Things to do in Dotonbori

Our most recommended things to do in Dotonbori

Osaka: Main Sights and Hidden Spots Guided Walking Tour

1. Osaka: Main Sights and Hidden Spots Guided Walking Tour

Osaka is known for great food, quirky characters and an urban history much longer than Tokyo's. Get under the skin of this unique city on this guided walking tour with a professional English-speaking guide.  Start off with a visit to Osaka Castle Park. You won't go inside the castle, but will get to admire the grand and imposing exterior, and will stroll around the surrounding park.  Here you'll learn about the history of Osaka and how it was almost robbed from the Japanese 400 years ago.  A quick train ride takes you to Tsuruhashi, to explore the maze of Korea Town. Explore the narrow streets and alleys of this pre-war commercial district.  Another quick journey by public transport will take you to modern Harukas building. Enjoy the view from one of the high floors, then head underground to explore the food hall of the department store underneath. See high quality products for sale like killer puffer fish and Kobe beef, amongst others.  Not far from Harukas is the traditional district of Shin-sekai. See the slightly crumbling local highlights, perfectly frozen in time.  Next, head to Namba, considered to be the center of Osaka's present-day shopping, dining, and entertainment culture. Visit Dotonbori, Osaka’s version of Times Square in New York, and explore the quirky back streets with their own individuality and surprises in store. You’ll visit Kuromon Ichiba, a fresh fish market that's played a pivotal role for more than 150 years.  Finally, explore Doguyasuji, a kitchen and cooking district. Look around at the wax food models, Japanese "noren" (curtains that hang at kitchen entrances) and giant pottery pieces. 

Osaka: Guided Pub Crawl

2. Osaka: Guided Pub Crawl

Experience the nightlife of Osaka throughout an exciting pub crawl. You can meet new people as you visit various bars and clubs, mingling with your fellow crawlers. Avoid the need to plan your night and avail of the services of a fun guide with good local knowledge. You will typically start the night in a relaxed bar with space to sit down to get to know each other, enjoying a free shot and getting the chance to win some free drinks. Things will heat up at the 2nd bar, with more music and some games and activities to get to know your fellow participants. Next, continue to a 3rd bar with space to dance and a table to sit down at if you prefer. Then it will be time to make your way to a club to end the night on the dance floor. You can stay until closing time at 5:00AM if you want to mix with the locals, who will start arriving at around 12:30AM if you want to see how they have fun. You may even get invited to an after party if any are available, which they often are.

Osaka: Eat Like a Local Street Food Tour

3. Osaka: Eat Like a Local Street Food Tour

There’s a reason why Osaka is known as the food capital of Japan, but as well as districts that are packed full of tiny local eateries and world class restaurants, the city has an exciting and diverse street food scene. You'll be paired with guides that are passionate about the place they call home and who choose to spend their free time sharing it with like-minded travelers matched to them. To really get a taste of local life, you can’t miss exploring Osaka’s street food culture, and what better way than with a local by your side to take you to the best vendors and food carts where the locals really eat. From delicacies you’ve never heard of such as okonomiyaki, to staples like yakisoba, you will discover all the best dishes and local specialties in Dotonbori. With your local by your side, you'll be able to really experience local life and immerse yourself in the vibrant street food culture. You can try dishes that have been perfected in this city such as oden, okonomiyaki, kushikatsu and takoyaki, sampling them from a food cart recommended by your local. You can get to know Osaka’s food scene as well as the traditional regional and Japanese dishes cooked up and served at all hours of the day by local vendors. Your host will take you to the spots where you can learn about the dishes and the local ingredients, as you taste the best of what Osaka has to offer. Spend time getting to know your local host, as you chat about your favorite cuisine and get some insider recommendations of the most authentic local places to eat and drink on the rest of your trip.

Welcome to Osaka: Private Tour with a Local Host

4. Welcome to Osaka: Private Tour with a Local Host

Experience Osaka like a resident on a private walking tour with a local host. Get tips on what to see and do, and learn the best ways to get around. Benefit from pick-up at your accommodation and get familiar with your local neighborhood. Discover where to buy groceries or where the best local places to eat are located and much more. Alternatively, meet at a central landmark or intersection to start your walking tour. Venture beyond the usual tourist sites and discover places you would never read about in the guidebooks. Avail of an itinerary that can be tailored to your interests and specific needs. Ride on the public transportation system, at your own expense, if you prefer. Chat with your guide about life in the city and its many traditions. Feel more confident getting around and exploring on your own by the end of your experience.

