Osaka is considered Japan's economic powerhouse having 2.7 million people. Many tourists say Osaka is more relaxing compared to other big cities in Japan. That's because Osakans have a good sense of humor. You will see old and new in this city: Osaka Castle built in the Samurai era, Shitennoji Temple founded 1400 years ago, modern Umeda Sky Building with an open roof observatory, etc. Also you cannot forget Osaka is the number 1 gourmet city! It used to be called Japan's kitchen.
Check out what we are going to do.
Feel free to personalize this offer.
At your hotel in Osaka or Central Gate of JR Osaka Station
The castle was originally built in the 16th century by Hideyoshi Toyotomi, who uniformed Japan as a nation for the first time. The castle has massive stone walls and moats. The main tower contains a museum displaying historical items such as Samurai helmets and armors.
One of the oldest temples in Japan having a history of 1400 years. Although the temple was burnt down several times, you can still see the ancient Buddhist temple style with a beautiful 5 storied pagoda.
Dotombori is a southern center of Osaka. The place is always crowded with locals and people around the world to take photos of the Glico and Kanidoraku billboards on the Ebisubashi Bridge. I recommend Okonomiyaki or Kushikatsu for lunch if you like to try local food.
Please choose a modern Umeda Sky Building OR old Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine founded in the 3rd century.
At the last destination or your hotel
In this tour we'll visit 4 to 5 popular sightseeing spots in Osaka. If you like to visit other places, please feel free to let me know.
Following is a list of the sights I recommend:
1.Osaka-jo Castle (MUST SEE)
It's a symbol of Osaka and the most visited sight by tourists. Inside the castle there is a museum that tells you all about Osaka-jo and its history. We will do a lot of walking; so please be ready!
2. Shitennoji Temple
It is the oldest Buddhist temples in Japan establised 1,400years ago by Prince Shotoku.
You can see the typical layout of temple structures when Buddhism was introduced into Japan.
It's not just a tourist spot and is still active with worshippers.
3.Doguya-suji Shopping Arcade
An Arcade filled with stores of Japanese cooking tools for professional chefs and of traditional decoration items. If you like, you can try food sample making for souvenirs at one of the stores. (Food sample making costs 1,000-2,000 JPY.)
4. Dotombori (MUST SEE)
It's a must spot for tourists. Dotombori is a foodies' paradise along the canal. Let's stroll around looking at a decorative signboard that each restaurant has. At your request, we can enjoy a 20 minute Tombori River Cruise. If you wish to have local food, we can go to Okonomiyaki or Kushikatsu restaurant, or both. Okonomiyaki is a local food like an unsweetened pancake with chopped vegetables, meat and seafood with a special kind of sauce on top. Kushikatsu is deep fried vegetables, meat, seafood, cheese, etc. on skewer. Also, we'll visit a good old Hozenji-yokocho alley.
5. Kuromon Food Market
Kuromon Market is a very popular tourist spot today. The market has a history of 180 years, and there are about 170 stores along the narrow streets.
It is always crowded with people searching for fresh seafood(often times you can eat at the spot.) vegetables, and fruit.
6. Umeda Sky Building
It's one of the landmarks of Osaka. The building has a unique structure, and is listed as one of the 20 outstanding architectures of the world by Times magazine.
It's 173 meters high from the ground; on top of the building it has an open observation deck called sky garden.
7. Denden town
You will find many specialty stores of electrical appliances, computers, anime and manga related items. Closest subway station is Nipponbashi, but you can walk from Namba. Kuromon Ichiba Market is in a walking distance as well.
8. Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine
SumiyoshiTaisha Shrine is one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan founded in the 3rd century. It has a unique style of shrine architecture that is free of influence from the Asian mainland.
hotel pick up
transportation for you and guide(approx. 1,000yen/person)
admission fees for you, Osaka Castle (600 JPY/person), Umeday Sky Building (1,500JPY/person), Shitennoji Temple (300JPY/person)
lunch for you and guide(approx. 1,000-1,500yen/person)
I will pick you up at your hotel in Osaka. We will be using public transportation unless you like to use taxis or hire a van.
