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8 Best Yokocho in Osaka: Must-Visit Bar Alleys

By Misty Fujii
Updated: July 21, 2023

Wondering where to drink and eat in Osaka? Look no further than an Osaka yokocho! These narrow alleyways have mouthwatering izakaya restaurants, street food stalls, and cozy dive bars. 

In a city full of energetic locals who know how to work hard and party even harder, it's no surprise that yokocho alleys are where many Osaka residents unwind after a long day. Let us guide you through the top eight yokocho drinking alleys in Osaka. After all, exploring an Osaka izakaya alley is a way into the heart of the local culture. Whether you're a resident or a foreigner, these spots are waiting for you to dive in and have an unforgettable time.

Not sure where to start? Jump into an Osaka bar-hopping tour and just go with the flow.

8 Best Yokocho in Osaka

Hozenji Yokocho Lantern Osaka
  1. Hozenji Yokocho
  2. Juso Shonben Yokocho
  3. Janjan Yokocho
  4. Naniwa Kuishinbo
  5. Uranamba Torame Yokocho
  6. The Misono Building
  7. Taisho/Tugboat Taisho
  8. Parco Basement

1. Hozenji Yokocho Alley

Hozenji Yokocho Osaka at night

Escape the neon lights of the buzzing Dotonbori district and slip into a charming alley reminiscent of the Edo period. Venture two blocks east of Midosuji and two blocks south of Dotonbori, where you'll find a moss-covered temple, friendly cats, and over 60 shops and restaurants. It's hard to believe this serene yokocho is so close to Osaka's nightlife hub. 

Hozenji Yokocho is a foodie's paradise. Indulge in sizzling yakitori skewers, steaming bowls of ramen, Michelin-starred kushikatsu fried skewers, and Osaka's beloved soul food, savory okonomiyaki pancakes. When it's time for drinks, cozy up in a small izakaya or standing bar with a cold Japanese beer or a glass of sake. 

Book a food tour of the Dotonbori area at night.

2. Juso Shonben Yokocho

One stop away from Umeda on the Hankyu railway line is Juso Station. And just beyond it lies a lantern- lined yokocho with izakayas for commuters coming from work. Also known as Osaka's "Piss Alley", the name might not sound fancy, but don't let that fool you, it's got character.

You might recognize this Osaka izakaya alley from the gritty 1989 movie Black Rain. And guess what? It hasn't changed. You can still chow down on affordable and delicious street food classics like takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and gyoza dumplings. Add some cheap jumbo beer bottles perfect for sharing, and you'll have an ideal Osaka night. 

3. Janjan Yokocho

Janjan Yokocho Osaka at night

Shinsekai is a retro time capsule of post-war Osaka. There's a bit of everything in Janjan yokocho, like standing bars, arcades, restaurants, shops, and even a Shogi, or Japanese chess, lounge. It's no wonder locals come here for a taste of nostalgic Japan, even the candy shop looks like it's from the 50s. 

The shopping arcade is officially named Nanyodori Shotengai and is easy to find alongside Tsutenkaku Tower. Some of Osaka's tastiest and cheapest eats are here. You can fill your belly for one coin or less with comfort foods like oden, soba, and sushi. The area is well known for its kushikatsu skewers, which pair well with a cold beer. 

Why not start off by exploring some hidden Shinsekai gems with a deep backstreet Osaka tour?

4. Naniwa Kuishinbo

Naniwa Kuishinbo Osaka Yokocho sign

Get ready for something unique, a food theme park! Look no further than the Tempozan Marketplace shopping mall, a family-friendly way to enjoy an Osaka yokocho alley during daylight hours. Step into this small indoor passage designed to transport you back to the 60s and discover 20 restaurants serving authentic Japanese street food.

All the must-tries are here: tasty takoyaki, okonomiyaki, omurice egg omelets, Japanese-style curry rice, and more. And don't worry, you can still grab a beer, even without the rowdy atmosphere of an izakaya. Picture a vibrant street vendor scene next to Osaka's iconic Ferris wheel and aquarium in this indoor market.

Tip: Sit down to some of Osaka's best sushi at these omakase restaurants.

5. Uranamba Torame Yokocho

Uranamba Torame Yokocho

A little-known alley with izakayas is just around the corner from the busy Namba station and nightlife area. It often goes unnoticed against the bright lights of Namba, but don't let that fool you! You'll be greeted by lanterns and a vibrant red torii gate, inviting you into an alley packed with nine handpicked izakayas.

