Osaka Rooftopping – Nishinari at Night – Japan
Welcome to Nishinari (西成), also known as Kamagasaki (釜ヶ崎).
If you make a trip to Osaka, come stay in the one the cheapest and not dangerous “dangerous” areas in the city. Take the opportunity to interact with all kinds of fascinating people, living outside the restrictive social paradigm; no need to even visit a restroom, you can piss freely! While you’re here, there are effortless rooftopping options galore, no you won’t be up 60 floors, but you will get a better view of the area.
If you’re interested in the history of the area, there is an in-depth article about it here. Also, if you have a broad mind when it comes to the enjoyment of history, you can take a stroll (or more) through the well-kept red light district of the area called, Tobita Shinchi. Be warned, you don’t want to get caught taking pictures there; you won’t be hassled for being in the area, but you will likely encounter trouble if you do anything you shouldn’t (e.g. photographing).
So you’re there, you end up in Nishinari, marveling at how cheap the vending machines are and you get the sudden urge to be 12 floors up and surveying the scene from above.
What do you do?
Easy, just look for the weary buildings offering cheap accommodation called, doya-inns. Step in, take the elevator or stairs to the top, and you have a favorable chance of an open door/unlocked gate to the roof.
That’s what I did, and here are a few pictures:
Things took a darker turn when I got on the roof of a nearby Super Tamade that was conjoined with an apartment building. After taking the stairs to the roof, and then climbing a ladder to reach the inner portion of the neon sign atop the building, I found this:
I mentioned earlier, Nishniari is known to be one of the most dangerous districts in Japan. I said it jokingly, but there indeed is a seedy underbelly of activity that exists unseen for the most part. To be fair, bloody underwear isn’t a sure indicator that something unsavory occurred, but in an area with the reputation of Nishinari it is rather unsettling.
You won’t encounter any trouble if you are simply walking around, but if you look hard enough, you’ll likely come upon something.
That wraps up Nishinari. It’s a fun place to visit, or even to stay in with the cheap accommodation. Your options for roofs are varied, and you never know what you might find up there.