Known as the nation’s kitchen, the city of Osaka is the ideal location to start your culinary journey across Japan.
Japan’s distinct gastronomic scene has made it a mecca for dedicated foodies across the world. Packed with restaurants, street food stalls and casual eateries serving up delicious local fare at affordable prices, at the heart of this vibrant culinary landscape is the country’s ‘second city’, Osaka. A great way to learn about the Osaka’s cuisine is by joining aguided food tour – and we’ve picked out 5 of the best below.
Shinsekai Food Tour
In the early evening, head out to the Shinsekai district to start your culinary exploration of Osaka. This area combines modern and traditional flavours, and guests will sample dishes at locations selected by two local experts. Over three hours, you’ll visit authentic eateries, backstreet stalls, markets and bars guided by a local, discovering areas often missed by visitors. On the list will be a classic Izakaya restaurant, a battered octopus stall and a gyoza dumpling stop, as well as traditional Japanese restaurants; finishing at the night market for a local sweet treat. All the listed dishes, as well as two drinks, are included in the price, and group numbers are limited to ten participants for a more personal dining experience. From $92 per person.
Nightlife Food Tour
Kick-off your culinary tour of Osaka in the vibrant Doutonburi area; dive into hidden alleyways and discover the district’s unique spots. Meandering through the historical food streets of the city, you’ll feel a little more like a local as your guide introduces you to local snacks and traditional flavours. Included on the route are four food stops where you’ll sample the local favourite, Kushikatsu, visit a Michelin-starred street food stall, experience an Izakaya, or local pub, and finish with a tasty local street food dessert. A minimum of two people is required per booking, and be sure to inform your guide of any dietary requirements before departure. From $200 per person.
Deep Backstreets Exploration
Culture and history meet culinary delights in this three-hour evening tour. Your guide will showcase the lesser-known areas and stories of Osaka, delving into the realities of the city through its abandoned buildings, retro zone, red light district, gambling dens, and more. On the culinary side of things, guests will sample local dishes in two back-alley stalls, and for an additional price, you can head for dinner after the tour. This tour provides a very raw insight into Osaka, exposing the good, the bad, and everything in between, so it is recommended for the travellers who want to see an unfiltered side of the city. From $61 per person.
Evening Streetfood Hopping Tour
Explore the streets of Osaka during this casual street food experience. Passing from one street food stand to another, you’ll sample classic dishes of octopus, dumplings and ramen, as well as unique regional flavours. Guided by a local, guests will discover how Osakans eat and live in the culinary capital of Japan. This is a great tour to take to discover different parts of the city; your guide will introduce you to the intricacies of the local metro and give tips on what else you can see, do and eat during your stay in Osaka. From $105 per person.
Deep Osaka All-Inclusive Immersive Food, Drink, and Culture Dive
This popular evening tour takes guests to the heart of Osaka’s local food scene. Starting at Tenjimbashisuji Shopping Street, guests will explore this historic area and learn about its past and contemporary culture. From here you’ll make a quick visit to Ogimachi Park before arriving at Pulala Tenma market place, where you’ll awaken your taste buds as you sample local dishes at two restaurants. The final restaurant is in a colourful neighbourhood from a lost era: Kyobashi Park. By catering to a maximum of six people, this experience is able to give a more personal touch. This tour is also good value for money: it includes dinner and alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks, and for an additional cost you can add local, Kobe beef to your menu for the night. From $112 per person.