Culinary & Nightlife

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Our most recommended Dotonbori Culinary & Nightlife

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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Osaka: Soul of Kansai Tour with Japanese Snacks

2. 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

3. 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: Local Foodie Tour in Dotonbori and Shinsekai

4. 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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Osaka: 2-Hour Kuromon Market Walking Street Food Tour

5. Osaka: 2-Hour Kuromon Market Walking Street Food Tour

Kuromon Market, also known as the "Kitchen of the Nation,” is one of the most important culinary centers of Japanese culture. Most of the family-owned businesses in the market have been there for decades. Renowned for its bounty of delicious street foods, Kuromon is much beloved by locals. Try authentic local foods, like takoyaki, grilled scallops, grilled yakitori skewers, and much more — your guide will help you sort through the array of food stalls to pick the best that the market has to offer. With the tour including enough food samplings to fill you up, make sure you come hungry. All the while, you’ll pick up insights into authentic Japanese culture as you learn about the fascinating history of the market, as well as Osaka’s contemporary and historical role in the country’s culture. You’ll also get some great tips from your guide about where to buy some souvenirs if you so desire.

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Osaka Bar Hopping Food Tour

6. Osaka Bar Hopping Food Tour

After meeting your local tour guide at exit 15B of Namba station, the guide will take you around a food alley, located near Dotonbori. This narrow alley reminds people of the historic old days of Osaka with Japanese style Izakaya bars lined up in the alley and including a small temple called Hozenji temple. Many locals come to relax and enjoy local food there at night. After walking around the alley, you'll visit the first Izakaya bar that serves various types of Osaka's traditional food such as Kushikatsu (fried skewers). The combination of this local food and drinking local Beer, Sake, and Shochu will definitely pump up your night!  After enjoying delicious fried skewers, you and your local guide will go to the next izakaya bar of the bar hopping tour. At this place you can eat a traditional Japanese food which most tourists don't really know. Osaka is known for their variety of foods because they import from all over the world.  Of course you can grab many more drinks on this nightlife bar tour! The night tour is not over yet! Afterwards you continue the bar hopping night tour by pub crawling through more bars!  Lastly, you will hop on to other bars in an area called Ura-Namba, where hidden traditional and delicious restaurants are located. You go to one of the most unique nightlife food alleys around there. A collection of 20 kinds of Izakaya bars and eateries filled daily full of locals grabbing a bite to eat at night. Have a seat and enjoy your meals and drinks in front of a bar serving small Japanese plates such as Yakitori (chicken skewers) and grilled vegetables. You can also try sushi, takoyaki, Okonomiyaki ( Japanese savory pancake origins from Osaka) or many other kinds of delicious local food from many bars in this food alley. They will deliver the meal right to you!  Before going back to Namba station, you drop by Dotonbori and take memorable photos with friends and the guide you met on this night tour! The atmosphere of Dotonbori is totally different at night compared to the day. At night it is very vivid and unique like the local people who live in Osaka. By the end of this tour, you'll surely get to know how distinctive and special this city really is. After all this city is known amongst travelers as being the nightlife "Party City" of Japan!

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Osaka: Local Food Beyond Dotonbori Small Group Tour