Osaka Bar Hopping Food Tour

5. Osaka Bar Hopping Food Tour

After meeting your local tour guide at exit 15B of Namba station, the guide will take you around a food alley, located near Dotonbori. This narrow alley reminds people of the historic old days of Osaka with Japanese style Izakaya bars lined up in the alley and including a small temple called Hozenji temple. Many locals come to relax and enjoy local food there at night. After walking around the alley, you'll visit the first Izakaya bar that serves various types of Osaka's traditional food such as Kushikatsu (fried skewers). The combination of this local food and drinking local Beer, Sake, and Shochu will definitely pump up your night!  After enjoying delicious fried skewers, you and your local guide will go to the next izakaya bar of the bar hopping tour. At this place you can eat a traditional Japanese food which most tourists don't really know. Osaka is known for their variety of foods because they import from all over the world.  Of course you can grab many more drinks on this nightlife bar tour! The night tour is not over yet! Afterwards you continue the bar hopping night tour by pub crawling through more bars!  Lastly, you will hop on to other bars in an area called Ura-Namba, where hidden traditional and delicious restaurants are located. You go to one of the most unique nightlife food alleys around there. A collection of 20 kinds of Izakaya bars and eateries filled daily full of locals grabbing a bite to eat at night. Have a seat and enjoy your meals and drinks in front of a bar serving small Japanese plates such as Yakitori (chicken skewers) and grilled vegetables. You can also try sushi, takoyaki, Okonomiyaki ( Japanese savory pancake origins from Osaka) or many other kinds of delicious local food from many bars in this food alley. They will deliver the meal right to you!  Before going back to Namba station, you drop by Dotonbori and take memorable photos with friends and the guide you met on this night tour! The atmosphere of Dotonbori is totally different at night compared to the day. At night it is very vivid and unique like the local people who live in Osaka. By the end of this tour, you'll surely get to know how distinctive and special this city really is. After all this city is known amongst travelers as being the nightlife "Party City" of Japan!

Osaka: Highlights & Hidden Gems Private Walking Tour

6. Osaka: Highlights & Hidden Gems Private Walking Tour

Join a friendly local guide in an authentic experience of electrifying Osaka. Get a personalized tour of the city’s fascinating history, culture, and fantastic food scene as you’re led between its liveliest districts – and a few off the tourist trail. You'll be paired with guides that are passionate about the place they call home and who choose to spend their free time sharing it with like-minded travelers matched to them. First, meet your guide at Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine. Dating back to the 3rd century (before the introduction of Buddhism), it’s one of Japan’s oldest shrines, and one of the few examples of Sumiyoshi-zukuri – purely Japanese architecture. Then, hop on the train to the high-energy entertainment district of Namba, an area that’s buzzing with locals looking for a good time 24/7. Stroll down lively streets to Kuromon Market, a covered space packed with over 100 shops and vendors selling street food, shellfish, and souvenirs. (If you’re feeling peckish, point out the seafood that tickles your fancy, from scallops to sea urchin, and watch a vendor cooked right in front of you!). Next up, explore tranquil Hozenji Yokocho, a stone-paved lane packed with long-standing Japanese bars and restaurants that retains the spirit of the Osaka of yesteryear, and see Sennichimae Kitchenware Street – a street dedicated entirely to kitchen utensils and food supplies! Peer into the shops and restaurants lining the Soemon-cho entertainment district, an area with more than 400 years of history, and get lost in Den-Den Town, the perfect place to geek out over cameras, computers, pop culture, games, and anime. After that, get blinded by Dotonbori, a snapshot of typical Osaka, where colossal food signs and flashing lights illuminate your path (don’t miss the eye-catching Glico Running Man above Ebisubashi Bridge), then take a pleasant walk through to Shinsaibashi and the creative, youth-oriented America-mura – a treasure trove of retro stores, independent galleries, and cool cafés. Finally, see the iconic Osaka Castle, a symbol of the city and one of Japan’s most famous landmarks. Your personalized itinerary will be planned according to the number of hours booked and adapted to your preferences. Once you’ve booked, someone from the local tour operator's team will be in touch, so let them know if you have any special requirements.

