Must see shopping in Kansai

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    Top Choice

    Time Bomb Records

    One of the best record stores in the city, Time Bomb stocks an excellent collection of vinyl and CDs from '60s pop and '70s punk to alternative, soul and…

  • Top Choice

    Dōguya-suji Arcade

    This long arcade sells just about anything related to the preparation, consumption and selling of Osaka's principal passion: food. There's everything from…

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    Top Choice

    Tower Knives

    Tower Knives has a fantastic selection of kitchen knives – both carbon steel and stainless steel; some are hand-forged by Osaka artisans. The English…

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    Top Choice

    Hankyū Umeda Department Store

    Hankyū, which first opened in 1929, pioneered the now ubiquitous concept of the train-station department store. One of Japan's largest department stores, …

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    Top Choice

    Standard Books

    This cult-fave Osaka bookstore prides itself on not stocking any bestsellers. Instead, it's stocked with small-press finds, art books, indie comics and…

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    Yu Nakagawa Honten

    Nara's famed 300-year-old linen producer now creates beautiful bags, pouches and scarves out of natural materials, subtly adorned with traditional motifs…

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    Tokyū Hands

    Nominally a DIY and homewares chain, Tokyū Hands is Japan's favourite place to browse for items you probably didn't need but will end up loving. It's…

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    Shimada-Shōten

    This third-generation-run sake store has narrow wooden stairs leading to a basement cellar where you can sample small glasses of sake (¥220 each), while…

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    Shinsaibashi-suji Shōtengai

    East of Midō-suji, Shinsaibashi is one of Japan's great shopping zones, most notably in this eight-block-long covered arcade that's crammed with domestic…

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    Maruzen & Junkudō Umeda

    This is the largest bookstore in Osaka, the result of two established chains joining forces. There's a big range of English-language books (on the 6th…

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    Ikeda Gankōdō

    This sixth-generation fan maker sells Nara-style uchiwa, paddle-style fans whose washi (Japanese handmade paper) covering has been intricately carved with…

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    Flake Records

    Flake is Osaka's most in-the-know music shop, selling new and used, Japanese and imported, CDs and vinyl. The owner speaks some English; ask him for his…

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    Graf Studio

    Graf is a sleek furniture and design studio close to the National Museum of Art. Pick up some lovely homewares by Japanese and international designers; it…

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    Mandarake Shinsaibashi

    Lose hours browsing four floors of retro Japanese toys (Astroboy!), collectible figurines, manga (Japanese comics), DVDs, art and counterculture books,…

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    King Kong Records

    This small record store in the Maru Building packs in a great selection of vinyl and has a friendly and knowledgeable owner.

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    Nipponichi

    Good-quality tea towels, homewares and totes with cute Nara motifs (lots of deer) from a centuries-old local linen producer.

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    Umeshu de Kanpai

    Tanabe is Japan's top producer of ume (Japanese apricot), and this shop sells dozens of varieties of umeboshi (pickled ume) and umeshu (ume wine). Ask the…

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    Tokyū Hands

    Perfect for last-minute souvenir shopping is this outlet of Tokyū Hands, with the chain's signature range of must-have gadgets, homewares and stationery…

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    Hankyū Men's

    At 16,000 sq metres over five storeys, this is Japan's largest men's fashion retailer. Though there are a few domestic names represented here, it's mostly…

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    Daimaru Umeda

    This huge Umeda branch of the classic Kansai department store anchors Osaka Station's southern side. On the upper floors you'll find branches of Tokyū…