Ame-mura, short for "American Town"--is the pet name for the district west-southwest of Shinsaibashi Station. The district, as you would imagine from its name, supposedly recreates the feel of popular shopping districts in large American cities. In truth, besides the American brand-name goods and shops, it is very much Japanese, but certainly lively and fun. There are literally hundreds of shops and several large shopping centers. The district would, of course, not be complete without restaurants and bars, either. Given the makeup of the district, its denizens tend to be young and hip, though daylight hours see a more mixed crowd.
This is quite an unusual and exciting shopping mall. Besides having around 150 stores and restaurants, there is also a giant ferris wheel that rises far above the city and dips into the upper floors of the mall. The many stores include a number of Western brand-name outlets that you may have trouble finding elsewhere, as well as other unique stores. Even if you are not shopping, this is an interesting place to visit. And as it is located right beside Osaka station, it should not be out of your way.
Just south of the central business district of Osaka is Shinsaibashi neighborhood. Your first stop must be Triangle Park in the center of Ame-mura (アメ村, American Village). Triangle Park itself is unremarkable, but it is the starting point for taking in the many clothing stores, the record and CD shops, the cafes, restaurants, bars and clubs, the knick-knack stores and, of course, the hip young things themselves that give this area its special color.
Tokyu Hands has branches all across Japan and most of them are full of customers because of its enormous variety of 'things' you can buy. It sells just about everything, from home and garden supplies, toys and clothes to miscellaneous gift and souvenir items. Tokyu Hands is also the 'do-it-yourself' enthusiast's paradise. This branch, with nine floors, including one basement floor, is conveniently located in Senba, a popular shopping area.
Kuromon Ichiba Market has a history of more than 190 years. Here, you can find all kinds of fresh food, vegetables and fruits that are not only native but also exotic from other countries. With 170 shops selling fresh meat, poultry, eggs and vegetables, there is a lot to choose from. This food market also has some good eateries that serve delectable local cuisine. A tourist hot-spot that is popular with locals as well, a visit to this place will give you glimpse of the city's culinary heritage.
Den Den Town is the largest shopping center for electrical and electronic goods in the Kansai region. You can find almost any type of home appliance here, along with components and parts. Your extensive choice includes products from all of Japan's leading manufacturers and even appliances with voltages other than for local use. Duty-free shops are also available for foreign residents and visitors. The main street stretches some 800 meters and is lined on both sides by shops. You might also want to check out the stores selling kitchen equipment and tableware on nearby Doguyasuji Street.