These izakayas serve all the classic dishes like sushi, tempura, and yakitori skewers to complement your drinks. It's an ideal spot for those who prefer a more intimate atmosphere and might feel overwhelmed by larger yokocho. At Uranamba Torame Yokocho, the service style is relaxed yet well organized. You can stay seated and still order from any of the restaurants. If you want to kick off your Namba/Dotonbori bar crawl with a yokocho that should please your whole group, this place is an absolute must-visit.

If you’d like to try some food in this area during the daytime with a guide, book a tour and eat your way through Osaka. 

6. The Misono Building

The Misono Building

While also in Uranamba, the Misono Building calls for its own entry. It's the perfect follow-up after you've filled your belly at Torame Yokocho next door. This place is Osaka's version of Tokyo's famous Golden Gai but with a twist. Instead of wandering through alleyways, you enter a retro office building packed with clubs and bars.  

Imagine a retro-futuristic disco where planets light up and transport you to another dimension. But if that's not your speed, don't worry. The real magic happens on the second and third floors, where some of the best bars in Osaka await. Behind each door lies a bar with a unique theme. Whether you're into vintage arcade games or prefer sipping drinks surrounded by vinyl records, there's a dimly lit lounge to suit any taste.

Want to keep bar-hopping in this area? Check out a downtown Osaka night tour!

7. Taisho/Tugboat Taisho

Taisho/Tugboat Taisho Osaka Yokocho

Taisho is easily one of Osaka's most underrated areas. This lively neighborhood stands out for its Okinawa-style bars and restaurants, where you can feast on tacos and drink local brews. Take advantage of the standing bars under the train tracks and street food stalls right next to the station for top-notch takoyaki and okonomiyaki. And if you're feeling adventurous, explore the alleyways that lead to charming small bars and izakayas.

Just across the street, there's the hip spot Tugbot Taisho. This trendy food and drink hall has become a magnet for locals and visitors alike. Indoor and outdoor seating, energetic live music, and DJs make it the perfect place to unwind. You'll find a selection of craft beers, refreshing cocktails, traditional sake and Japanese street food classics along with international delights like Korean fried chicken, Italian pizza, and American-style burgers. Head upstairs for a classic karaoke joint and an Okinawa-style bar, where you can sip your drinks while enjoying the river views.

8. Shinsaibashi Neon Restaurant Street

Shinsaibashi Neon Restaurant Street

Descend into the basement of Parco in Shinsaibashi, where an unconventional yokocho awaits. This food hall houses 25 top-notch bars and restaurants, including some of the best bars in Osaka for foreigners and locals alike. There's something for everyone, from a glamorous cocktail bar to a K-pop idol-worthy café, a central bar with local DJs, and even a bar with a magician.

Prepare for a culinary journey as well! Start with a traditional standing sushi bar, then let your taste buds roam. The cultural cuisine options are endless, with Japanese, American, Spanish, Korean, Chinese, and more. This is the place to be if a youthful crowd, modernity, and luxury are your style.

Author's Choice: Taisho/Tugboat Taisho

Osaka yokocho night view

I've made countless memories in all these yokocho alleys, but I always return to Taisho. It's my local, offering a harmonious blend of authentic Japanese izakayas and foreign-owned bars. And when the allure of live music, DJs, and drinking in the open-air beckons, I head to the patio of Tugboat Taisho.

Drinking Kansai-style: Tips and Tricks

Osaka Yokocho in Shinsekai

To have the best time navigating the nightlife scene and exploring an Osaka yokocho, here are some tips:

1. Go solo or with a small group to ensure everyone gets in. The spaces are cozy, and you'll have fun meeting new friends.

2. Get ready to laugh! Osaka and its locals are known for being funny.

3. Take a bar-hopping tour. Dive deeper into the drinking scene with a guide who can help you through any language barriers.

4. After a night of drinking, start the next day with a hangover-busting meal at one of our favorite Osaka breakfast spots

Have fun exploring Osaka and its lively yokocho alleys. Cheers to a fantastic time! P.S. Feeling peckish? Browse our Osaka food tours, too.

We strive to be as accurate as possible and keep up with the changing landscape of Japan’s food and travel industries. If you spot any inaccuracies, please send a report.
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Misty Fujii
Misty Fujii is a Canadian DJ and writer who came to Japan seeking adventure and stuck around for love. Living life as a bucket list in progress, she’s as passionate about sharing her stories as she is experiencing them.
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