Opened in 2013 in Japan’s Kansai region, the commercial complex of Grand Front Osaka stands just outside the Osaka train station, offering weary travelers a long list of high-end stores and restaurants (including the World Beer Museum that seats up to 700) with a hotel, office space and residential apartments located on the higher stories of the skyscrapers. Though this multi-building development is a major destination, just a few streets over lies the relaxed, charming neighborhood of Nakazaki-cho—a perfect complement to the modern Grand Front and its hectic crowds. Within the area’s narrow alleyways are traditional houses that escaped damage from air raids during World War II. More than a few have been converted into tiny independent shops and uniquely themed cafés that call for wandering. Nakazaki-cho, where the air is tinged with nostalgia, has become well-known for its vintage and second-hand stores.
While most sell second-hand clothing, one store in particular sticks out—especially with a name like Shark Attack. Its nondescript entrance is a tunnel opening, and the dark cave is aglow with dozens of different vintage lamps casting a soft light onto Western furniture, kitschy trinkets, religious figurines, cabinet speakers and more.
The rumbling of trains above the tunnel provide the soundtrack to browsing. A fair warning to tourists: much of the goods are imported from trips the owners take to the US and Europe, so it’s more utilitarian for locals looking to add a unique touch to their homes or stylists and other professionals searching for interesting props.
Shark Attack is located at 3-3-6 Nakazakinishi, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka—less than 10 minutes by foot from either the Nakazakicho or Umeda stations. They also have a web store as well as a few sister locations scattered across Japan.
Images by Nara Shin