Surprisingly, skateboarding is growing fast in Japan even with its restrictions and little opportunities to skate. Concrete skateboard parks can only be found inside large warehouses which are only in large cities. There are even police men who stop people from skateboarding because of its loud noises and commotion. It is common to find signs that say "no skateboarding" popping up on streets. Skating can be difficult in the polite Japanese society. But as a matter of fact, skateboarding become so popular in Japan that it was planned to make its Olympic debut for this year's Summer Olympics in Tokyo (now it is postponed). There are more skateboard shops and parks found in Tokyo as well as Osaka. If you're interested, why not check out our list of the 10 recommended skateboard shops in Osaka?
SKATEBOARDING CULTURE IN JAPAN
Before we move on to our list, let us explain shortly on how skateboarding became widely known in Japan. Beginning from the 1976 American film Kenny & Company (Boys Boys in Japan), skateboarding was a fad at the time representing American culture. Similar to roller skating and disco, skateboarding seemed to fade and became more of like a subculture. People who still continued to skate in the 1980s were people who didn't follow the mainstream of music or fashion. By the mid-1980s, the American companies were sending American skateboarders to Japan for demonstrations, which were sponsored by brands such as Converse or Swatch. This soon attracted more Japanese to love skateboarding and street culture.
There is creativity, joyfulness, and playful aspects to Japanese skating that draws people's attention to it. Also, skateboarding is an incredibly versatile mode of transportation, bringing lots of fun with it (sometimes more than function!). Along with Japan's walking culture, many young generation enjoy to skateboard through the city to quickly get to their destinations.
As skateboarding is becoming increasingly popular in Japan, Osaka is home to many skateboard shops and parks. Each one has its own character and caters to different needs. On this list, we’ve compiled our recommended skateboard shops and parks in Osaka. We’ve included spots for where to get the best and most diverse skateboard gear. Also, we highlight the best skate parks to take your skateboard and practice tricks, learn about new ones, and meet with people who share the same passion.
#1 - RIDERS FACT NAMBA CITY
Located in the Namba City Main Building at the JR station, this shop is not limited to skateboards. But do not let this fool you, the skateboard collection is impressive. Colorful longboards of all shapes and sizes fill the racks. Besides that, you can find many shortboards here too. Riders Fact is known for reasonable prices and great service. They have decks, trucks, bearings, and wheels. Staff are kind and knowledgeable, offering helpful advice to guide you.
Beside skateboards, Riders Fact carries a great deal of skate shoes. Additionally, they have a complete snowboard division with winter boots, ski goggles, and winter fashion. Brands like Adidas, Volcom, Newbalance, Burton, Smith, Oakley, Stance, Globe, Thirtytwo, Premium, Keen and Thrasher can be found inside. We recommend this shop if you want to look at skateboards and accessories. Lastly, it’s a sports store as well. Jackets, socks, sport watches, sunglasses, and hats are also in abundance. It’s worth giving them a visit, especially with their prime location. All of the great features is why this place is on the list of recommended skateboard shops in Osaka.
#2 - SIMPLE CITY NAMBA CITY
Simple City wins in terms of style. The cherry red Harley-Davidson on display confirms this shop’s cool vibe. The shop sits on the first floor in a skinny building fit with dark industrial corrugated siding. Though it’s not as large as a mega sports store, Simple City has a humble, but strong local following. A helpful shop owner and staff will teach you all you need to know. Simple City is located in Abeno Ward, Osaka. The closest metro station is Nishitanabe. Alternatively, for the tramway, Himematsu Station is the nearest station on the Hankaidenki-Uemachi Line.
Simply City is all about skateboarding and nothing more. Skateboard decks fill in the wall space. Their underside faces out, begging customers to admire each design. Additionally, the shop has many classic and unusual skateboards. They carry skateboard brands like Welcome, Santa Cruz, Creature, Powell Peralta, and Hosoi Skates. You can get the whole set up: decks, wheels, trucks, bearings, grip tape, rib bones and safety gear. We recommend Simple City for those in search of a local skate shop with no frills.
#3 - BULLDOG SKATEBOARD SHOP
Bulldog Skateboard Shop is a true gem. They have many things other skateboard shops don’t. Even more so, they have excellent customer service. For example, they will order out of stock items for you if they don’t have it in stock. Furthermore, the manager and staff are friendly and patient. They can show you good places to ride. Bulldog Skateboard Shop is near Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park. To get there take the Osaka Metro Nagahoritsurumiryokuchi Line to Yokozutsumi Station. At last, the shop is just outside exit 4.
Their collection of merchandise includes entire skateboard setups. Specifically, there are trucks, wheels, and decks. They also carry long and short, rare and unique shaped boards (notably the cactus-shapes decks). Many brands are available here, so you won’t find their stock lacking. Outside of boards, Bulldog Skateboard Shop has hip beanies, caps, shoes, and T-Shirts. Stylish fanny packs are worth taking a look at as well. A special feature is the skateboard DVD collection here. Obscure items such as a Jesus air freshener, pizza pin, and more are just some of the quirky items here as well.
#4 - CHOPPY’S SKATEBOARD SHOP
Choppy’s is a quaint surf shack style skateboard shop. Rough cut plywood sheets make up the interior walls and the skateboard bench outside. Inside, Choppy's custom hoodies and apparel will greet you.
In particular, Choppy’s helps beginners set up. Therefore, we particularly recommend this spot for beginners. Their YouTube tutorials are easy to follow, welcoming children and adults alike. Besides skateboards, they sell T-Shirts, decks, hats, socks, wheels, and stickers. All of these reasons contribute to why it makes our list of recommended skateboard shops in Osaka. Located in Higashiyodogawa Ward in Osaka, Choppy’s Skateboard Shop is walking distance from JR-Awaji Station.