At each spot there will be a lot of walking. Please cover guide's transportation cost during the tour as well as yours. If you wish to visit other spots such as Kuromon Market, Kaiyukan Aquarium, etc., please let me know.
Please inform me if you have food restrictions.
Mari is an outstanding guide with Great knowledge and personality. A total pleasure to be with. Took us to all the interesting sites and explained all the details we needed. We strongly recommend her to anyone who is interested in a private guide for Kyoto.
Thank you Arun for the review. It was my pleasure to show you around the eastern part of the city which is the most traditional. I had a wonderful time with your family!
We have spent 2 days touring Kyoto with Mari. It has been a fabulous experience. Mari has been delightful and we all have had such a fun time together. Her English is excellent and since she has spent a lot of time in the US, there has been no language barrier. It has been an experience traveling all around Kyoto by train, subways and buses.. it was so nice exploring the area in this manner rather than a bus tour and seeing things through a window. We have had a myriad of questions about what we were seeing and Mari answered all of them with enthusiasm, patience and a lot of detail. We enjoyed eating where “ locals” ate and Mari gave a lot of thought on the meal recommendation. When I booked the tours with Mari, she was very flexible with our requests and had a well planned tour for us. She made our visit to Kyoto extra special. We felt like we were traveling around with a friend.
Dear Shelly, Thank you so much for a nice review so quickly. I enjoyed touring with you and talking about a lot of things. I even wish I could have more! I sometimes encounter new things during the tours, and the tour with you was one of those. Thank you, Shelly!
Where do we begin with Mari? Mari is such a wonderful and knowledgeable guide who took us around the sights of Osaka and Kyoto. During the Osaka tour we saw, in great detail, Osaka Castle, Shitenoji Temple and the Dotombori. The time and care taken to talk about the history of the first two places made the tour so much more exciting. I should also point out that we travelled with a party of 6, including 3 teenage boys and a 9 year old in a wheelchair. Mari looked up elevator spots and warned us when there wouldn't be any, she kept us informed every step of the way and by the end the boys wanted to call her Aunty Mari :). In Kyoto we saw the magnificent Fushimi Inari Grand Shrine, the Arashiyama Bamboo forest and the Golden Pavilion. We couldn't believe this we're possible, but these were even more incredible than the sites in Osaka. One of our accidental finds was a little grandma local ramen shop who served the perfect bowl of noodles to keep us going. I should mention to bring solid walking shoes as there's a lot of walking. We averaged 28,000 steps per day. However, you don't really notice it when you're in the spirit of the day. There's also quite a bit of train catching so there's opportunities to sit down as well. All in all we loved Mari and had a fantastic day, we would highly recommend her to anyone coming to Osaka or Kyoto :)
Dear Jacqueline, I appreciate your detailed tour review! I truly enjoyed 2days with you. I also learned a lot from your family being so nice and caring to each other. The Golden Pavilion looked the best yesterday in the sun, and the reflection in the pond was almost perfect as we had little wind; you were very lucky! I hope you will continue to enjoy traveling in Japan.
My group of 6 came on a cruise ship & took a full day excursion in Osaka with Mari. This is the 2nd time I toured with Mari because she is super knowledgeable with the location using subway, train, & walking. We squeezed in as many top attractions given our limited time & was able to beat the long lines at the Osaka Castle. She knew where to go for lunch to avoid restaurant wait times at the Dotombori. I asked her to help us look for fine green tea & children’s chopsticks and she went above & beyond her stated itinerary to help me find those items in different shops. Mari speaks fluent English & understands what visitors are looking for in a short days time. I will definitely ask for Mar again when I visit Kobe & Kyoto on our next trip. I have already recommended Mari to friends who intend to visit Osaka & the surrounding areas. Thank you TripleLights for having Mari as a top choice guide.
Dear Nina, Thank you so much for your wonderful tour review! I had a great time with you. The best part of a private tour is flexibility. I’m glad you could get good green tea at a Japanese tea shop. I’m looking forward to seeing you again in the near future!