8. Osaka: Deep Backstreets Exploration
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.