Amerikamura, or Ame-mura, means “American Village”. Judging from the name, you would think it’s something along the lines of “Chinatown” but American. It’s actually more something like an area of Osaka with themed shops that glorifies American fashion scene. Notably after places such as NYC and LA.
Walking along Midosuji from Yodoyabashi station toward Ame-mura. This is a perfect example of Japan’s society: you have the “old” (shrines) right inside the “new” (modern buildings). Love this contrast.
Hey look! A Statue of Liberty on top of a Pachinko parlor.
Yup. Lots of American-themed Japanese stores.
Wow… a whole store that sells nothing but cigarettes.
Graffiti can be found all over the place in the area. I must say… they did a pretty good job of giving an American vibe to the place. If I didn’t know and just look at these photos, I would think this was New York City (except the Ramen shop xD).
Outskirt of Ame-mura. Freeway entrances here look highly sophisticated like those Hotwheel launchers.
Apparently this is one of the best place to come to check out the hottest youth fashion and young people. From what I saw, just about everyone in the area walking around were more than ready to go hit the clubs.
“What does she want? Yes! Asian Cyber-Style”
I like how the banner on this store say “Made in America” (under then hand sign) when most clothes in America aren’t even made there xD.
Some of the styles of clothing you can find here.
When the smaller shops aren’t enough, there is always a mall.
I didn’t find anything particularly interesting here but for big people (mainly Americans) who need bigger size clothes that would fit them, this area is a boon. Many of the international students from the US will come here to buy clothes because regular stores doesn’t have the size they need (XXL+). I’m a bit luckier since Japanese clothing size fits me perfectly.
The middle is a common greeting/salute in NYC, noticeably in Brooklyn and from complete strangers. I remember when I was a little kid, just walking with my mom and minding my own business, a random person would see me and just give me the finger until they or I disappear from sight. Even to this day, I still don’t understand the point of that.
The the lamp posts in the area are all robotic-looking. A bit creepy (like iRobot) and a little out of place at first but it’s actually pretty cool. I would’ve love to come check out this area again at night but there were a lot of those annoying hawkers trying to pester me into whatever club they’re working for even during the day time so maybe not.
Walking out of Ame-mura, you can find the bigger corporation stores and eventually end up in Shinsaibashi.
Freshly made and baked cheese tarts! Need to come back to try this…
Not too far from Ame-mura and I’m back to Dotonbori. My friends always make fun of me for always wanting to walk instead of taking the train no matter how far the distance. Walking has its advantages! By walking, I can piece together where everything is in relation to each other, an actual feel for the distance, discover new things, see more, and just a better sense of direction in the city. I won’t be able to do that if I’m always riding a train.
One Piece is advertising its new movie like there’s no tomorrow.
Some sort of festival going on. Not sure what it was about though ^^;.
Walking off the main path to see what else I can find and found a hidden shrine. Again, that’s Japan for you.
The cats were so busy snacking that they never bothered to pay any attention to me ^^;.
More tagged walls.
New Year decorations can still be spotted throughout the city.
Well, that was my exploration for the day. And I now know how to find my way around and between Midosuji, Amemura, Namba, Shinsaibashi, DenDen Town, and Shin Sekai. Amazing what you can learn from just a day of walking.