Osaka is one of our favorite food cities in Japan. There are so many great dishes to eat and so many places to eat. It can be overwhelming though. Booking a food tour in Osaka can help people who travel for food to eat better and learn more while visiting this food-focused city.
In this post, I share our recommendations on how to book one of the best Osaka food tours. And, I share our tips on how to make the most of your experience.
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Why Book A Japan Culinary Tour
There are a lot of great reasons why booking a Japanese food tour could make your Osaka trip that much more special. First, there is a language barrier in Japan. Of course, there are picture menus to help you with ordering but we end up with more questions than answers when we are on our own eating in Japan. A food tour will help you learn more about the cuisine.
This also helps with the second issue, Japanese cuisine is complex and layered. It’s so different from American or European cuisine. By taking a food tour, your Osaka local guide will help you learn more about the culture through the cuisine.
Last, we love taking food tours at the start of our stay in a new city. It really makes the rest of our trip better. Your guide will give you inside tips on where and what to eat in Osaka. Over the years, we’ve received great restaurant recommendations from some of our food tour guides.
If you need help planning your trip to Japan, check out our sample itineraries:
Japan 7 Day Itinerary – How To Spend One Week Eating In Japan
Food Focused Two Week Japan Itinerary – 14 Days Of Eating Well
How To Book Hotels In Osaka
In the 10+ years of traveling to Japan, we’ve learned a thing or two about booking a hotel in Osaka. We’ve stayed at some great hotels like the Sheraton Miyako Hotel Osaka and St. Regis Osaka. And we’ve stayed at some not-so-great hotels.
When planning a trip to Osaka, we use Booking.com for our accommodations. In addition to booking hotels, we’ve used them for booking apartments for longer stays. We’ve even used them to book villas and ryokans in Osaka when we want something special. We’ve even found some charming and less expensive guest houses in Osaka on Booking.com.
How About A 12 Day Food Tour In Japan?
If you are looking for something more than just an Osaka one day tour, Intrepid Travel offers a 12 day Real Food Adventure In Japan. It hits some of our favorite food cities in the Kansai region of Japan. That includes Osaka, Kyoto, and Koyosan in Wakayama, which is just south of Osaka.
Along the way, travelers learn to make sushi, eat street food, and stay the night in a Buddhist monastery. These are all food experiences we’ve had in Japan and would totally recommend.
How To See The Best Of Osaka Japan On A Food Tour
A great food tour means that you can start to understand Japanese food culture while exploring a new city. It is more than just the food that is served.
It means you have the chance to meet new people, ask loads of questions, and learn about the history and culture of a new city. It’s one of our favorite ways to see a city! In this post, we share our recommended food tours in Osaka.
All pricing is provided in Japanese yen. This helps you plan your budget based on the current currency rates. With some tours, pricing will adjust based on how many people have already booked, how many people are in your party, and the time of year.
We recommend using Viator for booking food tours and experiences. We like Viator for a few reasons. One, we’ve used them for tours around the world without any problems. Second, you will receive immediate confirmation of your booking.
Last, Viator is a reputable company that is actually owned by TripAdvisor, so if there are any issues with your booking, there is a big company standing behind the booking.
Eating sushi at a market in Osaka
Osaka Food Market Tour And Lunch
This small group tour of Osaka begins with a walk through Tsuruhashi Wholesale Fish Market. This is where many of Osaka’s restaurants buy freshly caught seafood. Enjoy mouthwatering sashimi surrounded by seafood vendors selling their daily catch.
The tour continues around the market where other local Japanese snacks and seasonal fruits are sampled. From the market, it’s time to ride the Osaka metro to a restaurant in the Shinsekai neighborhood for lunch.
The tour price starts at around ¥12000 per person depending on group size. It’s a half-day tour, which starts at 10 am. Because this tour covers a lot of ground, you will be using the Osaka metro.
The cost of the metro is not included. (Book an Osaka 1-Day or 2-Day Metro Pass here).
Book this Osaka tour here.
Why we like this tour:
With a maximum group size of six, the small size allows the guide to customize the experience and improvise along the way. The tour features a number of Osaka specialties including Okonomiyaki and Kushikatu.