#5 - SHRED OSAKA
Shred is all about fashion, ranging from apparel to atmosphere. They carry a plethora of unusual skate clothing brands, as well as their very own Shred brand. Shred carries a wide range of decks, trucks, wheels, bearings, griptape, and wax. The shop is located between the Shin-Osaka and Mikuni Station. If you’re looking for Japanese skateboard fashion as well as skateboards, this is your shop.
#6 - PROTY / ALIS WONDERLAND OSAKA
Proty makes our list for being both a fantastic skateboard shop and skateboard park. That’s right, the bottom floor has an indoor skate bowl called Alis Wonderland Osaka. The wall to wall bowl was custom built with a wood frame and a concrete finish. Opening in 2004, this fashionable shop has a great location across the river from Osaka Castle. JR Osakajo Kitazume Station is closest to the shop. For metro stops, Osaka Business Station is the nearest.
Proty strives to combine snowboarding, skateboarding, and avant-garde culture/lifestyle. In addition to fine skateboards, they carry skate shoes, socks, and shirts. They also sell other adventure sport gear, such as cycling and snowboarding. Their shop has one of the best winter gear lineups in Osaka, ranging from snowboards, snowboard boots, and winter gloves. In fact, over 50 well-known snowboard and skateboard brands can be found here.
Locals associate Proty with good energy and helpful staff. Another unique aspect is the music events that they often host. Winter season is busy for Proty. They hold multiple snowboard tours every year in Aomori. You can apply on their website. Also, as part of their services, they can arrange a snowboard boot fitting and refitting session. If you’ve ever snowboarded in boots that didn’t quite fit, you’ll know the importance of a form fitting insole. Lastly, the company does SUP rentals that can include a BBQ. Proty's duality is why this place makes our list of recommended skateboard shops in Osaka.
#7 - EKL SKATEBOARD PARK
EKL is an indoor skateboard park in Neyagawa, Osaka. Korien station is the nearest stop on the Keihan Main Line. This skate park offers lessons for kids and has a skateboard shop. You can rent gear too, if needed. Beginners are welcome to ask questions. They have teachers on the weekend that are very patient with beginners. You can get a 30-minute free trial on skateboarding. EKL is one of the biggest indoor skate parks in the Kansai area. It opened in 2019 and welcomes everyone. Also, the park features a downhill rail, several flat blanks, and multiple sizes of rails and boxes. Furthermore, they have a high orie bar, which is like a pole-vaulting bar, to practice aerial jumps. Finally, outside of the impressive skateboards on display, the place also has some BMX bikes to try.
#8 - HMC SKATEPARK
A three minute walk from Fukaebashi Station in Tosei Ward, Osaka is the indoor HMC Skatepark. Street art adds color to the cinder block walls. HMC is for anyone from kids to professionals, and for BMX to skating. You can pay hourly or get the monthly membership. Above all, HMC Skatepark is open late so you can enjoy late night rides at the end of the day. The park has multiple ramps, kickers, and boxes. The whole place is air conditioned. As a nice addition, skateboard protectors can be rented for free. Classes for beginners are held on the weekends.
#9 - SK8 BOARD PARK
SK8 Board Park is a very large outdoor park with many bowls, ramps, and boxes. The park is partly covered by an expressway. In fact, some of the ramps are tightly integrated with the main supports of the expressway. The park is well-designed with smooth concrete. A fun fact is that SK8 Board Park is actually Japan’s largest concrete skateboard park. The skatepark is located inside the spacious Baraike Park. To get there, take the train to Fukai Station in Naka Ward, Osaka. Finally, we recommend this park for its popularity and size.
#10 - SPOTAKA SKATE BOARD PARK
Spotaka is an indoor skateboard park conveniently located near Dōtonbori in B2 of the Shinsaibashi building. The park has long wall ramps and a few half pipes varying in size. Shiny gray boxes and black ralls fill the space in the middle. The staff regularly offer schools for kids and beginner adults. Next to the park is a large skate shop with walls of shortboard decks and racks of longboard decks. Likewise, there is a massive selection of skate shoes on display. Lastly, the same area is home to surfboards and wetsuits. They are worth checking out for many reasons, just one which being its prime location in the heart of Osaka.
Skateboarding is a growing fashion in Japan - especially in recent years. While skateboarding is seen as cool, sadly there is a limited number of places to participate. But don’t worry, Japanese skate shops and parks are on the rise. Veteran Osaka residents may remember the famous skate shop by the name of Mint Skateboarding. Open from 2013 to 2018, it was started by a California native and Mint turned into the Osaka skateboarding icon with beer on tap. It was closed so the founder could focus on other adventures. And while the closing of Mint was crushing for local riders, it actually opened up the market for more shops and showed the resilience of local riders.
People from all walks of life adore skateboarding. For example, kids, punk rockers, and goths are often typically associated with the sport. On the contrary, surfers, perfect students, and older people prefer riding as well. The modern skateboard comes in many forms. It has come a long way from the tiny flat boards used by surfers in the 1960s, to the modern concave decks and twin kicktails with a unique graphic on the bottom side. Nowadays, skateboards are made to be flexible and strong. Generally, longboards are easier to learn on. Consequently, they are more approachable for beginners and casual riders. A bigger deck size and bigger, softer wheels means it’s more forgiving when rolling over cracks and pebbles.
Our recommended skateboard shops in Osaka are a great way to introduce yourself to the local scene. Whether a beginner or professional, these skateboard parks have a good community atmosphere. Those visiting or living in Osaka should have a look at some of these skateboard parks. Moreover, the skateboard shops listed are fine places to buy skateboards and parts in addition to skate clothing. We hope this list helps you find exciting places to check out in Osaka.