Osaka
History & Heritage

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Our most recommended Osaka History & Heritage

Osaka: Eat Like a Local Street Food Tour

1. 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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Welcome to Osaka: Private Tour with a Local Host

2. 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.

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From Osaka: Kyoto Top Highlights Day Trip

3. 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.

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Osaka: Nightlife Experience

4. Osaka: Nightlife Experience

Osaka comes alive at night and the locals know how to party. To experience the best of the city’s night time personality and discover how the locals really go out, join a like-minded host who will show that no matter what night of the week, the city will be alive and kicking 24 hours a day. 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. Your host will choose an area of the city to explore that suits your tastes and personality. You can discover the famous entertainment districts like Namba or Umeda, the foodie district of Dotonburi, or get lost in the mazes of tiny streets in a more off the beaten track neighborhood.  Spend the evening like a true local and bar hop your way around the city in style, stopping by izakaya and tachinomiya and enjoying a beer from a konbini as the locals do. At izakaya, share delicious small plates of yakitori, gyoza, and other classic pub snacks. Join the local office workers as they sip sake or beer at a tachinomiya, which is a unique type of standing bar.  It might sound odd, but it’s legal to drink in public so for a truly local experience head to a konbini (a convenience store) and grab a cheap beer. Enjoy it as you are dazzled by the neon lights of the vibrant entertainment districts or in Triangle Park in Amemura. Then, it is time for karaoke. Sing your heart out in a karaoke bar or box, where you can hire your own room until the sun comes up or until you are in need of a steaming bowl of ramen. Join the locals queuing at 5:00 AM for a bowl of ramen before the public transport starts again.

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Osaka: Private Discovery Tour with a Local

5. Osaka: Private Discovery Tour with a Local

Orientate yourself and check out a few of the most famous attractions in Osaka with your personal guide. 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. Let a local kick-start your trip by showing you the highlights and giving you a priceless insight into city life, from advice about cultural practices to the best spots to eat authentic local food. Explore Osaka like a local and make the most of your time in Osaka from the start. Follow the unique route which your local host has designed specifically for you, either by walking or using public transport so you can get familiar with how to move around the city. Learn about the city’s cultural practices, heritage, culture and cuisine as you explore the city together, perhaps stopping to try some authentic local street food or visiting a shrine. Your local will give your trip the best possible start, helping you to make the most of your time in Osaka.

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Osaka: All-Inclusive Night Foodie Cultural Extravaganza

6. 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.

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Osaka: Soul of Kansai Tour with Japanese Snacks

7. Osaka: Soul of Kansai Tour with Japanese Snacks

Start your tour of Osaka outside Nipponbashi Station, and then venture into the Kuromon Ichiba Market. Walk along a street with over 500 meters of stalls selling fresh meat, fish and vegetables. Experience downtown Osaka’s lively market culture up close, enhanced by rich aromas and the boisterous Kansai-ben (Osaka dialect) of the locals.  Move on to Doguyasuji to see the infinite array of Japanese cooking utensils. Take a look at the ubiquitous "fake food" selection, and then saunter over to Dobutsuenmae Station to walk to Shinsekai. Enter the true heart of Osaka in Shinsekai (literally meaning "New World"), created as an amusement area in 1912 and modeled on New York City. Complete with a viewing tower and the now infamous Luna Theme Park, Shinsekai represented Japan’s ambitious move toward the future. The area is still home to the ghosts of those ambitions over 100 years later, caught between the hum of neon lights and the gentle swaying of traditional paper lanterns. Discover a traditional Sento (Japanese bath) and a newer Supersento - a stalwart of everyday life in Japan. Sample the much-loved Shinsekai kushi-katsu (deep fried or basted meat and vegetable skewers), and pass the atmospheric and traditional izakaya (Japanese-style pubs) en route to Dotonbori. Dotonbori is easily the most famous site in Osaka, complete with a long canal flanked with shimmering shops and restaurants, a well-known running man and a giant mechanical crab. The subject of postcards and tourist photos alike, the area is home to endless clusters of restaurants, street vendors, bars and pubs. Try some of Osaka’s most famous food with a serving of takoyaki (fried batter balls containing octopus legs). Stroll along the canal, passing neon signs and the billowing steam of Osaka’s liveliest restaurants.

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Osaka: Bespoke Family Friendly City Tour

8. Osaka: Bespoke Family Friendly City Tour

Meet your local host who will help to take the pressure off planning and navigating, so you can make the most of your time together as a family. 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. Your host will suggest things to do based on your family's personality and interests, creating a customized experience of the sights you'd most to see, hidden gems, exciting museums, and attractions that you'd struggle to find in a guidebook. See famous attractions like Osaka Castle, hands-on museums like the Science Museum, and family-friendly neighborhoods packed with delicious local eateries. Discover restaurants that everyone will enjoy - fussy eaters included - or get adventurous and try the local street food with your host by your side to recommend dishes based upon your family's tastes and any dietary requirements. At the end of the experience, your host can drop you off at one of the main kid's attractions like the fabulous Kids Plaza interactive museum so you can continue having fun for the rest of the afternoon.

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Osaka: Highlights & Hidden Gems Private Walking Tour

9. 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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Osaka: Local Foodie Tour in Dotonbori and Shinsekai

10. Osaka: Local Foodie Tour in Dotonbori and Shinsekai

Discover 2 of Osaka's most interesting neighborhoods, Dotonbori and Shinsekai, with a local guide. Soak up the incredible engergy of the city and immerse yourself in its gastronomic culture as you visit the best local food haunts. Get the chance to sample 8 of Osaka's local delicacies, from okonomiyaki, which is a type of savory pancake, to kushikatsu and takoyaki, a delicious traditional Japanese appetizer. During the tour, visit popular tourist attractions as well as off-the-beaten-track local fooderies as you learn about Osaka's development. Witness the striking contrasts between modern and traditional architecture as you make your way between unchanged, traditional building and modern developments.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Osaka

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What people are saying about Osaka

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 269 reviews

The experience was good. Mariko our guide was very kind. This trip was a good way to spend one day in Kyoto without having to worry about logistics. I wish though that some areas we would have more time but it's understandable given the time we've received as it's about 40-50 minutes between each site. Overall, I'm glad we did this tour. It made everything so much easier.

Our guide, Haruhi, was very knowledgeable, conversational, and fun! We really enjoyed seeing the large variety of foods that are sold in Osaka, and hearing the tradition behind them as explained by our guide. Kuromon market is a must go. Also really loved the yakisoba!

The tour was one of a kind! We enjoyed all the food we were able to try and local areas we would not have ventured on our own. Highly recommend!

Great food in locations I wouldn't have ventured into by myself. Met some very interesting characters. Learned about the culture. A great time!

excellent tour, and excellent guide. 100% recommend