Guided tour

Osaka: Deep Backstreets Exploration

Activity provider: Backstreet Osaka Tours

Osaka: Deep Backstreets Exploration

Activity provider: Backstreet Osaka Tours

From US$ 61.64 per person

Explore the non-tourist areas of Osaka, where the veil of "perfect Japan" will be lifted. Get an unfiltered understanding of how the city really functions in the abandoned buildings area, retro zone, alleys, redlight district, gambling dens, and more.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details.
Duration 3 - 3.5 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide
Wheelchair accessible


  • Venture into the intriguing abandoned buildings area with a controversial past
  • Hear historic facts and anecdotes from this gritty region completely unknown to tourists
  • Visit the unique, traditional Taisho-Era, incredibly-preserved historical red light district
  • Eat delicious, local side dishes in back-alley stalls full of character
  • Discuss taboo topics and get a deeper understanding of how Osaka operates
Full description
Begin by getting a feel for retro Osaka. Be transported back in time to a Japan barely recognizable. Jump into retro video game parlors, old-fashioned markets, and more. See how the locals entertain and are entertained by night, from games unique to Japan, to crazy fishing restaurants, to a peek in an Osakan theater. Your next stop will be within some of the most amazing back alleys you'll ever see. Interact with your surroundings, feeling the profound energy and history of the area. Sample 2 delicious side dishes from two different stalls here. A stone's throw and you're within an area filled with untouched, abandoned properties, which provides a truly surreal experience in the middle of the city. Afterwards, you'll have the option to walk through the red light district, or to skip it and go on a separate path.  This Taisho-Era red light district is incredibly preserved from that period, and consists of UNESCO-listed buildings important to Osakan culture. Finally, you'll have the option to eat a full dinner at a tasty, tradition restaurant after the tour has ended.  This tour is not necessarily recommended for all; if you are intrepid, well traveled, and seeking glimpse into an unfiltered, honest side of Osaka, it is a good choice for you. Note that this tour exposes the good, the bad, and everything in between. It includes taboo topics as well, which are very important in forming a complete picture of Japan and its people, such as Yakuza, sexism, war, illegal gambling, sex work, illicit businesses, pachinko, homelessness, welfare, and more. Note also that this tour will not go through the homeless district. Your guides are always respectful should people who are homeless also be traveling the same route as the tour.
  • Visits to two stalls for two side dishes
  • Dinner after the tour (if option selected)
  • Professional tour guide
  • Drinks
  • Hotel pickup
Not suitable for
  • Children under 16 years
  • Pregnant women
  • People with mobility impairments

Select participants and date



Meeting point

Meeting point may vary depending on the option booked.

Important information

What to bring

  • Comfortable shoes

Not allowed

  • High-heeled shoes

Know before you go

  •  Being on time is very important in Japan. There is no chance of catching up on this tour if you are late as the group will enter winding alleys and it will be impossible to find them. You are guaranteed an incredible, unique, one-of-a-kind experience — all you have to do is be on time.
Customer reviews

Overall rating

5 /5

based on 18 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Value for money
  • Service

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Kevin was an excellent guide! He was well-versed with the culture and lifestyles of the Japanese and shared great insights about them. Even though we've been through the gambling dens and red light district before, the tour gave us a deeper understanding of its existence and the lifestyles of the Japanese. We enjoyed the tour very much!!

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December 28, 2022

It was indeed an eye opening and unforgettable tour into parts of Osaka that I would otherwise had not ventured out to. My guide Jamie‘s interesting narratives peppered throughout the tour made it that much more meaningful and memorable. Would highly recommend this tour for a unique, off the beaten track experience of Osaka.

November 26, 2022

This was an astonishing eye opener of a tour! Our tour guide led us down the most local of all places. So authentic and the chatter about each zone was just so interesting. If you want a tour that gets off the beaten path and that discovers the real Osaka (along with its taboos) then this is a perfect. You have to be an open minded person too.

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October 9, 2022

Product ID: 365285