- duration 3.5 hours
- tour type Group
- minimum participants 2
- age requirement 12+ yrs
- guiding method Live Guide/Instructor
- Explore old backstreets, markets, and retail areas seldom seen by most tourists
- Discover the New Yorkinspired neighbourhood of Shinsekai and see what ghosts still linger in the streets
- Wander through the flashy, glittering, famed district of Dotonbori
- Sample famous Osaka treats like kushikatsu and takoyaki octopus balls
Often missed on many Japan itineraries, Osaka is more than just a city of commerce — it is the Kansai region’s vibrant and eclectic heart and soul. This private tour takes you by buzzing markets, through a lantern-lit labyrinth, and into the districts famed throughout Japan for their culinary variety and unforgettable atmosphere. Explore the city with your own personal guide on a private tour just for you.
Osaka is often missed on the map when people take a whirlwind trip across Japan. In between the bright lights and fast pace of ultra-modern Tokyo and the old-world charm and culture of Kyoto, people often forget that there exists a city that combines the best of both worlds! Uptown Osaka is a sea of sleek skyscrapers, bright lights and modern living — travel further south and you come to the real heart of Kansai. Osaka’s rich and vibrant culture is as unique as it is robust — people greet each other with “Have you eaten yet?” more often than not!
Your private Osaka tour begins outside Nipponbashi Station and leads into Kuromon Ichiba market, a street containing over 500 metres of lively market stalls selling Osaka’s freshest meat, fish, and vegetables. You’ll have a chance to experience downtown’s classic market culture up close, punctuated by rich aromas and the boisterous Kansai-ben (Osaka dialect) of the locals.
We’ll move on to Doguyasuji to see the infinite array of Japanese cooking utensils, as well as stopping to look at the ubiquitous ‘fake food’ selection — a surprisingly large market exists for this uniquely Japanese trade! From here we’ll go to Dobutsuenmae Station and walk to Shinsekai, entering the true core of Osaka’s famous downtown.
Shinsekai (literally meaning ‘New World’) was created as an amusement area in 1912, modelled 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 laterns. We’ll have a chance to see a traditional Sento (Japanese bath) and a newer Supersento — a stalwart of everyday Japanese life! As we leave Shinsekai, we can sample the much-loved Shinsekai kushi-katsu (deep fried or basted meat and vegetable skewers) and pass atmospheric and traditional izakaya (Japanese-style pubs) before moving onto the glittering jewel of southern Osaka, Dotonbori.
Dotonbori is easily the most famous sight 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 in equal measure, Dotonbori is home to endless clusters of restaurants, street vendors, bars, and pubs. You can sample Osaka’s most famous food, takoyaki (fried batter balls containing octopus legs) and walk along the canal, passing ever-moving neon signs and the billowing steam of Osaka’s liveliest restaurants. If Kyoto is the heart of western Japan, Osaka is truly the soul.
(If you’d prefer to travel as part of a regular group experience, please book our Kansai Soul group tour.)
- Local English-speaking guide
- Some food samplings.
- Additional food and drinks
- meal at the end of the tour
- souvenirs and personal items
- tips/gratuities for your guide.
- Real-time prices and availability.
- Best price guaranteed.
- No credit card or booking fees.
- 100% financial protection.
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Cancellation for this Private Osaka: Kansai Soul tour is free up to 48 hours before the chosen start date - full refund will be given. If cancellation is made less than 48 hours before the chosen start date, no refund applies.Payment
For any tour departures within 25 January 2021, full payment is required. For tours that depart later than 25 January 2021, a deposit of 100% is required to confirm this tour, and the remaining balance will be charged 0 days before trip departure.Travel Insurance
Private Osaka: Kansai Soul tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.Visa
For this Private Osaka: Kansai Soul tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.Meeting start point :
Nippombashi Station, exit #10Meeting end point :
Namba StatioCOVID-19 Safety Measures
This trip incorporates the following COVID-19 measures:
- This tour follows established guidelines that are in line with the World Travel and Tourism Council’s ‘Safe Travels’ framework against COVID-19.
- This tour follows the local government(s) recommendations for gatherings and group sizes.
- Wearing a mask, hand washing and sanitizing is highly encouraged on this tour. Frequently touched surfaces are regularly disinfected.