Osaka’s Iconic Puffer-fish Lantern May Soon Disappear

Visit Osaka’s Iconic Puffer-fish Lantern before the 15th of September to make sure you get a shot of Zuboraya’s famous shop lanterns.

  •  2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the restaurant
  • Dotonbori shopping street is a tourist photo spot
  • According to an announcement on the restaurant’s official website the two restaurants will permanently close as of September 15

Osaka ‘s popular Dotonbori shopping street is the city’s most popular nightlife destination and a tourist hot spot for taking photos. This location is also home to many of the city’s most famous landmarks, including the iconic Glico Man sign, the huge 3D crab sign at the Kani Doraku restaurant, and the giant bufferfish lantern hanging in front of the Zuboraya fugu food store.

While the news of the end of Zuboraya is particularly sad, as 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the restaurant. Although the coronavirus pandemic was a deciding factor in their decision, its owners said they were still considering closing down due to an increasingly competitive market. Representatives said they will instead focus their efforts on the real-estate side of their business.

The Dotonbori store is currently open for business and the Shinsekai site has already reopened on June 15th. All restaurants will continue to operate until September, and all employees will remain working and completely paid until the end of the closing day.

“There are a range of reasons for why we’re closing,” said Zuboraya chairman Ryuji Matsuda, 72. “I apologize to all the people who have supported us.” A 46-year-old customer who said that he frequented the Shinsekai main branch said, “When you think of Osaka, the puffer fish lantern is the first thing that comes to mind. It’s sad to think that because of the current challenges facing Japan, such well-established restaurants can disappear.”

Sources: The Mainichi,  FNN Prime OnlineSankei News West

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