• Kyodo

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A popular underground venue for stand-up eateries at the Hanshin Department Store in the Umeda district in downtown Osaka marks its last business day on Tuesday ahead of the building’s renovation.

The Snack Park located in the underground part of the department store is famous for quickly served, low-priced local specialties, including “ikayaki,” a crepe-like food with chopped squid inside.

The Snack Park opened in 1957, when the place was called Oyatsu Center. Currently, 16 eateries offer fare ranging from ikayaki to ramen to curried rice, plus “takoyaki” octopus dumplings and “okonomiyaki,” a pancake-style food including vegetables and other ingredients. They are all priced at around ¥300 to ¥400, which is why they are so popular with local residents.

The renovation will start Wednesday in the east part of the building, where the Snack Park is located. Some eateries will move to the west part on Saturday and reopen only for takeout. But the others will be closed. The department store operator has not decided whether it will resume operations of a place for stand-up eating like Snack Park when it reopens in 2021.

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