Nourinkaikan, South Osaka • 農林会館、南大阪

A google search for 'Nourinkaikan' brings up the current location of the actual Agriculture and Forestry Assembly Hall, which is NOT the building pictured above. It appears that this is the building it used to be in. This Agriculture and Forestry Assembly Hall • 農林会館 is, unlike the name suggests, a rather creative place (though I'd like to say that I also imagine that the government Agriculture and Forestry Assembly Hall can be creative at times).

First time I went there I was hunting the gallery Nadar, which is in the basement. As you can see from the picture below though, the Kanban(s) • 看板 out the front really caught my eye. It's almost like all the shops are in competition to see who has the coolest one.

Inside the Nourinkaikan there a few really creative places: Design Books and stationary Flannagan, 2nd hand books Berlin Books, cool graphics and toys Comes Mart, as well as a bunch of independent fashion labels, and a few nice restaurants. You can wonder through at your leisure; to visit each shop for a few minutes you're probably best off spending a few hours there.

The building is a lovely old place, and the landlord obviously takes care of it. The hallways are white and narrow, but the shops inside are spacious and full of life. On each floor, there's also what looks like a massive vault (you know, huge thick metal door with a combination lock), and though they don't have shops in them, it's cool to check out.

The Nourinkaikan is another excellent use of an old building in Kansai (also check out the Kyoto International Manga Museum).

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