Budget Shopping in Osaka

Fancy a little budget shopping in Japan’s energetic city of Osaka? Famous for excessively long undercover shopping streets, you can walk unlimited kilometres of intriguing shops until you drop!

Where to shop

Japan is a shopaholic’s dream. I’m not a shopaholic, but I am a foodaholic. Check last week’s posts for great and cheaper places to eat in Osaka.

Osaka boasts several major undercover shopping streets (known as marketplaces) and outdoor flea markets. Marketplaces are open most of the year and offer an abundance of fresh food, souvenirs, and budget shopping. Some sections of the shopping streets also offer expensive shops to explore if you have loads of cash.

Shinsaibashisuji Shopping Street

The best-known shopping street in Osaka and a bustling retail centre since the mid-18th century, Sinsaibashisuji is brimming with high-end shops and tax-free stores to revel in, while savouring scrumptious Japanese or a few Western restaurants along the way.

Shinsaibashisuji Shopping Street, Osaka, Japan, Asia
Shinsaibashisuji Shopping Street

At roughly 600 metres long and all undercover, you can relish a shopping experience in rain or shine before heading to Dōtonbori for an action-packed evening of food, frivolity, and neon lights. (Post on exciting Dōtonbori to come in a couple of weeks.)

Kuromon Ichiba Market

Stretching around 600 metres and running parallel to Sakaisujidori Street in Osaka’s Minami area, Kuromon Ichiba Market offers about 150 shops. Predominantly selling fish, meat, and produce in bulk or as street food. Varieties of smoked, pickled, raw, dried, or flame-roasted spill out of stalls and shops. Taste luscious seafood delights cooked right on the spot while you wait.

Tenjinbashi-suji Shopping Street

You will definitely, clock up your daily walking steps traversing the never-ending 2.6-kilometre undercover Tenjinbashi-suji Shopping Street. This is the longest undercover shopping street in Japan and starts at Tenjinbashi.

Hosting around 800 stores including old-fashioned restaurants, a delicatessen, traditional knife shops, chinaware, and even a tea shop established in 1868. Walking from one end of the street to the other takes a solid 40 minutes. But of course, if shopping, then this takes endless hours. Did I mention that my attention span for shopping is a maximum of an hour?

Because of the sheer length of these undercover shopping streets, a pedestrian crossing typically splits one covered section from the next along the way. Not only does this provide a little snippet of daylight, but the break also provides respite from the plethora of ceaseless shops.

Fufu shop, Tenjinbashi-suji shopping mall, Osaka, Japan, Asia
Lost in translation

Depachika (underground food avenues)

A Depachika (department store basement) is located on the bottom floor of most department stores. The Umeda District in Osaka is renowned for department stores and holds almost as many Dapachikas as Tokyo.

With each Depachika featuring its particular specialities, such as fish, unusual sweets, incredibly fresh produce, Wagashi (traditional Japanese confectionery), and many onsite eating areas, these basements are a delight to explore. You are assured to pick up some a bargain, whether delicious authentic Japanese food, a tantalising cake and heavenly sweet, or good fresh produce.

Lucua Osaka

Whilst visiting the Umeda District, another large shopping mall, the Lucua Osaka offers 10 floors of wonderful restaurants for all budgets. You quickly learn later that all shopping malls in Japan are massive and infinite – a slight exaggeration, but malls are extremely long.

Enjoy loads of speciality fashion stores for women, men, and children, cosmetic and beauty shops, and lifestyle goods thrown in for good measure. Lucua Osaka has something for everyone.

Yodobashi Camera Multimedia Umeda

In addition to everything camera and multimedia, this Yodobashi multi-storey complex sells absolutely everything household, and this chain is in most major Japanese cities.

Open from 9:30am until 10 pm, you can easily lose hours of the day in these windowless multi-storey complexes, as I have in this Osaka superstore, searching for a new camera.

Yodobashi Camera Multimedia Umeda, Osaka, Japan, Asia
Yodobashi Camera Multimedia Umeda

Typically, a BIC store, which is another chain, seems to replace Yodobashi if the city doesn’t have a Yodobashi centre.

Something odd about the Osaka Yodobashi is that its security guard repeatedly paces up and down all of the aisles like a soldier while making a bizarre alerting sound walking. Very disconcerting. Not sure what it all means but maybe he is saying ‘excuse me’. Can someone enlighten me?


Now jumping to a Japanese passion – Gachapons. These are capsule toy machines and are definitely worth mentioning, as this can only be described by an outsider as a national obsession.

Discovering these all over Japan, keep an eye out for Gachapons draped with locals as they are definitely a Japanese addiction.

Whether in supermarkets, shopping malls, on footpaths, or numerous machines taking up a corner of a building, these coin-operated machines have been a part of Japanese culture for over 50 years.

Gachapon, Osaka, Japan, Asia
Small Gachapon corner

Various-sized capsules at differing prices are filled with figurines, small toys, and varying collectables. Although not my thing (dust collectors), dedicated Gachapon stores are big business.

7-Eleven, Family Mart, and Lawson

The more you travel in Japan, the more you discover that without exaggerating, the 7-Eleven, Family Mart, and Lawson chains are absolutely everywhere in Japan. Almost on every corner and mostly just a few doors down from each other. Osaka isn’t different. These chains are in the Japanese psyche (as is Starbucks, sadly) and the go-to for quick food or grocery supplies, including takeaway meals that staff heat up in a microwave.

Family Mart is cheaper than 7-Eleven and Lawson. All three convenience stores sell similar products and are good for cheap eats, drinks, limited alcohol, and more.

Kohyo Supermarket

A good selection is offered at the Kohyo Supermarket’s two floors in Osaka. You will find the bottom floor selling an array of fresh produce and meats, with the upstairs floor selling groceries, alcohol, and some household items.

