When I was researching for my trip to Japan, I googled for (of all things) good Korean restaurants as my friend who is working in Japan loves Korean food and I didn’t want to bore him with another Japanese meal. Boy was I surprised when google returned me sites of this place call Tsuruhashi (鶴橋) – Osaka’s ‘little Korean town’. According to Wiki, ethnic Koreans form the second largest ethnic group living in Japan and at Tsuruhashi, a large number of Zanichi (在日) Koreans live and set up businesses there. Zanichi Koreans are ethnic Koreans permanently residing in Japan and their roots can be traced back to the period of Japanese colonialism in Korea.
As I alighted from the train at JR Tsuruhashi Station, I was immediately overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the crowds congregating around the station area. Immediately next to the station were many dimly lit covered walkways where the crowds were heading. Not knowing my bearings, I did the thing which all travelers do when feeling lost – follow the crowds!
And just when I was wondering if I am at the right place, I saw BigBang. Lol 🙂
This place is a labyrinth of shops selling kimbap (Korean sushi rolls), bean stews, BBQ, tteopokki (spice rice cakes) and kimchi. I felt like I was teleported to Seoul!
Interestingly, there were also some shops selling clothes, fake designer goods (I never knew I will see such shops in Japan), and….. fish?!
The traditional Korean hanboks are so pretty! 🙂 I think these are wedding dresses as one of the mannequins was holding on to a bouquet of flowers.
If you are in Osaka with time to spare or looking out to visit somewhere different, I really recommend that you head to Tsuruhashi for an interesting experience. I enjoyed myself greatly when I was there, walking around in circles as I got lost in the maze of shops!
How to Get There
Tsuruhashi is located at Tsuruhashi Station (鶴橋駅) and can be accessed via the JR Osaka Loop Line, Osaka City Subway Sennichimae Line or Kintetsu Nara Line. After exiting the station, just turn left and walk into the maze of shops.