Why? It is equally crowded if u ask me. But there is more variety and "exits"
Within the busy central corridor, there are many alleys there is peppered with food stalls. There is no worry about traffic and it felt like a "夜市” (night market ) concept. Plenty of local food and bontique shops. Pricing is comparable in Singapore, but you will be surprise that some quality bags and selected items ( such as the Fever stickers for kids) are actually cheaper here than in Singapore. The local version of fish cakes sticks is also very different with more ingredients to let my group mates give the thumb-ups and emm non stop. I dun eat meat, so dun ask me how they taste.
As we walk, we reach the "atas" building of takashimaya of Osaka
Here, the shops and experiences are somewhat similar to what u would get in Singapore, just that it is more crowded even at the cosmetic counters and despite the language barrier, can't help to feel that the workers are trying their best to explain their products and smile at u. (But sorry, I totally catch no balls)
However, their shops are bigger. Their pastries selection at the basement is also almost twice as many as singapore. Their Starbucks store is 3 storeys high with books available for customers to read. I guess the rents are not as high as singapore, otherwise, there is some thoughts put into "customers' experience" at their "flagship stores". They even have their localized Sakura coffee. (Taste ok, but not fantastic)
What I have described so far is if I turn "right" from my hotel, and visit the more central commercialize zones. If I turn left, there are more "heartland" retail experiences. No big crowds but F&B outlets are busy.
We got a chance to do hands-on for making plastic displays for food.
Here, we key in our orders for food outside the shop and pay for it before proceeding into the shop with our order slips.
This is where I thought as least they should have a picture on every button. I have a hard time matching the displayed menu and the words on the various buttons and end up ordering the wrong food.
See my blur face? Need to ask more?
In general, I felt in a very small area of perhaps 1-2 km square, and equivalent of our Orchard Area, there is plenty of variety in retail experiences. I cannot say the same for Singapore.
For someone who cannot tahan shopping, I bought a bag, facial mask and muscle rub for wife and dad. Spent quite a bit even as a giam gana.
The only grouse perhaps is the temp between the outdoors and indoors is quite drastic, just like Singapore, but the reverse. It's quite warm indoors and cool outdoors.