Two must eat dishes in Osaka. This is also a great tour for repeat travelers to Osaka to learn more about what and where to eat because it can be customized ahead of time.
We took an Osaka private tour with this same company. Our experience was a little different because they customized it for us. Because we’ve been to Osaka numerous times they gave us a more food professional.
Our guide was knowledgeable and detailed and taught us a lot about food in a city we know well.
Exploring Kuromon Market In Osaka
Kuromon Market And Dotonbori Food Tour
For first-time visitors to Osaka, this food tour provides a great introduction to one of Japan’s best culinary cities. The tour focuses on the famous Osaka market, Kuromon, and Dotonbori, Osaka’s food street.
Beginning in the famous Kuromon Market, the centerpiece of Osaka food culture, the tour showcases the wide variety of vendors in the market, from butchers selling wagyu beef to tofu and of course sushi.
Eating your way around the market, the tour guide provides insight into the rich history of Japanese cuisine as well as individual dishes.
After the market, the tour continues past a number of famous Osaka sites including Sennichimae Doguyasuji Shopping Street and Dotonbori Bridge, where the tour ends.
Book this Kuromon Market Tour here.
Why we like this tour:
The tour can accommodate up to eight guests with pricing starting at ¥10000. Any special dietary requirements should be made at the time of booking. The tour begins at Nippombashi Station at 10:45 am and lasts three hours.
In Osaka, food is incredibly important. Sampling local specialties such as yakitori, okonomiyaki, and takoyaki all in one tour, provides first time visitors to Osaka with great insight into what sets Osaka apart from other Japanese cities. With all of these dishes and more, guests will certainly not leave this tour hungry.
Eating Sushi in Osaka
Osaka Food And Bike Tour
Explore Osaka on two wheels while enjoying a sample of its culinary offerings. This three-hour tour focus on the south side neighborhood of Shinsekai.
In between bites of spicy pancakes, wagyu beef, sushi, and other delicious snacks, your guide will lead you through local markets.
The guide will also introduce you to locals to gain a better understanding of just how important food is to the residents of “Japan’s Kitchen.”
In addition to amazing local food, the riding tour leads past stunning Buddhist temples and visits one of Osaka’s many knife producers.
Pricing for the tour starts at ¥9000. While not overly strenuous, the tour is not recommended for travelers with back problems, heart, or serious medical conditions. Pregnant travelers are also advised not to participate.
Book This Osaka Bike Tour here.
Why we like this tour:
Osaka is a massive city made up of dozens of neighborhoods. Hoping on two wheels to explore one of its iconic neighborhoods in a small group of seven is an experience not to be missed.
Add the opportunity to sample a number of local delicacies while meeting local residents is the cherry on top. This Osaka foodie tour provides a unique perspective of the city.
Osaka Night Tour Through The City’s Backstreets
Outside of the bright neon lights of Dotonbori lies another Osaka. An Osaka filled with illegal gambling dens, intriguing alleys, and areas controlled by the yakuza (Japanese mafia).
Led by Andy, a half-Japanese, half-Australian guide, this Osaka night tour explores parts of the city that most tourists steer clear of.
During the approximately three-hour-long tour, guests will develop a deeper understanding of this multi-layered city.
Sample delicious Osaka street food while exploring authentic Osaka, bursting with history, and a bit rough around the edges. It’s a unique Osaka itinerary unlike any other.
Pricing to explore this other side of Osaka begins at ¥5600. The tour includes a one-hour all-you-can-eat kushikatsu experience at a vegetarian-friendly restaurant.
Accommodating up to 12 guests, the tour is perfectly suited for couples and small groups of friends.
Book This Osaka Night Tour here.
Why we like this tour:
We like this Osaka street food tour because it’s so quirky and unique. It’s great for people who want something more than the typical food tour.
Best of all, after the tour is over, Andy offers his personal recommendations on where to find the best shopping, dining, and drinking options for his guests.
Izakaya in Osaka
Namba Food And Bar Hopping Tour
Osaka is an amazing city for food. And with food, comes drink. This bar-hopping tour is a great way to explore several of Osaka’s drinking establishments, which are often overlooked by tourists.
Your guide will help navigate Japanese drinking culture and customs while sampling local sake, beer, and other alcoholic beverages.
