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Imose, a genteel soba restaurant, shows its character from half a block away. It’s a short walk from Tamatsukuri Station on the Osaka Loop Line veering away from Nagahori Dori into a quieter residential zone with a handful of businesses.

Rather like an oasis — except here it’s in a cement and gray desert — Imose stands out with its verdant entrance, complete with a wooden well covered over with a Japanese maple tree and vines that grow untrammeled. The noren curtain-covered entrance is set back from the street and there’s a wooden bench and some stools for waiting.

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