I expected a walking tour to most of Osaka's attractions but we walked mostly going to the subway and out,, the stations being located quite a distance from the attraction itself and we started late. Anyway, from our meeting place in Granvia Hotel Osaka, we walked to the nearby Umeda Sky building after which we went back to Granvia Hotel for lunch. After lunch, we took the subway to Temmabashi Station where we walked towards
the main tower of the Osaka Castle. We went up to the 5th floor(the elevator is only for going up) and you have to go down on foot as you browse through the museum but since we were given only a few min, there wasn't enough time to see everything. From there, we walked towards the pier located a good distance at the back of the castle for the river cruise. It was the nicest part of the tour which lasted almost an hour. Then we went back to our respective hotels by subway again.
Mich, our tour guide, was very knowledgeable and fun. We would recommend him to our friends. The tour itself was quite average. The floating garden and Osaka Castle were good but the river cruise was boring and honestly a bit of a waste of time. It felt like the cruise could have been replaced with something better like a visit to the Museum of Housing and Living near the Osaka Castle which offers a combined ticket to both. The western lunch was not a problem at all for me but my husband thought it could have been better.
I was a little disappointed because it was not really a walking tour; we took the subway to get to the Osaka Castle, where we were given only a few minutes inside, not enough time to see the museum. Worse, I was left behind! It would have been better if we were briefed on where we should go in case we got separated from the group like I did. Good thing the tour guide came back for me after I tried to contact the tour operator in spite the language barrier. I was helped by a kind Japanese couple who explained my predicament to them & who accompanied me to where the river boats were moored.
Of the many tours I took this was the most unsatisfying - but that is my fault for not doing the research first. When i spoke with an Osaka resident the day before the tour he asked 'Why?'.
The guide was great and did his best but quite simply Osaka just isn't a city that has enough to organise a tour around! There are no 'stunning views' from what is now just a 'quite high' office building... The 'castle' is a museum built 50 years ago and the river cruise shows you nothing.
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