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Osaka

Culture & History

Our most recommended Osaka Culture & History

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: LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Admission Ticket

2. Osaka: LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Admission Ticket

Arrive at the LEGOLAND® Discovery Center and marvel at the incredible number of attractions visitors can enjoy with their families. Tour the LEGO® brick factory, attend a LEGO class to learn how to make special LEGO® creations, witness an enormous diorama of the city of Osaka created using LEGO® bricks, and explore the Duplo® playground where smaller children can play safely. Experience a variety of games that stimulate the imagination including a 4D Cinema with special-effects that will make you jump out of your skin in surprise, and the shooting ride “Kingdom Quest” to rescue the captured princess. Japan’s first LEGO® VR Attraction “The Great LEGO® Race” is a virtual reality experience where you are invited to buckle up and go for a ride inside the most incredible, exhilarating, and fun LEGO® race ever created. Immerse yourselves in a LEGO® world racing brick-built vehicles in the hopes of becoming the next Champion. Please note, adults can not enter without a child. Adults (aged 16 and over) must be accompanied by a child (aged 15 and under) in order to enter.

From Osaka : Private Full-day Tour to Kyoto

3. From Osaka : Private Full-day Tour to Kyoto

Start the tour with pick up from central Osaka and travel to historic Kyoto. Over the course of the day, you'll be presented with a balanced view of this historic city and its surroundings. The Arashiyama district is the first stop, and it is here where you'll be introduced to Japanese garden and temple design. Tenryu-ji Temple has one of the most outstanding, timeless examples of Japanese gardens surrounding it's simple-but-majestic temple buildings. Then it's time for a walk up through the famous bamboo grove - a photo opportunity not to be missed - before arriving at the entrance to luxurious Okochi Sanso. Here you will try some matcha (Japanese green tea), before exploring the winding paths that connect the buildings, views, and garden areas. Afterwards, you'll enjoy a stroll alongside the river, then have free time for lunch and even a bit of shopping, if you wish. Next, enjoy the atmospheric streets of the Goin district, complete with a gurgling stream and rows of traditional tea house and restaurant buildings.  Not far from the Gion is Fushimi Inari-taisha, arguably the most famous Shinto shrine complex in the entire region. After having a look around you'll end your tour with a visit to the famous Torii gate.

Osaka Food Tour (10 Delicious Dishes at 5 Hidden Eateries)

4. Osaka Food Tour (10 Delicious Dishes at 5 Hidden Eateries)

Explore the hidden gem of Shinsekai with your guides and discover the real Osaka. Osaka’s Shinsekai district is a vibrant place combining modern and traditional cuisine. Fill your belly with some of the best food you will have in Japan. Discover hidden, original establishments which have been chosen by two local expert guides. Wander in and around the markets that serve traditional Osakan food for an authentic local experience.  Make your way to the first eatery, a takoyaki, or battered octopus balls, stall. Then visit an Izakaya restaurant and sample some authentic Osakan kitsune Udon along with japanese style chicken wings. Also taste the locally invented kushikatsu, which are lightly deep-fried vegetables, meats and seafood on skewers. Head off the beaten path and visit a cosy, traditional Japanese restaurant you will get dishes of mouthwatering nikudoufu or beef and tofu stew, original yakitori or skewered beef assortments, plus an alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverage. Then visit specialized delicious gyoza dumpling establishment. The last dishes of the night will be at a unique Japanese eatery. Enjoy a tonpeiyaki, or pork omelette plus an abundance of edamame and karaage, Japanese fried chicken with spices. Another drink of your choice here is included. Finish off the night at a market eating Japanese castella cake shaped as the local mascot of Shinsekai.