7. Osaka: Local Food Beyond Dotonbori Small Group Tour

Taste the big city, bright lights energy in the famous Dotonbori and Namba districts, then immerse yourself in local food and culture as you explore the areas where the locals play, and visitors almost never do. With dinner and drinks included and a group size of no more than six, it's going to be more like a night out with friends than one of those assembly line-style tours. All guides speak excellent or native English, have lived in Osaka forever or at least many years, and absolutely love the city. Your evening starts in the heart of Dotonbori, right on Ebisu Bridge, best known as the perfect vantage point to see the "Running Man" gargantuan LCD sign, plus all the other giant signs and screens that wallpaper this area. Think Times Square in New York, with all the buzz but none of the cars. Pass all the big highlights, then duck into some narrow side streets steeped in history. Hundreds upon hundreds of restaurants and bars line these streets. Along the stroll, you'll be provided with a painless cultural primer to help you better to understand the sense of place, allowing for a richer, more complete idea of what Osaka's all about. Osaka people are known for "kuidaore," which means eating to the point of your demise; along these lines, you can expect a teeming cavalcade of goodies passing your eyes and into your mouth at each of the three different tachinomi visited. It is at these restaurants that people eat and drink while standing at bars or counters, similar to how tapas are often enjoyed in Spain. Look forward to being welcomed like a local first in Namba and later, after a short train ride, in Amagasaki. Technically not a part of Osaka but rather a separate city, Amagasaki has an industrial past and a vibrant food scene bursting at the seams with friendly, animated locals who honestly enjoy speaking with visitors and are thrilled to have you in their neighborhood.  Over the course of the evening, expect to enjoy Japanese treats like kushi katsu (fried food on sticks), nikomi (slow cooked meats in a miso sauce), some fish dishes, and a host of other items. There is no fixed menu, so the tour can be customized based on your needs and desires. And then there's the alcohol — taste great sake, shochu (a distilled wheat or sweet potato drink), and of course beer and other things.

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Osaka: Private Guided Tour by Public Transportation

8. Osaka: Private Guided Tour by Public Transportation

Meet your guide at JR Osaka station and first visit the Umeda Sky Building and Kuchu Teien Observatory, one of the most famous buildings in the city, known for its striking architectural design. Then, take a short train ride and visit Osaka Castle. This famous castle is home to a museum where you can learn about its historical significance. See various traditional military artefacts from the time of its construction. From the top floor of the castle, there is an observation deck where you can enjoy spectacular views of the entire city. Take another train ride to the Shinsaibashi district, a major shopping hub in Osaka where long-established department stores and international luxury brands are located. Walk to Dotonbori Street, one of the most colorful and lively areas of the city, where you can snap some photos of the striking advertisements all around you. Stroll down Hozenji-Yokocho, a side street that exudes a serene atmosphere. Admire the moss-covered Buddha statues and the maze-like narrow alleyways which make this place an oasis of calm amongst the hustle and bustle of downtown Osaka. Stop at the Kuromon Ichiba Market known as "Osaka's kitchen" where you can find fresh seafood, vegetables, and fruits from all over the region. Discover the vibrant Den-Den Town where you will learn more about Japanese pop culture, browsing various stops selling various anime, manga, and video game paraphernalia. Take another train ride and arrive at Shitennoji Temple, which has a fascinating 1,400-year history. Finally, finish the tour in the Shinsekai area of the city. with its many restaurants and theaters as well as the famous Tsutenkaku Tower, the symbol of Osaka.

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Osaka City: Food Origins Exploration Game

9. Osaka City: Food Origins Exploration Game

Play a 1.5-hour exploration game in the heart of Osaka city and discover the historical changes of the city from the Edo period to the present. Explore food heaven in Osaka, follow the clues, and try delicious and peculiar dishes along the way. Follow each culinary clue on your smartphone and get exact directions to the next location so you will not need a map, GPS, or guide. Unlock the secret story of each place as you solve the problems and guess the answers. Play individually, as a group, and solve the clues together as you walk or split into smaller teams and compete against the others. Download the app, go to the starting point, and begin the adventure!

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Osaka: Private Guided Local Food Tour

10. Osaka: Private Guided Local Food Tour

Discover the history and culture of Osaka on a private food tour, stopping at favorite local restaurants. Savor regional specialties like okonomiyaki (savory pancakes), Takoyaki (octopus balls), and pork buns. Walk to Shinsekaito and try kushikatsu, a dish of deep-fried meat and vegetables. Admire the famous Tsutenkaku Tower as you continue to Den-den Town, where you’ll learn more about Japanese pop culture. Browse the shops selling anime, manga, and video game paraphernalia. Finish your tour with a visit to Dotonbori, one of the most popular shopping streets in Osaka. Throughout the activity you’ll enjoy stops at 3 different restaurants to try the city’s finest dishes.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Dotonbori

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What people are saying about Dotonbori

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!

I would like to comment on the tour Akira gave us. He was very professional, knowledgeable, of course speaks an impeccable English, was creative and kindly accommodated to some physical limitations I have. I would recommend him highly Regards Cecilia Abdenur

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!

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

excellent tour, and excellent guide. 100% recommend