Where is Osaka?

What to see

Osaka’s lively energy is infectious and is not all about the food and shopping.

Bursting with activities and delightful sights, the city is definitely not short of breathtaking attractions. Easy day trips will also keep you occupied on your visit to this marvellous city.

Check back in 2 weeks for a detailed post on what not to miss on your travels to Osaka. I’ll share with you the splendid Osaka Castle, the funky and vibrant Amerika-Mura district, the astonishing Umeda Sky Building, a day trip to Nara, and more fascinating sights.

Coming next week is my take on the iconic Glastonbury Festival after volunteering at the 2023 festival from camping out there the past few days.

Visit Nilla’s Photography for more global images. More posts at Image Earth Travel.

Note: All photos by Nilla’s Photography unless otherwise mentioned. No part of this post was composed with the help of ChatGPT or AI.

budget shopping in #Osaka #Japan, #Asia
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27 responses to “Budget Shopping in Osaka”

  1. Abirbhav Avatar

    How did I miss this? I share the same dislike for shopping and fondness to local, traditional food.. 🙂
    Osaka is indeed a huge place to do lots of shopping. That may be one big reason why Osaka attracts so many tourists.. Liked your description of the places and recommendations.. 🙂
    [ btw, I did a mini-series on Food.. Do check that out.. 🙂 ]

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      I’m not sure but I’ve noticed that I no longer get notifications from WP about your posts or others I follow – it’s frustrating. Hope that WP doesn’t go down the FB route.
      I remember you mentioned this and need to pop over to your site to drool! 😉

      1. Abirbhav Avatar

        Yes, even I felt the same.. Looks like WP is going the FB way.. Though I suggest you to share your posts on Instagram as soon as you publish them.. There atleast people will get notified..

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Thanks for the tip Abir.
        I try to remember to share on Insta but sometimes I forget. 😉

      3. Abirbhav Avatar

        Haha.. No issues.. I will remind you on Insta 😉

      4. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Thank you! 🙂

      5. Abirbhav Avatar

        Douittashimashite ☺️

  2. gillmorris Avatar

    Interesting dolls at the entrance, although slightly creepy lol x

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      They were slightly creepy, especially for the entrance of a shopping strip. x

  3. Tra Italia e Finlandia Avatar

    What about prices in Osaka and in Japan in general?

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      There are budget prices and of course, expensive shops throughout Osaka and Japan. I have many more posts to come for Japan as spent 7 weeks in this amazing country this year.
      Shopping is more expensive when converting to the Australian dollar than the euro. 😉

      1. Tra Italia e Finlandia Avatar

        Thanks. I was just wondering how expensive living can be. I will read your posts with interest, as I am interested in Japan as well.

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Hi Luisella
        Fabulous and thank you for reading my post. Don’t think about Japan, I recommend that you just go and explore this amazing country, especially the island of Hokkaido as it’s not so busy but absolutely stunning!
        I’ll be posting on Glastonbury Festival on Tuesday as just finished camping out there then will post another Osaka post the following Tuesday. I’m on the road until 2025 and finding it difficult to keep up with writing. 😉

      3. Tra Italia e Finlandia Avatar

        Have a good time!

      4. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Thank you! I’m having a wonderful time.

      5. Abirbhav Avatar

        Oh yes .. Hokkaido is an underrated and perhaps the most diverse region in Japan 🇯🇵 Thanks for your comment..

      6. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        It is indeed but let’s keep it quiet. 😉

  4. Yetismith Avatar

    I would be Yodobashing my head against a wall in that place! In times long past when I have been in places that were similar but tiny by comparison, I felt overwhelmed by the assault of neon information and just too much stuff. Shopping definitely not my thing although I knew people who could make a whole day of it. Those little plastic egg, collection thingies too. Having those outlooks to the sky very sensible and once I would have been brave enough for a quick excursion but I don’t think it’s right to go shopping in a place whose name you cannot pronounce. Maybe it’s an English language thing, to have short words. German strikes me as unmanageable and quite a few other languages. I was wondering if you were at Glastonbury. Look forward to reading about it.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Ha, ha, you made me laugh about shopping in a place whose name you can’t pronounce…you’d struggle in Japan then because I found it hard to pronoun loads of names.
      Indeed, I was at Glastonbury stewarding (4th time) and currently writing up a post, which will be published on Tuesday, if I finish.

  5. Rebecca Cuningham Avatar

    Osaka; shop til you drop tour! 😉 Found this snippet interesting and wasn’t sure what it meant!: “”Extremely” is not a complete sentence or context. Please provide more information or a complete sentence for me to rewrite.”Extremely” is not a complete sentence or context. Please provide more information or a complete sentence for me to rewrite.”

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you, Rebecca, for pointing the error out, which I’ve now fixed.

      I use the free version of Grammarly as a spell checker because WP doesn’t always pick up errors that I’ve missed during an edit. But, as I had issues with this post freezing up then WP dying completely several times, maybe Grammarly also had a fit and on opening the post the last time, tried to correct the sentence. Clearly, this isn’t what I want this but failed to pick up the change – joy! I’d really like to understand what happened with that sentence.
      Thanks again for reading and editing this post. 🙂

      1. Rebecca Cuningham Avatar

        You’re welcome. I thought it might be a machine editing generated sentence.

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Must have been and so weird I didn’t pick it up on last opening the post. Great spot and thanks again. Hope you’re OK.

      3. Rebecca Cuningham Avatar

        Thanks, sad yet functioning after the loss of my aunt.

      4. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        I read your post about your aunt and the reason I asked. They say time helps, but I’m not so sure.

      5. Rebecca Cuningham Avatar

        Yes, thank you. I think it helps in intensity but not in missing the person.

      6. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Of course, and I totally understand what you mean.

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