The movie Bladerunner, where east meets west or somewhere from out of space would be the only way you could describe this amazing place known as Amerika-Mura, the American Village. Sometimes shortened to Amemura, this popular place to hang out is one of Osaka’s most fascinating, electric and more unusual places. This area is a whole suburb that is at the cutting edge of Japanese youth culture.
The narrow streets and lanes are home to a youth Mecca jammed packed with cafes, clothing, novelty and music stores, many selling imported and second hand products with an American influence. Amemura is a great place to see some weird Jinglish T-shirts and a crazy Japanese take on western fashion.
One of the best people watching spots is the small triangle shaped park in the centre of Amerika-mura called Sankaku Koen. Here you will see just about anything, from punks driving giant Hummers to Japanese style French Maids and spiky haired blonde guys wearing jungle green army outfits. It is a very fun and lively atmosphere. Many of the buildings get into the action also with giant American styled artworks including King Kong, The Statue of Liberty and huge clowns. The street lamp posts even get into the action, all being sculptured to look like robots.
There are some great places to grab a bite to eat in the area, many of the cafes have an American influence, some just like down town LA but others.. well octopus burgers with French fries haven’t quite hit the burger chains menu in the States just yet. For the most fun, visit on a weekend when there are flea markets and street stalls in full swing with lots of action including some great busker’s doing some horrible things to classic American tunes.
The area is one of the best ways to fill in an afternoon in Osaka, you can get some fantastic photo of the architecture, the sights and the people posing just to be noticed. There’s some great food including the Osaka famous Takoyaki Octopus Balls which taste much better than they sound. And there some great shopping here too, where you are certain to find something you will see nowhere else on earth. To top off the evening visit one of the coffee shops or even a karaoke parlour and try your hand at the microphone.
Amerika-Mura dates back to the 1970’s and since then has become the youth capital of Osaka. The area is only a short walk from the huge undercover shopping arcade of Dotombori and is easily reached from by rail from Shinsaibashi on the Midosuji Subway Line or Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Subway Line.
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