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3 Days in Osaka: Suggested Itineraries

By Viator, May 2015

4 63 Reviews | Add your review

The Japanese province of Kansai has Kyoto as its temple goddess, but working-class Osaka adds the down-to-earth charm of a very modern Japanese city to the province's list of attractions. By day, the city celebrates its river and castle, and at night Osaka is lit by a rainbow of neon.

Get beneath the skin of Osaka with a little history and culture, a few street parades and processions, and a good-sized serving of great food.

Day 1: Marvelous Museums

Find out what made Osaka tick over the centuries at the Museum of History, covering ancient, medieval and modern developments. If porcelain is your passion, there are more than 2,700 pieces to peruse at the Museum of Oriental Ceramics. The city’s Museum of Modern Art focuses on regional contemporary art, and big-screen 3D movies are screened at the Suntory Museum’s IMAX theater. And no visit to Osaka is complete without a visit to its wonderful castle, taking you on a journey to Japan’s feudal past.

Day 2: Festive Osaka

Osaka has a full calendar of annual events, leading off with Toka Ebisu (January 9 - 11), when crowds flock to the city’s Imamiya Ebisu Shrine for lucky tokens. Spring events are a special feature, including plum-blossom and cherry-blossom seasons at Osaka Castle. The city’s biggest festival is July 24 - 25 when Tenjin Matsuri fills the streets with parades and fireworks. There’s more fireworks in early August when the Yodogawa River lights up. Danjiri Matsuri (September 14 - 15) features huge street processions and floats, and in November the fall colors are celebrated at the city’s parks.

Day 3: Sushi to Ramen

Osaka is a city that’s known for its extravagant approach to food – dining out is called "kuidaore" here, meaning "eat until you drop". Sushi and ramen or udon noodle soups are served in massive food courts in Kita, or tiny backstreet dens in Minami. Try the local specialties okonomiyaki, a grilled pancake made with meat or fish; octopus takoyaki dumplings; rare shabu shabu beef; and bite-sized kushi-katsu pork skewers.

Tours & Tickets

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Osaka Full-Day Walking Tour with Osaka River Cruise

4 star rating: Recommended 36 Reviews

Go for a stroll through Osaka and see its highlights on this guided walking tour, including a 1-hour river cruise on the Aqua Liner. You'll enjoy lunch and ...  Read more

Location: Osaka, Japan
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $115.76

Osaka Afternoon Walking Tour with Osaka River Cruise

4 star rating: Recommended 20 Reviews

Combine the best of Osaka on this half-day walking tour in the afternoon. With your expert and friendly guide, explore Osaka Castle — the city’s best-known ...  Read more

Location: Osaka, Japan
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $80.78

3-Day or 4-Day Self-Guided Hike on Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Route Including Lodging and Transport

Visit mountaintop villages, soothing hot springs and Japanese temples along the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kumano Kodo during this 3- or 4-day self-guided ...  Read more

Location: Kyoto, Japan
Duration: Varies

From USD $650.00

Osaka Cooking Class

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 5 Reviews

Learn how to make Japanese dishes with an informative Japanese cooking class in Osaka. This hands-on experience will have you whisking tea, rolling ‘takoyaki’ ...  Read more

Location: Osaka, Japan
Duration: 2.5 hours

From USD $66.62

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan Admission with Osaka Bay Cruise

Visit one of the world’s largest aquariums, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, and ride a replica of the ‘Santa Maria’ around Osaka Bay on this half-day tour, led by an ...  Read more

Location: Osaka, Japan
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $82.44

Private Tour: Osaka City Sightseeing

3 star rating: Worth doing 2 Reviews

See the highlights of Osaka on this private full-day tour of Japan’s third largest city. From the ancient Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine to the funky youth culture ...  Read more

Location: Osaka, Japan
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $176.35

Kobe Walking Tour Including Sake Tasting at Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum from Osaka

See the best of Kobe on this full-day walking tour. You’ll learn about one of Japan’s largest cities, known for its sake and vibrant street culture. With your ...  Read more

Location: Osaka, Japan
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $120.75

Osaka Half-Day Bicycle Tour

This 3-hour bike tour sets out on the streets of Osaka with a leisurely ride through the waterfront park of Nakanoshima. Follow an informative local guide and ...  Read more

Location: Osaka, Japan
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $58.78

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