Things to do in
Dotonbori

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Our most recommended things to do in Dotonbori

Osaka: Private Discovery Tour with a Local

1. Osaka: Private Discovery Tour with a Local

Orientate yourself and check out a few of the most famous attractions in Osaka with your personal guide. You'll be paired with guides that are passionate about the place they call home and who choose to spend their free time sharing it with like-minded travelers matched to them. Let a local kick-start your trip by showing you the highlights and giving you a priceless insight into city life, from advice about cultural practices to the best spots to eat authentic local food. Explore Osaka like a local and make the most of your time in Osaka from the start. Follow the unique route which your local host has designed specifically for you, either by walking or using public transport so you can get familiar with how to move around the city. Learn about the city’s cultural practices, heritage, culture and cuisine as you explore the city together, perhaps stopping to try some authentic local street food or visiting a shrine. Your local will give your trip the best possible start, helping you to make the most of your time in Osaka.

Welcome to Osaka: Private Tour with a Local Host

2. Welcome to Osaka: Private Tour with a Local Host

Experience Osaka like a resident on a private walking tour with a local host. Get tips on what to see and do, and learn the best ways to get around. Benefit from pick-up at your accommodation and get familiar with your local neighborhood. Discover where to buy groceries or where the best local places to eat are located and much more. Alternatively, meet at a central landmark or intersection to start your walking tour. Venture beyond the usual tourist sites and discover places you would never read about in the guidebooks. Avail of an itinerary that can be tailored to your interests and specific needs. Ride on the public transportation system, at your own expense, if you prefer. Chat with your guide about life in the city and its many traditions. Feel more confident getting around and exploring on your own by the end of your experience.

Osaka: Eat Like a Local Street Food Tour

3. Osaka: Eat Like a Local Street Food Tour

There’s a reason why Osaka is known as the food capital of Japan, but as well as districts that are packed full of tiny local eateries and world class restaurants, the city has an exciting and diverse street food scene. You'll be paired with guides that are passionate about the place they call home and who choose to spend their free time sharing it with like-minded travelers matched to them. To really get a taste of local life, you can’t miss exploring Osaka’s street food culture, and what better way than with a local by your side to take you to the best vendors and food carts where the locals really eat. From delicacies you’ve never heard of such as okonomiyaki, to staples like yakisoba, you will discover all the best dishes and local specialties in Dotonbori. With your local by your side, you'll be able to really experience local life and immerse yourself in the vibrant street food culture. You can try dishes that have been perfected in this city such as oden, okonomiyaki, kushikatsu and takoyaki, sampling them from a food cart recommended by your local. You can get to know Osaka’s food scene as well as the traditional regional and Japanese dishes cooked up and served at all hours of the day by local vendors. Your host will take you to the spots where you can learn about the dishes and the local ingredients, as you taste the best of what Osaka has to offer. Spend time getting to know your local host, as you chat about your favorite cuisine and get some insider recommendations of the most authentic local places to eat and drink on the rest of your trip.

Osaka: Soul of Kansai Tour with Japanese Snacks

4. Osaka: Soul of Kansai Tour with Japanese Snacks

Start your tour of Osaka outside Nipponbashi Station, and then venture into the Kuromon Ichiba Market. Walk along a street with over 500 meters of stalls selling fresh meat, fish and vegetables. Experience downtown Osaka’s lively market culture up close, enhanced by rich aromas and the boisterous Kansai-ben (Osaka dialect) of the locals.  Move on to Doguyasuji to see the infinite array of Japanese cooking utensils. Take a look at the ubiquitous "fake food" selection, and then saunter over to Dobutsuenmae Station to walk to Shinsekai. Enter the true heart of Osaka in Shinsekai (literally meaning "New World"), created as an amusement area in 1912 and modeled 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 lanterns. Discover a traditional Sento (Japanese bath) and a newer Supersento - a stalwart of everyday life in Japan. Sample the much-loved Shinsekai kushi-katsu (deep fried or basted meat and vegetable skewers), and pass the atmospheric and traditional izakaya (Japanese-style pubs) en route to Dotonbori. Dotonbori is easily the most famous site 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 alike, the area is home to endless clusters of restaurants, street vendors, bars and pubs. Try some of Osaka’s most famous food with a serving of takoyaki (fried batter balls containing octopus legs). Stroll along the canal, passing neon signs and the billowing steam of Osaka’s liveliest restaurants.

Osaka: Highlights & Hidden Gems Private Walking Tour

5. Osaka: Highlights & Hidden Gems Private Walking Tour

Join a friendly local guide in an authentic experience of electrifying Osaka. Get a personalized tour of the city’s fascinating history, culture, and fantastic food scene as you’re led between its liveliest districts – and a few off the tourist trail. You'll be paired with guides that are passionate about the place they call home and who choose to spend their free time sharing it with like-minded travelers matched to them. First, meet your guide at Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine. Dating back to the 3rd century (before the introduction of Buddhism), it’s one of Japan’s oldest shrines, and one of the few examples of Sumiyoshi-zukuri – purely Japanese architecture. Then, hop on the train to the high-energy entertainment district of Namba, an area that’s buzzing with locals looking for a good time 24/7. Stroll down lively streets to Kuromon Market, a covered space packed with over 100 shops and vendors selling street food, shellfish, and souvenirs. (If you’re feeling peckish, point out the seafood that tickles your fancy, from scallops to sea urchin, and watch a vendor cooked right in front of you!). Next up, explore tranquil Hozenji Yokocho, a stone-paved lane packed with long-standing Japanese bars and restaurants that retains the spirit of the Osaka of yesteryear, and see Sennichimae Kitchenware Street – a street dedicated entirely to kitchen utensils and food supplies! Peer into the shops and restaurants lining the Soemon-cho entertainment district, an area with more than 400 years of history, and get lost in Den-Den Town, the perfect place to geek out over cameras, computers, pop culture, games, and anime. After that, get blinded by Dotonbori, a snapshot of typical Osaka, where colossal food signs and flashing lights illuminate your path (don’t miss the eye-catching Glico Running Man above Ebisubashi Bridge), then take a pleasant walk through to Shinsaibashi and the creative, youth-oriented America-mura – a treasure trove of retro stores, independent galleries, and cool cafés. Finally, see the iconic Osaka Castle, a symbol of the city and one of Japan’s most famous landmarks. Your personalized itinerary will be planned according to the number of hours booked and adapted to your preferences. Once you’ve booked, someone from the local tour operator's team will be in touch, so let them know if you have any special requirements.

