Osaka Prefecture Culinary & nightlife

Our most recommended Osaka Prefecture Culinary & nightlife

Osaka: Shinsekai Food Tour

1. Osaka: Shinsekai Food Tour

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.

Kyoto: 2-Hour Gion Geisha District Tour

2. Kyoto: 2-Hour Gion Geisha District Tour

Explore Gion, the centuries-old entertainment district of Kyoto, which truly comes alive at night. With your guide, learn about the customs of the geisha and the apprentice maiko. You may catch a glimpse of a few of the women in full costume.  Walk through the narrow streets with the lanterns flickering on the wooden buildings. Enjoy a night visit to a Shinto shrine, with a beautifully lit pagoda. Wander through the grounds of a Zen temple in the tranquil calm of the night. Learn more about the modern history of the entertainment district from your guide.

Osaka: Daytime Cherry Blossom and Food Tour

3. Osaka: Daytime Cherry Blossom and Food Tour

The Hanami spirit during Cherry Blossom season in Osaka is celebrated in many parts of the city but, perhaps the best place to see the blossoms is around the Osaka Castle area. Experience this walking tour of the castle grounds, exploring the gardens and surrounding neighborhood. You'll taste local treats and beverages from festive street stalls, explore the history of the district, and finish up with an amazing Japanese lunch at a delicious Soba restaurant. Sakura season is short, lasting for about one month from the first tiny buds to the finish of the season, with the peak being about two weeks. It is impossible to predict exact dates each year, but this limited-edition tour is offered in the time period which is the most famous for Hanami. Along with your guide, you'll learn about the history of the area as well as the meaning and reason behind the Sakura season. You'll also taste local specialties that are bound to be pleasing to the eye and to the palate. You'll will try local snacks and enjoy a special Hanami seasonal lunch at an amazing Soba restaurant.

Nightlife Osaka Food Tour

4. Nightlife Osaka Food Tour

Start your tour in the the bright and busy Doutonburi area, learn about a Filipino sprinter named Fortunato Catalon who inspired a nation and a company! The lights and sounds of Dotounburi often lead you astray to overly-commercialised restaurants with queues of tourists outside. Instead, take secret alleys toward the hidden areas. Sample Kushikatsu, a local take on Yakitori, and discover a Michelin-rated street food stop for Osaka’s favorite snack – Takoyaki! Head to an Izakaya, or local pub, with seasonal dishes that will intrigue and delight. Enjoy yakitori, sukiyaki, tempura, and a drink. Try a draft beer or Nihonshu (rice wine) with your tasty meal. From there, see a famous building full of hidden unorthodox bars, one after another. Every 5 steps there is a new door with a new adventure to be had. This area gives you the retro, artsy feel of a very hip and unique cluster of bars. Finally, finish off with a tasty local street food dessert! 

Osaka: All-Inclusive Night Foodie Cultural Extravaganza

5. Osaka: All-Inclusive Night Foodie Cultural Extravaganza

Explore Osaka's vibrant food culture far away from the tourist spots. Enjoy a drink or two along the way as you immerse yourself in the city's food scene on this small-group food tour. Meet your guide at Temma Station and start your evening food journey in the districts of Temma and Kyobashi. Visit three different tachinomis, standing dining bars, where you'll be served a variety of local favorites. Get ready to chat with locals as you sample some of the best homemade food paired with a bountiful selection of beverages. Depending on availability and guest preferences, you'll be served dote nikomi (slow-cooked beef), sashimi, various vegetable dished prepared with traditional cooking techniques, kushikatsu (fried food on skewers), and many more. On this evening tour, you'll absorb light lessons about the history and culture of the food and life in Osaka. Enjoy the perks of a small-sized group as your guides reveals great insider tips about this fascinating city. Experience the city through the eyes of a local away from the Japanese dishes that can be found on tourist streets. Finally, if you're interested in trying some tender Kobe-area sourced beef,  select the Kobe beef add-on.

Osaka: Deep Backstreets Exploration

6. Osaka: Deep Backstreets Exploration

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.

Kyoto: Arashiyama Bamboo Forest Walking Food Tour

7. Kyoto: Arashiyama Bamboo Forest Walking Food Tour

Start the tour from the JR Saga Arashiyama station. The Arashiyama district, located west of the Kyoto city center, has long been a scenic leisure spot. Many ancient aristocrats had their villas here 1000 years ago and enjoyed writing literature and poetry. Today, the area is one of the most popular tourist sites in Kyoto.  First, explore the Bamboo Forest and Okochi-sanso in quiet Sagano District, a peaceful neighborhood known for its beautiful maple trees. Then, visit Tenryu-ji temple which was built in 1339 by the Shogun Ashikaga in memory of the Emperor Go-Daigo and was a complex of more than 100 buildings. They were mostly destroyed by fires and civil wars over the years, but the traditional garden remains in its original form, designed by the monk Muso. Enjoy walking in the landscaped garden. During this tour, taste Matcha (japanese green tea), Negiyaki savory pancake, fried fish cake, and dango(japanese sweets). Then, head over to the Togetsukyo bridge which, as the area’s landmark, dates back to the 9th-century and provides a good photo taking spot for visitors today. At the end of this half-day tour, have a nice sweets. If you like, you can enjoy shopping around after the tour because the this tour finished in a district where you can find many souvenirs.

Osaka: Guided Pub Crawl

8. 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.

Nara - Craft Beer, Sake, and Food Walking Tour

9. Nara - Craft Beer, Sake, and Food Walking Tour

Explore the Naramachi district. Attend a mochi-pounding performance and have a mochi freshly made to get the best quality ever. Then, have a taste of the authentic sushis from Nara called "Kaki no Ha Zushi" (A special sushi, rolled in a persimmon fruit leaf). The real fun starts with a Sake distillery, where you will learn a lot about sake, its history, and its manufacturing, all with a delicious tasting session. Then, the next stop will be at a local craft beer microbrewery with a drink included. You will then finish with food, at a ramen restaurant and then a 65 years old traditional sushi restaurant from Nara. What a great way to start the evening!

Osaka: Eat Like a Local Street Food Tour

10. 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.

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What people are saying about Osaka Prefecture

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.

Our family of 4 really enjoyed our evening. Our guide, Andy, was fun, upbeat, and knowledgeable about the food and the area. Each stop was unique from the next. We tried a lot of delicious food and had a great time!

Kevin was truly a phenomenal guide--his Japanese and obvious connections with the locals made each stop along the way a great experience!

awesome service, everything was managed very disciplined. tour guide and driver was very good... thank you for your super service..

Very organized. Maximizing our time to see wonderful sites of Kyoto.