Misty Fujii is a Canadian who moved to Osaka, Japan in 2019 and married her Japanese sweetheart. In 2022 they had a baby and moved to Fukui for the clean country air. She is a DJ who teaches English part time and writes in order to share Japan with the world. She gets excited about collecting vintage vinyl records, food of all countries, travelling and renovating her traditional Japanese house.
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There are countless reasons to visit Osaka, the food capital of Japan! With a unique vibe, Osaka is a creative and happening cultural hub. It’s easy to feel at home here surrounded by friendly locals, exciting nightlife, and delicious street food. There is also plenty of history to be found with temples, shrines, and one of Japan’s most beautiful castles. There is so much to see and do in Japan’s third-biggest city that trying to narrow down the must-sees for your itinerary can be a lot of work. To take some stress out of all the planning, a guided tour can be the perfect way to explore this bustling city – check out some of our favorites here!
1. Osaka Highlights Private Walking Tour
With so much to see and do in Osaka, a great place to begin is a private walking tour to visit some of the city’s highlights. You’ll be able to spend a whole day sightseeing and eating your way through this busy metropolis.
This tour kicks off in Kyoto or Osaka – depending on where you’re staying – where your guide will pick you up at your hotel and accompany you to downtown Osaka. From there, you’ll start at one of the most famous landmarks, Osaka Castle. First built in the 1580s, the castle was once the largest in the country and the residence of general Toyotomi Hideyoshi. On this tour you’ll learn all about him, the castle’s history, and the beautiful gardens and moats surrounding it.
Next, it’s time for lunch at the heart of Osaka’s famous food culture, the Kuromon Ichiba Market. This lively market is popular with locals for their kitchen supplies and seafood. There are around 150 stores and more than 25 eateries where you can taste delicious fresh food. You’ll eat your way through the market until you reach Dotonbori, renowned for its bright neon lights and billboards, including the famous Glico Man sign. You’ll also peek at the more hidden Hozenjiyokocho backstreet, home to eateries and a small temple. You’ll be taken back in time as you experience this slightly quieter part of Osaka, and you might encounter some of the local cats who like to hang out around here.
For a final stop, jump into the future by heading to the innovative and eye-catching Umeda Sky Building. You can view Osaka from above at the circular Floating Garden Observatory, 173 meters above ground level. You’ll feel like the star of a science fiction movie when you ride on one of the highest elevators in the world to see one of its most unique high-rise buildings. Finally, your guide will take you to Osaka Station from where you can easily go back to your hotel or continue exploring.
2. Deep Backstreet Osaka Tour
If you’re more interested in venturing off the beaten path, you’ll want to take a backstreet tour that lets you dive deep into the very soul of Osaka. You’ll get to explore with a local guide with a lot of insider knowledge about the city’s history and the areas you’ll be visiting. You’ll venture into a mysterious part of the city, exploring places tourists wouldn’t typically go, including historic neighborhoods like retro-packed Shinsekai, where you’ll be able to see the city’s former ghetto and red light district.
You’ll find yourself wandering down hidden alleyways, exploring abandoned housing zones, and even visiting Osaka’s most important place of worship, a true hidden treasure. Of course, it can only be an insider tour when you get to taste some of Osaka’s soul food from street markets and izakaya. The best part is that this tour starts in the early evening and can extend into the wee hours if you want to continue eating, drinking, or shopping with your guide.
3. Osaka Food Tour
If you’re a foodie who made it to Osaka, you already know you’re in the right place, but where to begin? On this tour, you’ll visit five of the best off-the-beaten-path eateries to feast on ten delicious dishes. The Shinsekai neighborhood is home to some of the most popular spots among locals that remain relatively unknown to tourists, and that’s exactly where this tour takes you.
A few dishes you’ll try include kitsune udon, gyoza, and Osaka’s signature soul food, takoyaki. Takoyaki is a quintessential street snack consisting of ball-shaped morsels made from fluffy batter and full of small pieces of octopus, covered with toppings such as sauces, bonito flakes, green onions and ginger. Paired with some drinks (with or without alcohol), you’ll have a full belly and feel like a true Osaka-an by the time this tour concludes.
4. Osaka Bar Hopping Night Walking Tour in Namba
Osaka may be a city full of hardworking people, but when the sun sets, the same people sure know how to party hard, too. Get a head start on a memorable night out with a tour guide who knows how to let loose and show you a good time. You’ll embark on a fantastic night as you venture through the buzzing Namba and Dotonbori districts. Start with a hearty dinner while imbibing on drinks as you’re led to some of the hippest bars and izakaya that most travelers never find. One of the most significant barriers to bar hopping like a local is the language, but your guide will help so that you can experience spots you might not be able to otherwise. Even make a stop at one of Osaka’s off-the-beaten-path temples! You’ll also have plenty of photo ops throughout the night, so you’ll never forget all the fun you’re bound to have.
5. One day in Osaka: Six hour bike adventure
One of Osaka’s most popular transport modes is the always-convenient bicycle. Osaka is one of Japan’s most bicycle-friendly places, so it’s no wonder it’s the top choice for many locals in need of getting from A to B. It’s also a great way to quickly cover a lot of ground, which is why a city tour by bike is highly recommended. You’ll get to explore many of Osaka’s main attractions in a single day with a high-quality bike rental and a knowledgeable guide.
See some of the most beautiful areas like Nakanoshima Park, the river in Kemasakuranomiya Park, and the scenic Mint Museum. You’ll even be able to take pictures at Osaka Castle, visit Japan’s oldest Buddhist temple, learn how to make knives at Tower Knives Osaka, and finish off at the very photogenic Namba Yasaka Shrine, also known as “the Lion’s Shrine”. What makes this shrine so special is the huge, 13-meter tall lion’s head built on its grounds – truly one of Osaka’s most extraordinary places of worship. If you have limited time in Osaka and love cycling, this is the perfect tour to travel through the city like a resident.
Which tour caught your eye? Osaka is best seen from a local’s perspective, so book your favorite tour and let the knowledgeable guides show you everything Osaka has to offer as you feel the pulse of this magnificent city.
Japan Wonder Travel Tours in Osaka
If you are planning on visiting Osaka and need some help organizing your trip, you came to the right place! We would be more than happy to help make your trip the best it possibly could be. We can advise you on where to go, or even better, hook you up with a local English speaking guide that can show you all of the best spots. Let us help you make fun, safe, and unforgettable memories in Osaka!
▶Osaka Highlights Private Walking Tour
On this full-day private tour of Osaka, we will take you to Osaka’s highlights that include Osaka Castle, Kuromon Market, the popular Dotonbori area, etc. Learn about the rich history of the area, local lifestyle, and of course delicious Osaka food!
▶Osaka Tenjinbashi Local Street Walking Tour
Walk around the Tenjinbashi area with an experienced and knowledgeable English speaking guide! You can find all of the local secret hidden gems along the way. This tour also includes some delicious street food and drink.
▶Kyoto Food and Drink Tour @Nishiki Street & Gion
If you’re planning on visiting Kyoto along with Osaka and are looking to learn more about the culture and local cuisine, this is definitely the perfect tour for you! Take part in this fun food and drink tour and explore the 400-year-old market and the famous Gion district.
Find the Other Tours
If you want to make travel easier, we suggest you look into tour packages.There are a wide range of tour packages out there to suit the accomodate for each traveler needs. Click the button below to find the best tour package from various Tour Operators!
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