Visiting Sotenbori!

Sotenbori in Real-Life
Sotenbori in Real-Life

Photo excursion to Sotenbori (蒼天堀)! I didn’t encounter any mad dogs, regretfully.

Ah, Sotenbori. “Renowned” Osaka entertainment district. Prized turf of the Omi Alliance. Former prison of the Mad Dog of Shimano, Majima Goro.

Oh wait. Wait a moment! I didn’t really … visit Sotenbori, of course. Where I went to, instead, was Dotonbori (道頓堀), the real-life downtown Osaka district that Sotenbori is based on.

As for details, I made two visits. The first was during early evening, right after I touched down at Kansai Airport. The second visit was two nights later, after returning from a hectic full day in Kyoto.

By the way, these visits were hardly my first trips to Dotonbori. I go to the area whenever I’m in Osaka. They were, however, my first Dotonbori visits after playing the Yakuza game series. Because of that, and especially because of Yakuza 0, every sight carried additional meaning for me. I’m not ashamed to admit I broke into a silly grin at every corner.

All screenshots belong to the Omi Alliance. And by extension, their big boss, Sega.

Sotenbori in the Yakuza Games

Before all else, Sotenbori screenshots from the Yakuza game series for comparison purposes. All except one are from Yakuza 2 Kiwami.

Sotenbori Japan
The main thoroughfare of Sotenbori. With the signature animated restaurant signs.
Yakuza 2 Kiwami Sotenbori Screenshot | Street Bicycles
Er … Brawling weapons? Conveniently located all over Sotenbori!
Yakuza 2 Kiwami Kinryu Ramen
Dragon ramen! Golden dragon ramen!
Yakuza 2 Kiwami Kuidaore Taro
The tourist mascot of Osaka: The (somewhat creepy) Kuidaore Taro. (His name means Eat-Till-You-Drop Eldest Son. A play on Osaka’s reputation as the gourmet capital of Japan)
Kiryu Sotenbori Selfie.
Our superbly handsome Brother Kiryu doing a selfie at Sotenbori’s famous electronic billboards.
Yakuza 2 Sotenbori Riverwalk
The riverside broadwalk. Loads of encounters, secrets, training, cut scenes here, in the games.
Yakuza 2 Kiwami Sotenbori Sights.
Montage of other Sotenbori sights. 1: Dayshot. 2: Kukuru Takoyaki Stand. 3: A mysterious Shinto shrine (from Yakuza 0). 4: A nearby covered shopping street.

From My Visits! Sotenbori in Real-Life (I.E. Dotonbori)

Dotonbori Main Street.
Dotonbori! Cash cow of Osaka tourism!
Visiting Sotenbori as a Yakuza Game Series Fan! | Street Bicycles
Brawling equipment were all over. I felt a strong urge to seize and bash something with one, each time I walk past.
Visiting Sotenbori as a Yakuza Game Series Fan! | Kinryu Ramen
The actual Golden Dragon Ramen. Some travellers consider this a must-dine-at when in Dotonbori.
Dotonbori Kuidaore Taro Figure.
The number-one selfie spot of Dotonbori. Or should I say, of all Osaka? The world famous running Glico Man sign!
Osaka Glico Running Man Sign.
The number-one selfie spot of Dotonbori. Or should I say, of all Osaka. The world famous running Glico Man sign!
Sotenbori Goro Majima.
Sorry, can’t resist! Here’s a doctored one featuring everyone’s favourite Mad Dog of Shimano.
Tombori Riverside Walk at Night.
The riverside promenade. Known formally as the Tombori Riverside Walk.
Dotonbori Osaka Sights.
Montage of real-world Dotonbori sights. 1: Dayshot. 2: Kukuru Takoyaki Stand. 3: Nearby Hozenji Temple. 4: A covered shopping street.
Visiting Sotenbori as a Yakuza Game Series Fan! | Montage of Sights
Montage of other sights that should be of interest to Yakuza game series fans.

To end …

Visiting Sotenbori as a Yakuza Game Series Fan! | Lights of Dotonbori
View from Ebisu Bridge. In Y2 Kiwami Clan Creator, this was the location for one of the toughest and longest fights. Can you imagine brawling under those signs? Would you, er, be distracted?

Check out my Kamurocho visit too!

Read my other Video Game Tourist posts.

Visiting Sotenbori!
Article Name
Visiting Sotenbori!
Revisiting Osaka’s Dotonbori District. The exuberant entertainment district known to gamers as Sotenbori in the Yakuza game series.

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