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Osaka Prefecture

Culture & History

Our most recommended Osaka Prefecture Culture & History

Nara: Big Buddha, Bambi and Backstreets Cultural Tour

1. Nara: Big Buddha, Bambi and Backstreets Cultural Tour

Accompanied by your tour guide, head straight to one of Nara’s top historical sites and one of the largest wooden buildings in the world, the Todaiji temple. Its famous centerpiece is the 15-meter bronze statue of the Great Buddha, Vairocana. On our way, you will be greeted by the friendly deer of Nara. The deer are divine protectors of the ancient capital living in perfect harmony with the locals. Next stop is the second of the seven great temples of Nara, Kofukuji. Make a brief stop at the Sarusawa pond, well known for its turtles and the pretty scenery surrounding it; this is considered a perfect spot for a romantic evening walk in Nara. Move forward into the quiet alleys and backstreets of Nara-machi, the well-preserved former merchant's district, where you will be able to see and experience unique traditional arts and crafts. As the best way to experience a city is through its food, you will get the chance to test some of our favorite local delights. The last stop of your journey will take you to a shopping street, where you can find colorful and diverse shops, perfect for souvenir hunting.  Both the JR Nara station and the Kintetsu station are within comfortable walking distance from the finishing point of the tour. Your guide will be happy to help you with directions to your hotel or to provide a restaurant recommendation for lunch. Do not forget to ask for more hints and tips on what else there is to do in Nara during your time here. 

Osaka: Main Sights and Hidden Spots Guided Walking Tour

2. Osaka: Main Sights and Hidden Spots Guided Walking Tour

Osaka is known for great food, quirky characters and an urban history much longer than Tokyo's. Get under the skin of this unique city on this guided walking tour with a professional English-speaking guide.  Start off with a visit to Osaka Castle Park. You won't go inside the castle, but will get to admire the grand and imposing exterior, and will stroll around the surrounding park.  Here you'll learn about the history of Osaka and how it was almost robbed from the Japanese 400 years ago.  A quick train ride takes you to Tsuruhashi, to explore the maze of Korea Town. Explore the narrow streets and alleys of this pre-war commercial district.  Another quick journey by public transport will take you to modern Harukas building. Enjoy the view from one of the high floors, then head underground to explore the food hall of the department store underneath. See high quality products for sale like killer puffer fish and Kobe beef, amongst others.  Not far from Harukas is the traditional district of Shin-sekai. See the slightly crumbling local highlights, perfectly frozen in time.  Next, head to Namba, considered to be the center of Osaka's present-day shopping, dining, and entertainment culture. Visit Dotonbori, Osaka’s version of Times Square in New York, and explore the quirky back streets with their own individuality and surprises in store. You’ll visit Kuromon Ichiba, a fresh fish market that's played a pivotal role for more than 150 years.  Finally, explore Doguyasuji, a kitchen and cooking district. Look around at the wax food models, Japanese "noren" (curtains that hang at kitchen entrances) and giant pottery pieces. 

Osaka: LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Admission Ticket

3. Osaka: LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Admission Ticket

Arrive at the LEGOLAND® Discovery Center and marvel at the incredible number of attractions visitors can enjoy with their families. Tour the LEGO® brick factory, attend a LEGO class to learn how to make special LEGO® creations, witness an enormous diorama of the city of Osaka created using LEGO® bricks, and explore the Duplo® playground where smaller children can play safely. Experience a variety of games that stimulate the imagination including a 4D Cinema with special-effects that will make you jump out of your skin in surprise, and the shooting ride “Kingdom Quest” to rescue the captured princess. Japan’s first LEGO® VR Attraction “The Great LEGO® Race” is a virtual reality experience where you are invited to buckle up and go for a ride inside the most incredible, exhilarating, and fun LEGO® race ever created. Immerse yourselves in a LEGO® world racing brick-built vehicles in the hopes of becoming the next Champion. Please note, adults can not enter without a child. Adults (aged 16 and over) must be accompanied by a child (aged 15 and under) in order to enter.

