OWL Magazine Korea

“America-mura” in Osaka (2023)

Upon entering the western section of Osaka’s Apple Store, one can discover the vibrant district known as “America-mura.” Often likened to Tokyo’s Harajuku or Seoul’s Hongdae, this area in Osaka captivates the younger crowd with its diverse and unique array of shops.

“Discovering America-mura in Osaka, the American Village”

The term “America-mura” translates to “American Village” or “American Town.” It gained prominence in the 1970s when refurbished warehouses began selling second-hand goods imported from the American West Coast, including vintage clothing, records, and miscellaneous items.

Presently, the area is densely populated with second-hand clothing stores, shops, cafes, and galleries, evolving into a focal point for Osaka’s youth culture.

“Exploring America-mura centered around Triangle Park, also known as Sankaku Koen”

America-mura takes the shape of a triangle, earning the nickname “Triangle Park” with Sankaku Koen at its heart. Street performances often grace this area, and during my visit on a Sunday evening, the crowd gathered to witness the lively atmosphere.

“Revisiting America-mura in 2023”

Having explored America-mura during my travels in 2018, returning to the area brought forth a fresh perspective. I ventured into the “Big Step” shopping mall that I passed by previously and visited the “Village Vanguard” store, only to find that Village Vanguard had now closed its doors.

During my previous visit in September 2018, preparations for Halloween were already underway. This time around, I observed a similar festive ambiance as the area adorned itself with pumpkin decorations in anticipation of the upcoming Halloween festivities.

While South Korea has seen a declining trend in Halloween celebrations following the Itaewon incident last year, Japan continues to embrace Halloween culture without such setbacks, as evident during my recent visit to Osaka’s America-mura.

“Osaka, America-mura”