What is Hozenji Yokocho? Introducing its history and recommended gourmet foods

Hozenji Yokocho, rich in history and gourmet delights

"Hozenji Yokocho" is known as a tourist destination in Namba, Osaka, characterized by its Japanese-style streets with stone pavements and renovated traditional Japanese houses. This time, we will introduce the history and recommended gourmet foods of Hozenji Yokocho.

What is Hozenji Yokocho?

Located in the bustling area of Minami, Hozenji Yokocho exudes the charm of old Osaka. This 80-meter-long, 3-meter-wide alley stretches east to west, lined with long-established restaurants, bars, okonomiyaki, and kushikatsu shops. During the Pacific War, the temple and the alley were almost completely destroyed, but they were splendidly revived as a bustling area after the war.

History of Hozenji Yokocho

The history of Hozenji Yokocho dates back to the Edo period. At that time, there were only two yose (variety theaters) in the precincts of Hozenji Temple.

Later, from the late Meiji period to the Taisho and Showa periods, as Namba and Dotonbori became lively as entertainment and social places for the wealthy merchants of Semba, the precincts of Hozenji Temple also flourished. Thus, the area around Hozenji Temple became the center of cultural activities such as kabuki and bunraku.

The beginning of Hozenji Yokocho is said to have started with cheap teahouses and stalls gathering as places for people visiting Hozenji Temple, entertainers, and cart pullers to rest and eat.

At that time, it was called "Hozenji Ura" or "Hozenji Roji," but in the Taisho period, writers like Sakunosuke Oda and Koen Hasegawa used it as the setting for their novels, making the name "Hozenji Yokocho" known nationwide.

In the Showa period, most of it was destroyed in the Osaka air raids at the end of the Pacific War in 1945, but with post-war reconstruction, shops began to gather, forming the current Hozenji Yokocho.

Recommended Gourmet Foods in Hozenji Yokocho

Meoto Zenzai

Right next to Hozenji Temple is the long-established sweets shop "Meoto Zenzai," made famous by Sakunosuke Oda's novel "Meoto Zenzai."

The specialty is the "zenzai" featured in the novel. A serving of zenzai is divided into two bowls, and it is said that couples who eat it together will become harmonious.

Arabia Coffee

A few dozen meters west of Hozenji Temple is the long-established coffee shop "Arabia Coffee." The interior, decorated with carved wooden menu boards and reliefs, has a retro charm.

You can enjoy a relaxing time with aromatic coffee, which has a well-balanced acidity and bitterness, and generously portioned French toast.

Fukutaro Main Store

"Fukutaro Main Store" is a place where you can eat Osaka specialties, negiyaki and okonomiyaki. From the counter seats, you can enjoy the live feeling of watching your food being grilled right in front of you.

The popular menu item is "suji negiyaki." The crispy, savory soy sauce-flavored negiyaki has a delightful texture and sweetness of green onions, and the flavors of beef tendon and konnyaku create an exquisite taste.

PIENO Main Store

"PIENO Main Store" is always full of reservations. It is an Italian restaurant known for its reasonable prices and delicious food.

The rich sea urchin cream pasta and the luxurious "acqua pazza" with plenty of the day's recommended seafood are popular menu items. The risotto, made with the condensed umami of seafood soup, is also a delicacy.

A place to discover an unknown Osaka

This time, we introduced Hozenji Yokocho. It offers a different side from the bustling Dotonbori area where you can enjoy the urban and lively atmosphere of Osaka. Why not explore the new charms of Osaka by enjoying the history and gourmet foods of Hozenji Yokocho?