Hopout #1 - Nakatsu, Osaka
At Taste of Kansai we don’t merely wanna give you the latest café info. It’s of course a big part of what we do but sometimes you want a little more than just enjoy a café visit. So we’d like to provide our readers with special cafe-hopping and outing itineraries that we have coined into ‘Hopouts’ (please let it catch on).
With these ‘hopouts’, we will provide you with a detailed itinerary that includes cafes and nearby sights or activities that make for an enjoyable outing.
We will start with Nakatsu, a small residential area near Umeda that is often overlooked by travelers. It has a couple of interesting attractions and lovely cafes that we think you might enjoy.
This guide serves merely as a sample, you can follow or visit the shops in any particular order.
- Point 1: Please make sure the shops are open before you start this journey. We recommend Mondays as Ankoyape or Miya Bake are only open on one Monday a month.
- Point 2: If you plan to start early in the morning, Knot Market Place will open 07:30. The other shops will open around noon.
You can get-off and start at either Hankyu-line Nakatsu station or Midosuji -line Nakatsu station but for this guide we will start at Midosuji-line, Nakatsu Station. The stations are only 5 minutes apart on foot so don’t worry if you arrived at a different station. The map below will show you how to get to either station.
Exit the Midosuji-line Nakatsu station, Exit 2. When you walk up the stairs and exit the station you will face a four-lane street.
Head to your right and go right around the corner,
Walk straight for about 30 meters and then take the first left,
Walk straight again and on the second right you will find the Kitanaga area, an extremely popular street with small shops and lovely cafes.
A little further down the street from Kitanaga kitchen there are a couple of other shops, office and a gallery. In between the shops is a peculiar designed wall that feels out of place with it’s yellow stucco and beautiful colorful tiles, something that feels Spanish/Mexican.
After you finish at the Kitanaga area, check the map above and head for Soma and the nearby Shopping arcade.
After eating your belly round at Soma, how about a quick walk through the Nakatsu shopping arcade. From the outside the shopping arcade doesn’t look very inviting but there are some unusual shops and exteriors that you might be interested in.
Fukumoto candy shop, a bakery and lots of abandoned shops and run down buildings.
Once done at the shopping arcade, let’s head back in the direction of Soma and from there on our way to Cafe & Dining Mikuri.
It’s a 5 minute walk from the Nakatsu Shopping Arcade and you will pass through Hankyu Nakatsu Station.
If you decide not to visit Mikuri or Knot Market Place, then now might be a good time to get inside the gates of Nakatsu Station, Osaka’s narrowest station (IF you plan to take the train on the Hankyu Line that is).
Cafe & Dining Mikuri
Dining & Cafe Mikuri is a stylish authentic Japanese style food and sweets cafe. It’s located on the ground floor but shares the building with Hitofushi, a lovely general goods store on the second floor.
Hankyu Nakatsu Station - Kansai's narrowest station
If you haven’t arrived at this station from the start of this guide you will now be walking through it when you go to the West side of Nakatsu.
Built in 1925, Hankyu-Nakatsu station has been one of the oldest stations with 2 platforms where only the Hankyu Kobe line or Hankyu Takarazuka line local trains stop.
When you walk up the stairs and arrive at the platform it doesn’t look particularly narrow (2 to 3 meters wide) but the only space people are allowed the stand and wait is between the yellow braille blocks and as you can see from the image, that leaves no more than 40 cm of space (38 cm to be exact).
With that said, the people still walk over and outside of the braille blocks but it’s still pretty narrow.