Focusing on the Dotonbori and Namba areas of Osaka, the three-hour night tour visits three local izakaya bars. Here you’ll sample local beer snacks while learning how to read a Japanese menu.
Pricing for the tour starts at ¥6500. Additional costs for food and drink may be required. The perfect tour for couples or small groups of friends, maxing out at seven guests.
The minimum age in Japan for drinking is 20 years old. Most bars in Osaka do not accept credit cards so it is advised to have enough cash available.
Book This Namba Food Tour here.
Why we like this tour:
For first-time visitors to Osaka learning how and what to order in a Japanese bar is challenging. The Namba bar hopping tour is a great way to get your feet wet on learning the customs associated with drinking in Japan.
With a small group setting, the tour allows for a detailed conversation about the different Japanese alcoholic drinks, bar snacks, and etiquette.
Making Takoyaki in an Osaka Cooking Class
Osaka Cooking Class
Cooking is at the heart of Japan, especially in Osaka. In this traditional Japanese cooking class learn the secrets and techniques to prepare some of Japan’s most iconic dishes. With only eight participants in each class, you’ll receive personal hands-on attention.
Learn to prepare traditional Japanese green tea, takoyaki (fried octopus balls), miso soup, and okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake). They also arrange for an optional sake or beer tasting.
This three-hour class is highly recommended for travelers who love to cook. Set in a traditional Japanese house, it’s a fun, hands-on experience that introduces the art of cooking in Japan.
Prices for the cooking class start from ¥9000. Vegetarian options are available but all dietary requirements should be communicated at the time of booking.
Book this Osaka cooking class here.
Why we like this cooking class:
We took this cooking class during an earlier visit to Osaka. It’s hosted by two sisters who not only love to cook but share the recipes that were handed down to them by their mother and grandmother. It’s also a great opportunity to go into someone’s home and see what it’s like to live in Japan.
The tour is a little outside of the city center of Osaka, but they provide directions by train and will meet you at the station.
Osaka Sushi Cooking Class
Fewer things are more Japanese than sushi. In this Osaka sushi cooking class, you will learn from a professional sushi instructor what it takes to prepare the most iconic Japanese dish.
In addition to sampling, your own hand-rolled sushi, enjoy traditional miso soup and Japanese omelet. Guests can enjoy their meal with an optional Japanese sake or beer tasting, for an additional fee. Limited to eight guests, pricing for the class starts at ¥11000.
Set in a traditional Japanese home, the class begins with your instructor demonstrating how to make the all-important sushi rice.
Rice rolling techniques for sashimi sushi are explained then it’s your turn to get rolling. Preparing side by side with the chef, guests will also learn how to create sushi rolls using inari (tofu skin).
Book this Sushi Cooking Class here.
Why we like this cooking class:
It takes years to master the art of preparing sushi. For any traveler who’s been curious about how sushi is made, this is a perfect class.
Lasting just over two and a half hours, participants will learn the basics of sushi making while having the opportunity to experience the process firsthand. Best of all, travelers can enjoy the sushi they made.
This Osaka cooking class is hosted by the same sisters who taught our cooking class in Osaka. We just love them and can’t recommend them enough! It’s also taught at their home.
FAQs – HOW TO BOOK A FOOD TOUR IN OSAKA
The Asahi brewery outside of Osaka does offer free tours. It is highly recommended to make a booking in advance. Visitors who arrive at the brewery without an appointment must wait, upwards of two and a half hours, for the next available tour. Appointments can be made by calling the brewery. English-speaking representatives are available when calling. Tours are given in both Japanese and English. The tours last approximately 30 minutes and include a tasting of three beers. Learn more here.
Comfortable shoes! Most food tours involve a lot of walking and standing. Also, wear comfortable clothing with layers, which means a rain jacket or umbrella during bad weather.
No, if you follow our Osaka Food Guide and our Dotonbori Food Guide you can eat well. But, you will be missing out on a lot of the history and culture of this food-centric city. Spending even two or three hours on a food tour is such a great way to learn more about a city and its culture – all while eating and drinking!
Osaka is an incredible food city and is known for many dishes. During an Osaka food tour, you can expect to sample okonomiyaki, sushi, takoyaki, and ramen. All of these are classic Japanese dishes.