Things to do in Osaka

Our most recommended things to do in Osaka

Universal Studios Japan E-Ticket (1, 1.5 or 2-Day)

1. Universal Studios Japan E-Ticket (1, 1.5 or 2-Day)

Go beyond the screen and ride The Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan. Experience cutting-edge rides, shows and attractions based on your favorite blockbuster films, TV series, and Japanese animations. Universal Studios Japan is one of only four Universal Studios locations across the globe and the only one available with Japanese animation-themed attractions. It boasts more than 30 rides and attractions to satisfy every cinematic fantasy. Experience the world's first Mario-themed area and Mario Kart: Koopa's Challenge™ attraction, both of which received Thea Awards, an enormous honor around the globe in the themed entertainment industry. And don't miss The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, Minions, and other magnificent worlds enjoyed by kids and adults alike.

Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Bus Tour from Osaka/Kyoto

2. Kyoto and Nara 1 Day Bus Tour from Osaka/Kyoto

Depart from the exclusive VIP waiting rooms of Osaka or Kyoto, heading to Fushimi Inari Taisha. Designated as an Important Cultural Property, the main shrine building contains five shrines together, these five pillars of Fushimi Inari Taisha are named for the great virtues of Inari Okami that they embody. Inari Okami is known as a deity of business prosperity, the prosperity of industries, the safety of households, safety in traffic and improvement in the performing arts. The 'Senbon Torii' or 1000 torii gates are donations by individuals and companies, and you will find the donator's name and the date of the donation inscribed on the back of each gate. Then you will head to Arashiyama, which changes with the seasons and you can enjoy the scenery any time of year, with cherry blossoms in the spring, boat festivals in the Summer, red leaves in Autumn and snow white mountains in the winter. Arashiyama is also filled with temples and shrines including the match-making Shrine you can visit, during your walk through the famed Bamboo grove. There are a variety of restaurants to choose right near the Togetsukyo bridge, including vegan and Halal. Proceed to the symbol of Kyoto, Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavilion, also named Rakuon-ji: one of the most popular buildings in Japan. Finally, move on to Japan’s old capital, Nara: you will have the time to explore its park, cuddle the worldwide famous deer and enter the biggest wooden building of the planet, Todai-ji Temple, another UNESCO world heritage site. Here you will find yourself in front of Japan’s biggest Buddha statue, 15 meters tall.

Osaka: Universal Studios Japan Entry Ticket & Transportation

3. Osaka: Universal Studios Japan Entry Ticket & Transportation

Relax as you travel door-to-door by van or coach from your Osaka hotel to Universal Studios Japan, and enter the theme park without delay with your pre-purchased day ticket. Enjoy the wide variety of attractions on offer including The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal Wonderland. The whole family will have fun on the rides and taking in movies and shows. Explore the many shops and stop for refreshments or a meal. Photo opportunities abound! At the end of the day you’ll return to your hotel in Osaka with the same easy door-to-door transportation service. A number of departure and return times are available to choose from.

Osaka: Daytime Cherry Blossom and Food Tour

4. 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

5. 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.

Osaka: Main Sights and Hidden Spots Guided Walking Tour

6. 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. 

From Osaka: Himeji Castle and Arima Onsen Private Tour

7. From Osaka: Himeji Castle and Arima Onsen Private Tour

Venture out from Osaka on day trip that gives you history, relaxation, and fun, all with the comfort and luxury of a private vehicle, tour guide, and door-to-door transportation. Customize your itinerary to your preferences and discover the gems of the Kansai region. Discover the mysteries of Himeji Castle, a feat of engineering and one of Japan's most elegant castles still standing today. Let your English-speaking guide take you into the castle buildings, providing you with stories and facts that make for a much richer experience than could be obtained on your own. Learn what rooms were used for what, all about defensive strategies, the role of concubines, and of course how the castle was designed to thwart invasion. Leave Himeji Castle and take a lunch break before heading off to Arima Onsen or central Kobe for some afternoon sights and relaxation. Feel restored by the therapeutic, mineral rich waters of Arima Onsen as others have done for over 1,300 years. Sense how your mind becomes more at ease and your skin smoother after the experience. Then, take a lovely stroll around the town, with shops and food vendors pleasantly scattered about. For those not quite so interested in hot springs, opt instead to explore the coastal areas of Kobe City at no additional cost. Choose from a number of local highlights according to your interests, including a well-known sake (Japanese rice wine) producer, where you can learn how the product is made and get some free samples. See the Western-style area of Kyu Kyoryuchi with its well-preserved houses dating back to the late 1800s.

Osaka: Full-Day Private Guided Walking Tour

8. 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.

Osaka: All-Inclusive Night Foodie Cultural Extravaganza

9. 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.

From Osaka : Private Full-day Tour to Kyoto

10. 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.

Frequently asked questions about Osaka

What top attractions are a must-see in Osaka?

The must-see attractions in Osaka are:

What are the best day trips and excursions from Osaka?

The best day trips and excursions from Osaka are:

Kyoto

Other Sightseeing Options in Osaka

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What people are saying about Osaka

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 675 reviews

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.