Add dates

Osaka Culture & history

Our most recommended Osaka Culture & history

Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Bus Tour from Osaka/Kyoto

1. Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Bus Tour from Osaka/Kyoto

Depart from the exclusive VIP waiting rooms of Osaka or Kyoto, heading to Fushimi Inari Taisha. Designated as an Important Cultural Property, the main shrine building contains five shrines together, these five pillars of Fushimi Inari Taisha are named for the great virtues of Inari Okami that they embody. Inari Okami is known as a deity of business prosperity, the prosperity of industries, the safety of households, safety in traffic and improvement in the performing arts. The 'Senbon Torii' or 1000 torii gates are donations by individuals and companies, and you will find the donator's name and the date of the donation inscribed on the back of each gate. Then you will head to Arashiyama, which changes with the seasons and you can enjoy the scenery any time of year, with cherry blossoms in the spring, boat festivals in the Summer, red leaves in Autumn and snow white mountains in the winter. Arashiyama is also filled with temples and shrines including the match-making Shrine you can visit, during your walk through the famed Bamboo grove. There are a variety of restaurants to choose right near the Togetsukyo bridge, including vegan and Halal. Proceed to the symbol of Kyoto, Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavilion, also named Rakuon-ji: one of the most popular buildings in Japan. Finally, move on to Japan’s old capital, Nara: you will have the time to explore its park, cuddle the worldwide famous deer and enter the biggest wooden building of the planet, Todai-ji Temple, another UNESCO world heritage site. Here you will find yourself in front of Japan’s biggest Buddha statue, 15 meters tall.

From Osaka: Kyoto Top Highlights Day Trip

2. 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.

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: Full-Day Sightseeing Tour by Private Vehicle

4. 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.

From Osaka: Kyoto Sightseeing Day Trip and Scenic Train Ride

5. 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: Himeji Castle and Arima Onsen Private Tour

6. From Osaka: Himeji Castle and Arima Onsen Private Tour

Venture out from Osaka on day trip that gives you history, relaxation, and fun, all with the comfort and luxury of a private vehicle, tour guide, and door-to-door transportation. Customize your itinerary to your preferences and discover the gems of the Kansai region. Discover the mysteries of Himeji Castle, a feat of engineering and one of Japan's most elegant castles still standing today. Let your English-speaking guide take you into the castle buildings, providing you with stories and facts that make for a much richer experience than could be obtained on your own. Learn what rooms were used for what, all about defensive strategies, the role of concubines, and of course how the castle was designed to thwart invasion. Leave Himeji Castle and take a lunch break before heading off to Arima Onsen or central Kobe for some afternoon sights and relaxation. Feel restored by the therapeutic, mineral rich waters of Arima Onsen as others have done for over 1,300 years. Sense how your mind becomes more at ease and your skin smoother after the experience. Then, take a lovely stroll around the town, with shops and food vendors pleasantly scattered about. For those not quite so interested in hot springs, opt instead to explore the coastal areas of Kobe City at no additional cost. Choose from a number of local highlights according to your interests, including a well-known sake (Japanese rice wine) producer, where you can learn how the product is made and get some free samples. See the Western-style area of Kyu Kyoryuchi with its well-preserved houses dating back to the late 1800s.

From Osaka: Day Trip to Amanohashidate and Scenic Ine Bay

7. From Osaka: Day Trip to Amanohashidate and Scenic Ine Bay

Experience the beauty of "Kyoto by the Sea" on a scenic bus tour from Osaka. Feel the beauty of Amanohashidate and Ine Funaya, a traditional fisherman's village. Enjoy the tranquility of Ine Bay and Tangohanto Island on a 25-minute ferry ride. Feel the pleasure of feeding the seagulls from the second deck and enjoy the breathtaking view of Aoshima, where gods are said to dwell. En route, stop at Kasamatsu Park, where the breathtaking view of the "Shoryukan" or "Rising Dragon" awaits you. Discover the magic of Mata Nozoki Post, where you can see Amanohashidate look like a rising dragon from between your legs. Enjoy the unique wonders of Kyoto by the Sea for a truly unforgettable experience.

