A Quick Guide to Osaka’s Hipster Town

A Quick Guide to Osaka’s Hipster Town
There is no Japanese word for ‘hipster’, which, ironically, is about as hipster as you can get. The closest you’ll find to the Western pejorative here is “ultra individual” (超個性的) or “one who loves novelty” (新しがり屋). But there is a term for the stuff hipsters love to buy.

Zakka (雑貨) refers to all those miscellaneous items you’d find in Urban Outfitters – the ones that cost an arm and a leg but that you buy anyway because they’ll totally improve your appearance and lifestyle, transforming you into the epitome of cool.

But we’re not talking mere household hodgepodge here – zakka is as specific and vague as the subculture it serves. As the New York Times explains it, “a plastic ashtray will not qualify as a zakka but a plastic ashtray picked up in a flea market in Paris with “Pernod” inscribed on top, is zakka at the maximum level.”

It’s a ¥4 million market that is thriving in the trendy neighbourhoods of Japan’s larger cities – Tokyo’s Shimokitazawa and Koenji, and Osaka’s Nakazakicho.

Nakazakicho is a hipster’s dream. Gentrified? Check. Population mostly under 35? Check. Thrift stores? Check. Craft beer? Check. Organic and artisan food? Check, and check. The network of back streets, row houses and tunnels in Kita-Umeda is Etsy come to life, where you can shop for everything from handmade crotchet jewellery to wooden cutlery.

Almost all of the businesses in Nakazakicho run out of converted ...... (follow the instructions below for accessing the rest of this article).
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Sights Map

Guide Name: A Quick Guide to Osaka’s Hipster Town
Guide Location: Japan » Osaka
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (B))
Sight(s) featured in this guide: Salon de AManTo   Jam Pot   Guignol   Asobiya   Only Planet   Ma-jo Café   Maeda Craft Factory Shop   Green Pepe   Chanamasala   Café Arabiq   Nakazakicho Station  
Author: Simone Armer
Read it on author's website: http://www.simonearmer.com/a-quick-guide-to-osakas-hipster-town/