Kyoto: Arashiyama Customized Rickshaw Tour & Bamboo Forest

4. Kyoto: Arashiyama Customized Rickshaw Tour & Bamboo Forest

Your guide and chariot await at Kyoto’s iconic Togetsu-kyo bridge in Arashiyama, a nationally designated historic site and place of scenic beauty on Kyoto’s western fringe. Be amazed by the district’s main attraction, a towering grove of thick bamboo stalks with a pedestrian and rickshaw path cutting through it. Seeing its beauty, you’ll understand why the Japanese have a fond appreciation for nature. Admire the scenery, which is a blend of serene nature, tended gardens, and dazzling shrines, as your rickshaw driver pulls you up the mountain. Next you’ll see the beautiful Nonomiya Shrine, a Shinto site. If you’ve chosen the 45-minute tour, at this point you’ll end back at the starting point. But if you choose a longer tour, up to 3 hours and 10 minutes, you’ll continue through more of Arashiyama’s wealth of sites. Explore Rakushisya’s cottage, a rustic thatch-roof cottage that was once the home of one of Japan’s revered poets and haiku masters. Those continuing on will be pulled to spots not seen by many tourists. Explore more ancient temples, including Shinto shrines and the Buddhist Nison-in, as your guide whisks you through some amazing places before returning to Togetsu-kyo bridge. The Kyoto Arashiyama Tour is available in four different options: 45 minutes, 1 hour and 10 minutes, 2 hours and 10 minutes, and 3 hours and 10 minutes.

From Osaka : Private Full-day Tour to Kyoto

5. 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 Food Tour (10 Delicious Dishes at 5 Hidden Eateries)

6. Osaka Food Tour (10 Delicious Dishes at 5 Hidden Eateries)

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.

Osaka: Full-Day Private Guided Walking Tour

7. Osaka: Full-Day Private Guided Walking Tour

Enjoy an exciting full-day walking tour of Osaka accompanied by a guide and explore Japan's second-largest city. See the modern and traditional sides of this colorful, dynamic metropolis. Start your day meeting your guide at your hotel, and embark on your customized tour. See Osaka Castle, rebuilt after being destroyed in the sieges of the 17th century. Stroll through Kuromon Ichiba Market amid the booming voices of Osaka merchants. Snack on various local foods. Have lunch in the traditional working class Shinsekai area. Choose your must-see spots, create your own itinerary, and enjoy your own unique Osaka experience. Learn all about your favorite spots from your knowledgeable guide.

From Tokyo: Day Trip to Coastal Kamakura

8. From Tokyo: Day Trip to Coastal Kamakura

Meet your guide in Tokyo and take the train to the laid-back beach town of Kamakura. Just an hour south of Tokyo, this beach-side town offers ample opportunity to learn more about Japan’s heritage and feudal history. 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. Follow your guide as you navigate through the intricate architecture of the area, past flame-colored torii gates marking entrances to shrines, and magnificent Buddhist temples. See the most notable attractions, including the spectacular Great Buddha and Hokokuji Bamboo Forest. Kamakura was the ancient feudal capital of Japan and had a vital role in spreading Buddhism across the country. The crown jewel of the town is the Amida Buddha at Kotoku-in, forged from bronze. See the modern side of the town by heading over to the local surf shacks and eyeing up the waves. Finish your day with a hike up to the peaceful local forest.

Welcome to Osaka: Private Tour with a Local Host

9. 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.

Welcome to Kyoto: Private Walking Tour with a Local

10. Welcome to Kyoto: Private Walking Tour with a Local

Transform the way you travel and make it as much about the people you meet as the places you see. Get a welcome to Kyoto from a local host eager to share all the tips and tricks to help you make the most of your stay. Meet at your hotel or accommodation and get familiar with your local neighborhood. Learn about the best places to eat, buy groceries and the easiest ways to get around. Alternatively, arrange to meet at a central landmark or intersection to start your walking tour. Hear about the top things to do, customized to your interests. By the end of the tour, you will feel more comfortable navigating the city on your own with all the information you need.

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What people are saying about Osaka Prefecture

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 596 reviews

Andy was a terrific guide!! Incredibly personable. I was actually staying nearby the spots he took us on and he truly did take us to hidden locations I never would have sought out on my own. He gave some history and pointed out some interesting facts about the area. We even got to play some of the games at the shops in the area. I traveled to Osaka alone so this was a nice chance to be social! PS it is A LOT of food so come hungry!

This was such an incredibly insightful, unique experience of Osaka. I would particularly recommend this for well travelled people who understand that there other layers to every city. Andy is informative, engaging and is a natural story teller. His humor & wit add to this well rounded tour. I recommend going to the dinner after as we continued the fun with delicious food. Thank you

This was a fantastic night food tour with Andy, our tour guide. He took me to some super local places and described each delicious dish in great detail.

A great day at the Japanese seaside with Patrick. Temples, shrines, local food and Black Kites behaving like Seaguls. Amazing.

The game in Osaka was an amazing experience to do with kids. We enjoyed it a lot.