Minami, which simply means “south,” is the southern section of the city of Osaka. The main commercial districts of Kansai’s biggest city – like Namba and Shinsaibashi – are located here, as are some of the most popular local tourist attractions.
Since ancient times, Nambayasaka Shrine has been the central place of worship in Namba for believers of Shinto, Japan’s indigenous, nature-worshipping religion that predates the arrival of Buddhism. Although Nambayasaka Shrine’s former glory was destroyed by warfare, it is still unmistakable today due to a distinctive building shaped like an enormous lion’s head. There’s a tug-of-war held at the temple annually on 3 January, based on a myth about the enshrined deity’s deeds. It has been named an intangible folk culture property.
Hozenji Yokocho is a small, narrow alleyway preserved in the style of the Edo period. Entering it is like stepping back in time to the serene hush of a bygone era – a stark antithesis to the vibrant, eccentric atmosphere of nearby Dotonbori. The street is named after nearby Hozenji, a Buddhist temple dating back to the 17th century. A statue of Fudomyoo, the deity worshiped at Hozenji, is completely covered in moss, as visitors pour water over it to receive its blessings.
Don Quixote is a popular Japanese superstore that usually has many floors of departments ranging from groceries to home appliances, jewelry to sex toys. The one in Dotonbori is especially crowded not only because of the location, but the 77-meter-high Ferris wheel that literally surrounds it. The Ferris wheel recently reopened after being out of commission for almost 10 years and offers riders views of the adjacent canal as well as the surrounding area. You can even see Japan’s tallest building from the top!