From Tokyo: Mount Fuji, Osaki & Kyoto 4-day Guided Tour

8. From Tokyo: Mount Fuji, Osaki & Kyoto 4-day Guided Tour

Start in Tokyo and visit Mt Fuji 5th station. Admire the clear waters of Lake Kawaguchi. See the historic Matsumoto Castle. Bathe your feet in the warm foot baths of Gifu. Amaze yourself at the mountain village of Shirakawa-go. Explore the shrines and temples of Kyoto. Shop on the streets of Osaka. Begin your tour with a hotel pickup. Go to Mt Fuji 5th station, weather permitting. Visit Arakurayama Sengen Park to see the Arakura Sengen Shrine, a pagoda built as a peace memorial. Continue to the eight ponds in a small village at Oshino Hakkai. Eat dinner and sleep at your hotel in Isawa-Onsen. Start day 2 with breakfast before you explore Lake Kawaguchi, the second largest of the Fuji Five Lakes. Go inside Matsumoto Castle, one of Japan's top historic castles. Continue to Okuhida Hot Springs before you visit Hirayu Folk Museum. Experience the foot baths at Hirayu Onsen Ashiyu Park. Transfer to Takayama after lunch. Eat dinner and sleep in your hotel. Wake up on day 3 to enjoy breakfast. Go to the Miyagawa Morning Market and see the local snacks, vegetables, and flowers on sale. View the old preserved streets at Takayama Sanmachi Historic District. Head to Shirakawa-go Village, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Admire the gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are 250 years old, as you soak up the tranquility by the mountains. Eat lunch and then depart for Osaka city. Arrive at the city and eat dinner. Check in to your hotel. Start day 4 with breakfast and then stop at either Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto's oldest temple, or Kinkakuji Golden Pavilion, a Zen Buddhist temple famous for its gold leaf top floors. Fill yourself up with lunch and head to Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto's most famous tourist attraction. Appreciate the red vermilion torii gates which make this Shinto shrine famous. Return to Osaka and visit the business and shopping district at Dotonbori Shopping Street. Enjoy dinner and return to your hotel.

Osaka: Hotspots and Hidden Gems Kickstart Private Tour

9. Osaka: Hotspots and Hidden Gems Kickstart Private Tour

You will get an insightful understanding of everyday Japanese customs, including topics that other local guides may not be comfortable letting visitors know about, so please ask me any questions (im half Japanese, half Australian....biracial, so more open-minded haha) First you'll slip through the non-touristy hidden maze of bar/restaurant zones in central Osaka, and even get a short glimpse of a Yakuza clubhouse (it’s safe and we’ll just walk past it). After check out the traditional Kuromon Ichiba Market seafood market where top chefs continue to shop at everyday. We’ll contrast that by ducking into quiet cobblestoned back alleys to uncover a mystic temple and its centuries-old unique history, while passing boutique eateries and hidden shops. Be prepared for a sensory overload as we navigate wacky larger-than-life billboards highlighting modern Japanese culture. You’ll get to hear plenty of interesting stories about Osaka while we amble down the central downtown Dotonbori river....and get some fantastic photo opportunities. The America town further down the road provides a curious insight of what Japanese people think what America is hahaha. The retro town of Shinsekai is just as intriguing with its mix of crazy fishing restaurants to its ancient Japanese gaming palors...it provides a lot of nostalgia! You’ll be dazzled by the retrograde neon all over the city and the exciting nightlife that Osaka is so famous for. This tour is known for exposing the contrasting faces of Osaka! Note: You will go to all the above places mentioned on the 3hr tour Note: On the 4hr tour we will visit all of the above plus 3 extra places: a knife shop (a private demonstation given), go down a plethora of off the beaten paths full of authentic restaurant alleys, full coverage of the Dotonbori River area with more of a deeper insight to Osaka local life. Note: Osaka Castle will only be visited on the 5hr tour (as it take over an 1hr to view this 15 acre land that Osaka Castle is built on. I hope my tour is more than memorable!:)

  • Entry tickets
  • Day trips
  • Private tours
  • Multi-day trips
  • Other experiences
  • Workshops & classes
12 activities found
Sort by:

Frequently asked questions about Osaka

What top attractions are a must-see in Osaka?

The must-see attractions in Osaka are:

What are the best day trips and excursions from Osaka?

The best day trips and excursions from Osaka are:

Kyoto

Other Sightseeing Options in Osaka

Want to discover all there is to do in Osaka? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Osaka

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 269 reviews

Great experience to. Explore every things new in city tour of Osaka had a dream city tour with my guide & cover almost each & every sport in day tour from 9 am till 5.30 pm evening .

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

This four days very good. Only set back is Mount Fuji go till first Station...

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

Great Tour with an awesome Tour Guide! Highly recommended!