Osaka: Full-Day Sightseeing Tour by Private Vehicle

7. Osaka: Full-Day Sightseeing Tour by Private Vehicle

Discover how Osaka has centuries more history than Tokyo and a merchant culture that still strongly resonates today on this full-day guided tour by private vehicle.  First stop is a visit to the Osaka Castle, where you will explore the grounds and enjoy the view of the castle’s exterior. Then, visit what is said to be the oldest Buddhist temple in Japan, Shitennoji.  Next, head to Shin-sekai. A short stroll around the area will show you typical foods, games, and Osaka's famously bad fashion sense. After lunch, visit the Harukas building to admire views across the city as you soar up a glass elevator. At the basement of this tall building is a local marketplace with some of the finest foods on display, such as Kobe beef and high end sushi.  You will then explore Dotonbori, sometimes compared to New York's Times Square. Explore the side streets and hear interesting stories from your guide. Finally, visit the market of Kuromon Ichiba, where there's a deep history and unique vibe.

Osaka City: Food Origins Exploration Game

8. Osaka City: Food Origins Exploration Game

Play a 1.5-hour exploration game in the heart of Osaka city and discover the historical changes of the city from the Edo period to the present. Explore food heaven in Osaka, follow the clues, and try delicious and peculiar dishes along the way. Follow each culinary clue on your smartphone and get exact directions to the next location so you will not need a map, GPS, or guide. Unlock the secret story of each place as you solve the problems and guess the answers. Play individually, as a group, and solve the clues together as you walk or split into smaller teams and compete against the others. Download the app, go to the starting point, and begin the adventure!

Osaka: Private Discovery Tour with a Local

9. Osaka: Private Discovery Tour with a Local

Orientate yourself and check out a few of the most famous attractions in Osaka with your personal guide. You'll be paired with guides that are passionate about the place they call home and who choose to spend their free time sharing it with like-minded travelers matched to them. Let a local kick-start your trip by showing you the highlights and giving you a priceless insight into city life, from advice about cultural practices to the best spots to eat authentic local food. Explore Osaka like a local and make the most of your time in Osaka from the start. Follow the unique route which your local host has designed specifically for you, either by walking or using public transport so you can get familiar with how to move around the city. Learn about the city’s cultural practices, heritage, culture and cuisine as you explore the city together, perhaps stopping to try some authentic local street food or visiting a shrine. Your local will give your trip the best possible start, helping you to make the most of your time in Osaka.

Osaka: 2-Hour Kuromon Market Walking Street Food Tour

10. Osaka: 2-Hour Kuromon Market Walking Street Food Tour

Kuromon Market, also known as the "Kitchen of the Nation,” is one of the most important culinary centers of Japanese culture. Most of the family-owned businesses in the market have been there for decades. Renowned for its bounty of delicious street foods, Kuromon is much beloved by locals. Try authentic local foods, like takoyaki, grilled scallops, grilled yakitori skewers, and much more — your guide will help you sort through the array of food stalls to pick the best that the market has to offer. With the tour including enough food samplings to fill you up, make sure you come hungry. All the while, you’ll pick up insights into authentic Japanese culture as you learn about the fascinating history of the market, as well as Osaka’s contemporary and historical role in the country’s culture. You’ll also get some great tips from your guide about where to buy some souvenirs if you so desire.

Other Sightseeing Options in Dotonbori

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What people are saying about Dotonbori

Overall rating

4.1 / 5

based on 270 reviews

We had a such a great time on this full day Osaka tour. Kevin was really great and friendly and such a knowledgeable English speaking guide. He knows everything there is to know about Osaka and Japan. The day was very well planned and having a car made the day so much more relaxing and effortlessly fun! Communication before the tour was also great, we knew before our trip started we were in good hands! He even showed us parts of Osaka we wouldn’t have on our own, just like a local. Very worthwhile if visiting Osaka. Can’t wait to come back again some day!

The tour was excellent. It was pleasant and very informative that, time (5 hours) flew by so fast. Andrew was right on time. He is amazingly knowledgeable, well mannered and cultured. The tour was relaxed yet professional. I would strongly recommend this company and will likely use them again.

I guess borders only just opened so there were only the guide Taka-san and myself, yet it was fun. The tour brought me to 3 very different bars/pubs to give an experience that is of variety. I would like to do Kyoto bar-hop the next time I visit.

Amazing afternoon seeing Osaka highlights on my very brief trip! Everything was perfectly arranged, and Dan is so knowledgeable. Highly recommended!

The game in Osaka was an amazing experience to do with kids. We enjoyed it a lot.