Osaka is famous for many things, but when it comes to shopping and food, Dōtonbori always scores high on the popularity charts. Somewhat less known is Amerikamura, also called Amemura, which means “American Village”. This unique area is a vintage shopping district which in particular attracts fashionable Japanese youth. Everywhere you look, there are shops with colourful new and second-hand clothes, bags, shoes and all kinds of curiosities.
It is also the only place I have seen around here that offers people enough opportunity to sit and relax. Benches are not an obvious given in Japan as it is in Belgium. Particularly in Nara, famous for its deer (locally known as shika) who literally eat anything – I once heard from someone whose cap was eaten by one of them! –, there are no benches to be seen. This is because the thought prevails that when people have the time to sit back and relax, they will have the tendency to leave their trash behind, which not only looks filthy, but is not quite good for the deer as well. For the same reason it is also quite difficult to find garbage bins in Japan.
But coming back to the story, Amemura is a very trendy place which, like the rest of Osaka, seems to completely transform once the sun has set. Not only did we encounter even more remarkably looking people with bold hairstyles, piercings and ripped clothes, but the city just looked magnificently futuristic.
There was this one guy who parked his fancy looking bicycle with its extremely wide tires before a night club. Like two idiots, we even chased two motorbikes that I am sure we had never seen before, just to get some imagery of them. And then there was this guy who was showing off his car, and for good reason! You would certainly not see such a car riding around in Belgium! But since words can’t really describe the awesomeness of Amemura, we let the pictures speak for themselves.
Amemura is definitely something!