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Introduction to Osaka Tour

Your essential primer on Osaka
From US$321 privately
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Tour Details
Duration
3 hours
Product Type
Tour
Venues
  • Osaka Castle
  • Kuromon Market
  • Dotonbori
  • Namba
  • Hozenji Temple
Photos & Highlights
  • Get acquainted with Osaka's main sites, history, and neighborhoods
  • Led by an expert in East Asian history and culture
Select a date
Tour Description
Discover Osaka on our 3-hour introductory tour with a local expert or East Asian scholar. Designed to provide a perfect introduction to Osaka for first timers or reorient returning travelers to the history and culture of this vibrant city, this tour will explore Osaka’s growth from an early mercantile center to a bustling economic Asian powerhouse.  

Sites Visited 

  • Osaka Castle (interior & exterior) 
  • Dotonbori neighborhood
  • Namba 
  • Hozen-ji
  • Kuromon market

Included

  • Castle entrance fee
  • Transport from Osaka castle 

Itinerary Detail 

Our tour will move across the city to various interesting locations such as Osaka Castle, Dotonbori, Namba and Hozen-ji. This tour offers a solid introduction to a fascinating city (often wrongly overlooked in favor of its cousins, Tokyo and Kyoto). 

We’ll start near Osaka Castle as we begin with learning about the rule of Osaka after the unification in the 16th century. Although not the original structure, the site offers an important location to discuss the rule of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and the violent emergence of the Tokugawa shogunate. We’ll visit the interior of the castle and, time permitting, take a glance at the rotating seasonal art installations. From here, we will also be able to view Osaka from a great vantage point before we venture across the city to other sites leaving the lush green park area behind us. We’ll hop in a taxi or use public transport as our route takes us to a buzzing district in Osaka: Dotonbori. Named after a 17th-century merchant, Yasui Doton, the area has a 400-year-long history of entertainment which we’ll touch upon. We may pop to a nearby temple tucked behind the bustle of the surrounding area as we step back in time to a more traditional Osaka. We’ll stroll through the warren of streets and finish our time together at Kuromon market - an arcaded local haunt with shops specializing in everything from fresh urchins to seasonal vegetables. This will give us an opening to talk about the history of the market (which dates back to the Edo period) and the gastronomic scene in Osaka today. 

We will leave our introductory tour with a deeper understanding of this electric Japanese city. We’ll have traveled to a number of important locations, immersing ourselves in feudal history, Japanese entertainment tales, and local customs, traditions, and gastronomy with our expert guide. We’ll say Sayōnara (goodbye) with a more contextualized view of Osaka.

To continue your explorations of the city with Context, we recommend our Savoring Osaka Food Tour.

FAQ 

What is a private tour?
Our private tours are limited exclusively to travelers in your party. They are designed to provide a learning experience that is completely tailored to you and your traveling companions. Private tours give you more flexibility with scheduling (you decide when the walk best fits in your trip), the ability to tailor your itinerary (we'll work to match the itinerary to the interests and dynamics of your group), and more personalized time with your guide.

Where do we meet? Where does it end?
We meet near Osaka Castle and we may end near Kuromon Market. Your route may differ according to your guide. Your confirmation email will have the exact meeting point details along with a map.

What if it’s raining?
Tours operate rain or shine. The majority of this walk is outside, so please be prepared with either an umbrella or a hat/sunscreen.

Can children join this tour?
This tour isn't part of our family portfolio, but we have family-friendly guides who lead this tour and would be able to adjust the content for children.

Is this tour walking intensive, and/or wheelchair accessible?
We do cover quite a bit of ground on this tour and therefore we recommend contacting us with any mobility questions; we will be happy to advise if the itinerary will be appropriate for you or propose modifications where necessary. Please feel free to contact us.

Is it okay to tip my guide in Japan?
Yes. Context clients generally tip anywhere from 10-25% of the purchase price of a personal service such as this, depending on the quality of the experience and their tipping habits.
Where You'll Start
17 Reviews (4.55)

Reviews can only be left by Context customers after they have completed a tour. For more information about our reviews, please see our FAQ.

The guide, Yoko, provided a very thoughtful and interesting talk about Osaka, with a particular focus on the castle and the grounds. She was quite thorough in pointing out a lot of interesting details about the site and she also provided a lot of insight into Osaka and forces that shaped the eventual form of this wonderful city.
The tour was an excellent learning experience about the history of South Korea, the various dynasties, and Osaka. Unfortunately we didn't get to cover all of the planned sites – we spent most of the time at the castle and some of the destinations were closed by the time we finished there. Janusz is very knowledgeable about the history of the region and loves sharing that knowledge. We wish he'd been a bit more focused on the timing so that we got to see more of the sites we were looking forward to.
Nick is a thoughtful and earnest guide with a good sense of humour. We enjoyed his company very much and appreciated his Western insights on Japanese culture. He enhanced our overall trip to Japan, not just our time in Osaka. And, of, course, we learned lots about Osaka history.