Osaka Prefecture Culinary & nightlife

Our most recommended Osaka Prefecture Culinary & nightlife

Osaka: Daytime Cherry Blossom and Food Tour

1. 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.

Osaka: Shinsekai Food Tour

2. 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.

Nara - Craft Beer, Sake, and Food Walking Tour

3. 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!

Kyoto: Nishiki Market and Gion Cultural Walking Food Tour

4. Kyoto: Nishiki Market and Gion Cultural Walking Food Tour

Start at the vast 400-year-old Nishiki Market, nicknamed 'Kyoto's Kitchen,' where over 130 food shops and stalls will beckon your taste buds. Stroll through the Market and learn about its history and taste the various dishes unique to Kyoto including: Tofu Skin, Sesame Cracker, Japanese Pike Conger Eel, Sake, and etc. Then, rest your appetite by visiting a nearby shrine dedicated to the God of Education. Head for Pontocho Street by crossing through Teramachi Street, Shijo Street, and Kiyamachi Street- all of which will enable you to immerse yourself in modern Japanese culture. Pontocho street is very special, even for locals, because it is one out of the five Geisha districts in Kyoto. From here, you will walk across the majestic Kamo river and taste local sweets. The final section of the tour will lead you to Gion district (which is also another Geisha district). The guide will take you out of mainstream hustle and bustle of the crowded streets and into the more photogenic and hidden spots. Not only will you be educated about the Geisha tradition, you may even meet one. The tour finishes in Gion District on Shijo Street. From the finishing point, you can easily access Kiyomizudera which is most famous temple in Kyoto known for its stage with a great view.

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.

Kyoto: Arashiyama Bamboo Forest Walking Food Tour

6. 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 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. After walking, taste Japanese croquette, leek pancakes, and sweet potato. 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.

Kobe: Eat Like a Local Private & Personalized Food Tour

7. Kobe: Eat Like a Local Private & Personalized Food Tour

Spend the day with a local host and discover the true nature of Kobe and its staggering food scene. Within 24 hours after booking, receive a short questionnaire about your personality and interests. Based on your responses, you'll be assigned a like-minded host who will communicate with you directly to suggest an itinerary to show you what makes the city unique. 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 itinerary is flexible, so during the experience, you can always change your mind about what you want to do. Discover one of Kobe's eclectic neighborhoods, exploring the thriving Kobe Motomachi Shopping Street and indulge in authentic cuisine while soaking up the vibe in Nankinmachi, Kobe’s Chinatown. Scale the Kobe Port Tower, where you can see the city's sweeping skyline highlighted by the neon, which casts its colors across Kobe. Or take a trip to Mount Rokko Garden Terrace, where you can breathe in the fresh alpine air, sit down for lunch in the terraced garden and enjoy magnificent sunset views of the city from the observatory deck. Discover hidden gems along the way, like the smaller shrines and historic streets that many visitors miss - but not you! Heads up - there are tons of weird, wacky and fun places hidden between the hotspots on your hit list that your host can’t wait to share with you. The only thing you have to do is tell your host what you want to do and see. That could mean strolling along the Maiko Marine Promenade on a sunny day, or crossing the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge - just be sure to look down as the floors are made of glass. You could amble up (or take a cable car) to the top of Mount Rokko, visit the Kobe Maritime Museum, or explore Chinatown, where you’ll find all manner of unusual delicacies to try!

Deep Backstreet Osaka Tours (With Dinner Option)

8. Deep Backstreet Osaka Tours (With Dinner Option)

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: 2-Hour Gion Geisha District Tour

9. 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: 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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What people are saying about Osaka Prefecture

Andy was such a good tour guide! He showed us the spots where no tourist usually goes to. On top, he gave us interesting side facts about Osaka and Japan. The food was delicious and varied a lot. Besides that, the group dymanic was great. I definitely recommend the tour and especially Andy! The only thing I could complain about is that we did not get the gift chopsticks that are mentioned in the Get your Guide description. Nonetheless, I give 10/10.

The tour was excellent. It was pleasant and very informative that, time (5 hours) flew by so fast. Andrew was right on time. He is amazingly knowledgeable, well mannered and cultured. The tour was relaxed yet professional. I would strongly recommend this company and will likely use them again.

There was a wide variety of cuisine on this tour. I was able to enjoy gyoza, beef esophagus, tofu, and more. The tour guide was excellent and very knowledgeable. He also included fun little trivia quizzes for our group. I think we all had an excellent time.

This was such a cool tour! We really saw everything of Osaka that tourists never see. It was a true behind the scenes experience. The guide has so much information to share and was very nice. He was happy to answer all of our questions.

An excellent tour, Luca is a knowlagable and informative guide, would reccomend to anyone visiting Osaka to get both views of Japanise life.