Osaka: Full-Day Private Guided Walking Tour

5. Osaka: Full-Day Private Guided Walking Tour

Enjoy an exciting full-day walking tour of Osaka accompanied by a guide and explore Japan's second-largest city. See the modern and traditional sides of this colorful, dynamic metropolis. Start your day meeting your guide at your hotel, and embark on your customized tour. See Osaka Castle, rebuilt after being destroyed in the sieges of the 17th century. Stroll through Kuromon Ichiba Market amid the booming voices of Osaka merchants. Snack on various local foods. Have lunch in the traditional working class Shinsekai area. Choose your must-see spots, create your own itinerary, and enjoy your own unique Osaka experience. Learn all about your favorite spots from your knowledgeable guide.

Welcome to Osaka: Private Tour with a Local Host

6. 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: Eat Like a Local Street Food Tour

7. 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.

From Osaka: Kyoto Sightseeing Day Trip and Scenic Train Ride

8. From Osaka: Kyoto Sightseeing Day Trip and Scenic Train Ride

After pickup from one of 3 locations in Osaka, head towards Kyoto, once the former capital of Japan, on the island of Honshu. The first activity of the day is a scenic and romantic railway ride from Kameoka to Arashiyama. During the 23-minute journey, feel immersed in nature as you admire the beautiful blossom trees and breathtaking mountain views. Upon arrival at Arashiyama, enjoy a delicious buffet style lunch with soft drinks to prepare you for an afternoon of sightseeing. After lunch, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Kiyomizudera Temple, one of the most celebrated temples in Japan, founded in 780 on the site of the Otowa Waterfall. The tour continues onto Fushimi Inari, world-famous for the thousands of Torii gates that line the entrance to the Shinto Shrine. Spend some free time exploring the mountain trails and the shrine buildings themselves, and learn about the fascinating culture of Japan. The tour ends after your visit to Fushimi Inari, and you’ll be dropped-off to your original pickup location in Osaka.

From Osaka: Kyoto Top Highlights Day Trip

9. From Osaka: Kyoto Top Highlights Day Trip

Visit some of Kyoto's most famous cultural sites on this day-long bus tour from Osaka. Hop aboard a comfortable coach and drive to Japan's ancient capital to see the brilliant torii gates of the Fushimi Inari Shrine, the UNESCO-listed Kiyomizu-dera temple, and the golden pavilion of Kinkaku-ji. Kyoto is filled with ancient historic sites dating back to the 6th century. Get dropped off first at the Fushimi Inari Shrine, a Shinto shrine famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates. Spend time wandering the brilliant paths before heading to your next destination. Arrive at Kiyomizu-dera, one of the most iconic temples in Japan. Take ample time to wander through the temple. Walk across the impressive wooden stage, which juts out from the hillside and was constructed without the use of a single nail. Next, stop at Kinkaku-ji, also known as the Golden Pavilion due to the fact that it's covered in gold leaf. Wander through the immaculate gardens surrounding the temple, admiring the original Japanese designs that have been preserved since Ashikaga's time. Finish the day in Arashiyama, which has been a popular nature-viewing destination since the Heian Period. Take a stroll through the cool Sagano Bamboo Forest and listen to the distinct rustle of bamboo leaves as you walk. In the late afternoon, hop on the bus back to Osaka.

Osaka: Highlights & Hidden Gems Private Walking Tour

10. 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.

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What people are saying about Osaka

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 269 reviews

Andy was a terrific guide!! Incredibly personable. I was actually staying nearby the spots he took us on and he truly did take us to hidden locations I never would have sought out on my own. He gave some history and pointed out some interesting facts about the area. We even got to play some of the games at the shops in the area. I traveled to Osaka alone so this was a nice chance to be social! PS it is A LOT of food so come hungry!

This was such an incredibly insightful, unique experience of Osaka. I would particularly recommend this for well travelled people who understand that there other layers to every city. Andy is informative, engaging and is a natural story teller. His humor & wit add to this well rounded tour. I recommend going to the dinner after as we continued the fun with delicious food. Thank you

The tour with Luca was great! The food was delicious and loved the stories about the lacal food and the neighbourhood. I can really recommend this tour to everybody of every age. Make sure you don't eat too much before the tour because you will get a lot of food during the tour!

This was a fantastic night food tour with Andy, our tour guide. He took me to some super local places and described each delicious dish in great detail.

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