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Kitashinchi, which lies to the south of Osaka Station, is a ghost town by day. The warren of narrow streets, packed full of tiny bars, hostess lounges and restaurants, wakes at dusk and doesn’t fully come alive until night has fallen. By day, it’s mostly empty, the preserve of florists prepping for the evening and delivery men and women carting in supplies.

This makes Epais, which opens for lunch, an outlier. But only in some ways. Like nearly everywhere else I’ve been in Kitashinchi, Epais is small, barely larger than a closet. And like pretty much everywhere else in Kitashinchi, it’s packed into a building that is home to tenants galore. A word of advice: Give yourself a bit of time to find it, because no matter how good your phone’s GPS and map are, finding your way around Kitashinchi, small as it is, is a challenge.

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