanimachi 6-Chome Station (Exit 4) – Osaka Metro Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line – 3 min. on foot
Homepage   http://kyuyamutei.web.fc2.com/


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