From Godzilla to Totoro: 6 shops to visit at PARCO’s POP CULTURE SHINSAIBASHI
Newly opened on 20 November 2020, Shinsaibashi (心斎橋) PARCO is Osaka’s (大阪府 Ōsaka-fu) latest—and arguably hippest—high-end department store. The facility features an assortment of renowned Japanese and international fashion brands, as well as a smorgasbord of popular restaurants and food shops, offering guests the perfect destination for a full day of shopping and dining. While much of what you will find here is an updated version of what is available at other upscale department stores in the city, one floor, in particular, offers visitors the chance to take a deep dive into the various iterations of Japanese pop culture. Located on 6F, this is PARCO’s POP CULTURE Shinsaibashi floor.
1. Donguri Kyowakoku (どんぐり共和国)
The life-sized Totoro figure at the entrance to Donguri Kyowakoku (どんぐり共和国). (Image credit: Josh Grengs)
Upon ascending the escalator to the 6th floor, visitors are greeted by a life-sized figure of Totoro (トトロ) at the entrance to Donguri Kyowakoku, a Ghibli-themed store filled with merchandise from many of the studio’s classic films, such as Kiki’s Delivery Service and Spirited Away. The shop has been carefully designed to reflect the atmosphere created by Ghibli’s unique animation style, and guests are guaranteed to leave feeling a bit warmer and fuzzier inside thanks to the shop’s welcoming and inviting ambience.
2. Godzilla Store Osaka (ゴジラ・ストア Osaka)
Giant Godzilla figure inside Godzilla Store Osaka (ゴジラ・ストア Osaka). (Image credit: Josh Grengs)
Shelves of Godzilla figurines. (Image credit: Josh Grengs)
After leaving the comforting presence of Totoro, a less cuddly character awaits in the form of Japan’s legendary prehistoric sea monster, Godzilla. Godzilla Store Osaka is about, you guessed it, all things Godzilla. Filled with action figures, key chains, and pretty much any other collectable item you can imagine, Godzilla Store Osaka is the perfect stop for those looking to take home their very own piece of Godzilla paraphernalia. And don’t worry, many of the other monsters from the Godzilla movie series can be found lurking in figure form around the store, if you prefer something different.
3. Crayon Shin-chan Official Shop Action Department (クレヨンしんちゃんオフィシャルショップアクションデパート)
Entrance to the Crayon Shin-chan Official Shop Action Department. (Image credit: Josh Grengs)
Crayon Shin-chan figures at the shop entrance. (Image credit: Josh Grengs)
Few in the pantheon of Japanese animated characters leave as indelible an impression on viewers as the bottom-exposing Crayon Shin-chan. And for those looking for a memento to remember this risque protagonist by, there is no better spot than Crayon Shin-chan Official Shop Action Department. Boasting a lineup of merchandise almost as long as the name of the shop itself, this store is brimming with all things Crayon Shin-chan, from action figures and cookies to snacks, apparel and more. Make sure to stop by if you are ready to get your Crayon Shin-chan fix!
4. Ultraman World M78 (ウルトラマンワールドM78)
Ultraman figure at the entrance to Ultraman World M78 (ウルトラマンワールドM78). (Image credit: Josh Grengs)
Next to Godzilla, arguably no one in Japanese pop culture is as popular and recognisable as Ultraman. Making his first appearance in 1966, Ultraman has been a staple of Japanese movie culture for decades, and Ultraman World M78 pays homage to this long-standing history with an extensive collection of Ultraman-inspired goods for shoppers to choose from. If you are seeking a unique piece of swag to rep Japan’s long pop culture tradition, look no further.
5. W by SECRETBASE
Entrance to W by SECRETBASE. (Image credit: Josh Grengs)
Lineup of toy figures at W by SECRETBASE. (Image credit: Josh Grengs)
A more recent arrival to the Japanese pop culture scene, SECRETBASE is a company that creates original made-in-Japan toys with a peculiar twist. Featuring popular characters from pop culture around the world, W by SECRETBASE’s products are not just your run-of-the-mill figurines, but are instead an expression of pop cultural commentary and the sometimes grotesque forms it can take. Loved by collectors the world over, these toys make a truly one-of-a-kind souvenir for those looking to take back an item that really stands out. If you are not quite ready to shell out the big bucks for a toy of your own, at least grab a quick snapshot with the giant hamburger that occupies the majority of the store’s floorspace.
6. Lego® Store
Osaka-inspired Lego creation at Lego® Store. (Image credit: Josh Grengs)
While not a Japanese creation, Lego® also makes an appearance on PARCO’s POP CULTURE SHINSAIBASHI floor. A must-stop shop for any sincere Lego fan, this store features multiple Osaka-inspired giant Lego creations that are a real sight to behold. With Lego, anything is possible.
These are but a few of the many shops guests can explore on PARCO’s POP CULTURE SHINSAIBASHI floor. From Hello Kitty and Rilakkuma to Capcom and more, there is something here for every fan of Japanese pop culture. The next time you are in Shinsaibashi looking for something to do, make sure you stop by and discover the many attractions on this floor. You are sure to not be disappointed.
From Osaka Station (大阪駅 Ōsaka-eki), walk to Umeda Station (梅田駅 Umeda-eki) on the Osaka Metro Midosuji Line (Osaka Metro 御堂筋線) and take the southbound train to Shinsaibashi Station (心斎橋駅 Shinsaibashi-eki). Get off at Shinsaibashi Station—Shinsaibashi PARCO is located directly above the station.
Shinsaibashi PARCO (心斎橋パルコ)
Address: 1-8-3 Shinsaibashi-suji, Chuo-ku, Osaka 542-0085
Nearest station: Shinsaibashi Station (心斎橋駅)
Opening hours: 10am–8pm (10am–9pm for dining)
Header image credit: Josh Grengs