I loved this place. It was crowded and colourful.
Dotonbori is the bright heart of Osaka running along the Dōtonbori canal from Dōtonboribashi Bridge to Nipponbashi Bridge.
Dotonbori is a popular place for tourists looking for great street food with a good variety. For the food lover this is a perfect place to be.
Dotonbori is great for shopping and for cheap eats. We were there from late morning to late afternoon but if we wanted to experience the whole district we could have been there for much longer. We loved exploring the little lane ways where it was much quieter with many quaint little local restaurants.
We arrived at Dotonbori and found our way to the canal where the well known neon sign (Glico man etc) can be seen. If you stay long enough and stare at Glico running man, you will see that he is actually running and running and running from day to night to day to night. It is crowded but the pedestrian traffic is smooth.
We stopped for lunch at one of the many noodles restaurants in Dotonbori. This was my first experience of ordering food via a vending machine. Possibly or probably, Japan is the capital of vending machines in the world. Many ramen, soba and udon restaurants in Japan often have vending machines where you have to buy tickets before taking seats. At first I was not sure if I could use the machine, however one of the staff from the restaurant came out to help us. I soon realised that it is a great method. The ordering process was so efficient, it certainly prevents customers leaving without paying and the staff do not need to deal with money at all. They can concentrate on the cooking and serving.
Before we put our money into the machine, we chose which meal we wanted. There were pictures for all meals.
After we purchased our tickets we went inside and handed them to a staff member who advised the kitchen staff of our orders and showed us to our seats which were at a long bench. It was tiny inside but everything was clean and efficient. I noticed that there were baskets placed on the benches with 5 raw eggs in each which diners could add to their noodle dishes if they wished. We took our seats and sat back and waited for our meals to come. I ordered the Pork ramen which was the best noodles I have ever eaten.
It was a tremendous experience which I could recommend.
Dotonbori is a must for any traveller looking for good food in Japan. This is a canal district that has many restaurants serving staples like takoyaki, ramen, sushi, etc. There is a fair bit of shopping, also, but definitely the food is your true aim. It is very crowded and vibrant here but not to be missed when you are in Osaka.