A casual street food experience with a professional local guide in Osaka, which has the nickname “the kitchen of Japan.” You'll have a chance to experience the local way of life as you hop around the street food stands and shops.
What to Expect
Osaka, the city of merchants, is the place with the nickname “the kitchen of Japan” since it has long been the center of the rice exchange market and was the logistic hub during the Samurai age. Such being the case, the atmosphere remains unchanged even today after around 300 years. In the evening, neon billboards light up every corner of the city. Lured by the smell of our comfort food, office workers, young men and women appear, frolicking here and there. You will have a chance to experience this local way of life as you hop about the street food stands and shops.
Some examples of food enjoyed during the tour is as follows:
The King of Osaka's comfort food is the grilled dumplings made from soup stock flour with a slice of octopus for each piece. Osaka-style takoyaki were perfected when the special thick sauce developed after the war was applied. Today, you will often find takoyaki stands about the city. It is even said that local people have their own takoyaki grills at home. During the tour, you will visit places which show the origin of takoyaki traditions.
These grilled dumplings are originally from China, yet Chinese gyoza come in the form of a soup. Japanese-style ones are grilled on an iron plate and eaten with a special sauce and hot sesame oil. Chinese form a long queue in front of gyoza stands here every day. A good gyoza cook spreads a small amount of water to make the surface a little crispy and tastier, which is the perfect combination with draft beer.
This pizza-like food is prepared following a similar method as that used for takoyaki. However the ingredients have a much wider variety of items, including seafood, pork, and cheese, which are mixed with chopped cabbage and completed with a topping of minced dried laver and bonito. Some say okonomiyaki has a more than 400-year history and Japanese people argue about the origin of the food between Hiroshima and Osaka. During the tour, you will enjoy Osaka-style okonomiyaki - which we believe to be the true original.
In Osaka, you will often find unique street food stands where people have to eat even while standing. Kushikatsu is often found at such food stands and you will be given so narrow a space that you'll have to share the sauce bowl with the neighboring guests. For the sake of hygiene, double dipping in the sauce is strictly prohibited. In fact, these days “no double-dipping” has almost become the nickname of Osaka-style kushikatsu.
After the war, liquor shops started allowing their customers to enjoy drinking in the corner of their shops. So the word izakaya literally means “drink liquor and stay shop” as it was originally known. Though such a type of liquor shop can be found even today, izakaya later developed into the particular type of casual restaurant as it is today. On your tour, you will have a chance to visit an izakaya with a huge grill where they prepare fish and other hot dishes right in front of you. When they complete the food, they cleverly use the long paddle to deliver it to you.
Japanese people love beer at all events and ordering beer for a starter a few seconds after entering food stands and shops has become kind of common sense here. The history of our beer started more than 300 years ago and now we have five major beer companies, such as Kirin, Asahi, Sapporo, Suntory and Orion. Above all, Asahi Super Dry is said to trace its roots back to the beer produced by the Osaka Beer Brewery. Why don’t you order several glasses of beer during the tour in commemoration of such an historical background!
The word “Chinese noodle” might be a mistranslation for ramen, though it was originally introduced in Chinese neighborhoods near ports, such as Yokohama and Kobe. It has become an indispensable comfort food in Japan and after hopping around several bars and shops, people complete the day at ramen stands as if enjoying a kind of dessert, you might say. The tour also finishes at such a ramen stand in order to truly experience how Japanese casual eating habits are still a reminder of old Japan.
After the Street Food Hopping tour, fully enjoy the night life in Osaka! Downtown Osaka's attractions also include unique billboards and shop signs with huge moving crabs, puffer fish or big sushi chef’s hands on the wall. Many food stands and shops stay open until late at night and some of them are open for 24 hours.
The tour ends in a city that never sleeps and you can continuously enjoy entertainment in your chosen style to your heart’s content. Be careful, however! Osaka has an old saying: “Gotta eat till we die.”
- Dinner with alcoholis or soft drinks
- English-speaking guide and interpreter
- Hotel pick-up
Know Before You Go
Food provided during this tour may contain egg, wheat, pork, sea food or other allergens. This tour is not suitable for guests with food allergies or food restrictions for such ingredients.
In case of cancellation, the following cancellation fees would be applied respectively:
General cancellation policy
2 days before the tour: 50% of the total tour fee
1 day before the tour or on the same day of the tour: 100% of the total tour fee (no refund)
ID is required for alcoholic drinks