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 NYC, and explore the quirky back streets with their own individuality and surprises in store. You’ll visit Kuromon Ichib, 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. 

Osaka: Local Foodie Tour in Dotonbori and Shinsekai

7. Osaka: Local Foodie Tour in Dotonbori and Shinsekai

Discover 2 of Osaka's most interesting neighborhoods, Dotonbori and Shinsekai, with a local guide. Soak up the incredible engergy of the city and immerse yourself in its gastronomic culture as you visit the best local food haunts. Get the chance to sample 8 of Osaka's local delicacies, from okonomiyaki, which is a type of savory pancake, to kushikatsu and takoyaki, a delicious traditional Japanese appetizer. During the tour, visit popular tourist attractions as well as off-the-beaten-track local fooderies as you learn about Osaka's development. Witness the striking contrasts between modern and traditional architecture as you make your way between unchanged, traditional building and modern developments.

Osaka: 2-Hour Kuromon Market Walking Street Food Tour

8. Osaka: 2-Hour Kuromon Market Walking Street Food Tour

Kuromon Market, also known as the "Kitchen of the Nation,” is one of the most important culinary centers of Japanese culture. Most of the family-owned businesses in the market have been there for decades. Renowned for its bounty of delicious street foods, Kuromon is much beloved by locals. Try authentic local foods, like takoyaki, grilled scallops, grilled yakitori skewers, and much more — your guide will help you sort through the array of food stalls to pick the best that the market has to offer. With the tour including enough food samplings to fill you up, make sure you come hungry. All the while, you’ll pick up insights into authentic Japanese culture as you learn about the fascinating history of the market, as well as Osaka’s contemporary and historical role in the country’s culture. You’ll also get some great tips from your guide about where to buy some souvenirs if you so desire.

Osaka: Bespoke Family Friendly City Tour

9. Osaka: Bespoke Family Friendly City Tour

Meet your local host who will help to take the pressure off planning and navigating, so you can make the most of your time together as a family. You'll be paired with guides that are passionate about the place they call home and who choose to spend their free time sharing it with like-minded travelers matched to them. Your host will suggest things to do based on your family's personality and interests, creating a customized experience of the sights you'd most to see, hidden gems, exciting museums, and attractions that you'd struggle to find in a guidebook. See famous attractions like Osaka Castle, hands-on museums like the Science Museum, and family-friendly neighborhoods packed with delicious local eateries. Discover restaurants that everyone will enjoy - fussy eaters included - or get adventurous and try the local street food with your host by your side to recommend dishes based upon your family's tastes and any dietary requirements. At the end of the experience, your host can drop you off at one of the main kid's attractions like the fabulous Kids Plaza interactive museum so you can continue having fun for the rest of the afternoon.

Osaka: Daytime Dotonbori Food Tour

10. Osaka: Daytime Dotonbori Food Tour

Experience an unforgettable stroll through the historical food streets of Osaka and eat like a local in the city known as “Japan’s Kitchen”. Your local expert will take you on an unforgettable eating excursion through the busy streets and the hidden, less-frequented parts of South Osaka. The tour kicks off in the busy Doutonburi area where you will learn about "Glico man", a Filipino sprinter named Fortunato Catalon who inspired a nation and a company. Similar to Shibuya (its counterpart in Tokyo), the sights and sounds of Dotounburi often lead you astray to overly-commercialized restaurants with queues of tourists outside. Your guides will take you to places which you would certainly miss without a local's assistance. You'll travel down secret alleys not long after you begin the tour, making your way towards a shrine which is hidden from sight for the average passerby. You will sample Kushikatsu (deep-fried meat and vegetable skewers) as well as a local take on Yakitori, before being taken to a Michelin-rated street-food stop for Osaka’s favorite snack: Takoyaki. Next, travel down more narrow alleys and see some of the more unconventional restaurants and pubs. Your guide will then lead you to a local lunch spot of an "Izakaya" (or local gastro-pub), with seasonal dishes and lunch sets that will be sure to intrigue and delight you. From there you’ll explore other nearby local neighborhoods before finally finishing off with a tasty local street-food dessert.

Other Sightseeing Options in Dotonbori

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What people are saying about Dotonbori

Overall rating

4.1 / 5

based on 273 reviews

Our guide, Haruhi, was very knowledgeable, conversational, and fun! We really enjoyed seeing the large variety of foods that are sold in Osaka, and hearing the tradition behind them as explained by our guide. Kuromon market is a must go. Also really loved the yakisoba!

Very pleasant visit and very nice and pleasant David, who is the one who guide us. Totally recommended and thank you very much David for making us have a good time

The tour was one of a kind! We enjoyed all the food we were able to try and local areas we would not have ventured on our own. Highly recommend!

The game in Osaka was an amazing experience to do with kids. We enjoyed it a lot.

excellent tour, and excellent guide. 100% recommend