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The Best Free Walking Tours in Osaka, Japan

The Best Free Walking Tours in Osaka, Japan
[Dotonbori | Image Courtesy of Eleonora Albasi / Unsplash.jpg]

The Best Free Walking Tours in Osaka, Japan

If there’s one thing free walking tours in Osaka, Japan have in common, it’s food. No matter where your tour’s itinerary brings you, gastronomic delights will always be a part of it.


If there’s one thing free walking tours in Osaka, Japan have in common, it’s food. No matter where your tour’s itinerary brings you, gastronomic delights will always be a part of it.

Osaka is known as ‘The Nation’s Kitchen,’ a moniker it so well deserved thanks to the popular Japanese proverb, “Dress into ruin in Kyoto, eat into ruin in Osaka.”

Osaka, after all, is a city of ‘kuidaore’ which in literal sense means “to ruin oneself by extravagance in food.” Learn more about the city’s rich history and food culture through free walking tours in Osaka.

1. Dotonbori

The Best Free Walking Tours in Osaka, Japan
[Dotonbori | Image Courtesy of Agathe Marty / Unsplash.jpg]

Dotonbori is the most popular nightlife and entertainment area in Osaka. Hundreds of neon-lit shops, bars, restaurants, street food stalls, amusement arcades, and ginormous signages line up the sides of Dotonbori canal from Dotonbori Bridge to Nippon Bridge.

Many free walking tours in Osaka offer sightseeing within the area. Some cool spots around Dotonbori worth visiting include:

  • Glico’s running man signboard (Osaka’s symbol)

  • Ebisu Bridge

  • Kani Doraku (a famous crab restaurant)

  • Don Quijote (a Walmart-like store of cheap goods that has a Ferris wheel at the entrance)

  • Kushikatsu Daruma (a popular store selling kushikatsu, Osaka’s signature meat and veggie on skewers)

How to Get to Dotonbori

Dotonbori is located in the district of Namba, Chuo Ward. You can get there from Namba Station, Osaka Namba Station, and JR Namba Station. There are multiple entrances to Dotonbori that are well signposted so it should be easy to find one.

2. Hozenji Yokocho

The Best Free Walking Tours in Osaka, Japan
[Alley in Japan | Image Courtesy of Satoshi Hirayama / Pexels .jpg]

Located right across Dotonbori, Hozenji Yokocho is a tiny district embracing two 80 meter-long, 2.7 meter-wide narrow cobblestone alleys filled with traditional restaurants and izakaya (Japanese pub). It resembles Kyoto’s Pontocho and Tokyo’s Omoide Yokocho where the vibe will bring you to the old samurai era of Japan.

At the end of the alley is Hozenji Temple where local tourists and merchants can pour water over moss-clad statues for good luck. Make sure to visit Hozenji Yokocho by day and at night to get a 360-degree experience of its unique nostalgic atmosphere.

Lots of free walking tours in Osaka—mostly include food—highlight the narrow alleys for the sheer amount of affordable foods served in shabby-looking restaurants. From okonomiyaki (savory pancake) to nabe mono to kushikatsu, you can taste them all here.

3. Shinsekai

The Best Free Walking Tours in Osaka, Japan
[Shinsekai | Image Courtesy of Robby McCullough / Unsplash.jpg]

Shinsekai is an interesting neighborhood developed way back in 1912 with Paris as an inspiration for its northern side and New York for its southern side. Decades after World War II, the neighborhood had received minimal development efforts until the dawn of the 21st century. Restaurants and entertainment attractions have populated the neighborhood and in no time gained local tourists’ attention and flourished into what it is today.

At the heart of Shinsekai is its symbolic image, the Tsutentaku Tower, which means “tower reaching to heaven” in its literal sense. If you are in Shinsekai, include in your Osaka itinerary some prominent spots like:

  • Janjan Yokocho (a dining and shopping alley)

  • Blowfish lantern (a decorative outside Zuboraya, a popular pufferfish restaurant)

How to Get to Shinsekai

Shinsekai is located in Ebisuhigashi, Naniwa ward. It’s a few minutes walk away from Shin-Imamiya Station, Ebisucho Station, and Dobutsuen-mae Station.

4. Kuromon Ichiba Market

The Best Free Walking Tours in Osaka, Japan
[Kuromon Ichiba Market |Image Courtesy of Stephen Kelly / Flickr.jpg]

In the city of Kuidaore, Kuromon Ichiba Market is where you can find the widest range of gastronomic delights. It’s called “Osaka’s Kitchen” not for nothing. Boasting nearly 200 food stalls and eateries lined up along a 580-meter stretch, without doubt, this market will put your discerning palate (and pocket) to test with thousands of fresh and pre-cooked foods ready for the taking daily.

Kuromon Ichiba Market is also the main source of residents and restaurants for farm-fresh produce. Lots of free walking tours in Osaka will walk you through the market. A friendly reminder: the market can get crowded. And we’re talking about concert-kind-of-crowd. In fact, it recorded an average of 23,000 visitors per day. That was in 2015.

How to Get to Kuromon Ichiba Market

Kuromon Ichiba Market is located in Nipponbashi, Chuo Ward. It’s a short walk away from Nippombashi Subway Station and Kintetsu Nippombashi Station.

5. Nipponbashi (Den Den Town)

The Best Free Walking Tours in Osaka, Japan
[Nipponbashi | Image Courtesy of Kyle Hasegawa / Flickr.jpg]

Nipponbashi is often regarded as the Akihabara of Osaka because of the insane number of electronics shops sprawling all over it. Also called as Den Den Town, this shopping district in Naniwa ward is popular particularly among otaku (diehard fans) and geeks about anime, manga, video games, and whatnots.

Although smaller than Tokyo’s Akihabara, Nipponbashi can be difficult to navigate for first-timers. The best way to roam around the neighborhood is by the street. Saki-suji Street is where the main electronics stores are located. Ota Road is where modern shops for otaku abound. Looking for small discount shops? Nansan Street is the best place.

How to Get to Nipponbashi

Nipponbashi is only a few minutes walk south from Nipponbashi Station and north from Ebisucho Station. Nankai Namba Station is also close to Nipponbashi.


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Osaka Localized provides visitors and travellers to Osaka with a unique perspective of this great city. What makes Osaka Localized unique is that our walking tour guides live and work in Osaka, have a passion for this city and love meeting and welcoming new faces. Find out more about our Walking Tours in Osaka.

A great experience for: Day Tours in Osaka, Group Tours in Osaka, Private Walking Tours Osaka, University Walking Tours Osaka, Things To Do at Night in Osaka, Activities in Osaka, Osaka Sightseeing Tour, Osaka Tourist Attractions.

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