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Mittera Kaikan: Deep Japanese Underground Culture and Cool Osaka Bars in Shinsaibashi

Inside a multi-tenant building called Mittera Kaikan that’s located in one of Osaka’s trendsetting areas, Shinsaibashi’s American Village is where you can find interesting Osaka bars of all sorts and sizes.

Don’t be put off by the occasionally eccentric decor of its shops! This is actually a well-known building housing one of the foremost underground, or alternate culture hubs of Osaka.

Most of the shops facing the main road on the first floor of this building look welcoming enough, but entering the dimly lit basement floor or second floor may require quite a bit more courage than usual. While it may seem a bit dicey, can you really bear to say no to your tingling sense of adventure? Put that hesitation aside and join us as we explore this quirky building together!

What kind of place is Mittera Kaikan, anyway?

As already mentioned, Mittera Kaikan (AKA Mittera) is a multi-tenant building on the west of the Midosuji Mitsutera-cho intersection located along Midosuji Avenue, a pathway that connects Osaka’s northern and southern areas together.

From here, only the shops facing the road can be seen, but there’s actually a total of around 60 Osaka bars and eateries in the building from the basement floor all the way to the fourth floor.

The thing is, even when the shops in the building are open for business, their doors are firmly shut, leaving you unable to see what’s going on inside. This difficult-to-approach facility is nevertheless renowned as the largest alternate drinking spot of Osaka!

Many of the shops here only open for business after the sun goes down, and the neon lights that come on at night gives the building a rather dubious vibe – like something straight out of Hollywood. But let’s make the dive without further ado!

We begin our plans of building domination from the first floor

Since the interior of the shops on the first floor can be seen even from outside, these shops feel welcoming and inviting. Shop staff cry out the usual spirited “Irasshaimase (welcome)!” when customers enter, making you feel immediately at home. Beginners to Mittera should therefore start building up their momentum by filling up their stomachs first with these food stores on the first floor.

1. Grill Kitchen Chanpon: Yakitori cuisine for days

Our first shop visit to this building, therefore, is Grill Kitchen Chanpon, a charcoal-grilled yakitori (skewered chicken meat) place which also serves alcohol. Since the chicken meat is cooked on a charcoal grill, it compresses the savory taste of the meat and keeps it locked within while removing a moderate amount of oil. The fragrance of…

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