If Tokyo is the political center of Japan, then Osaka would be the economic center of the country. Osaka is well-known for its trading past and present, and the people are known for their trader’s mentality. The people are different, and so is this bustling city which should not be missed when in the Kansai region of Japan!
We will start our tour in the south of the town, at the Imamiya Ebisu shrine; a shrine that symbolizes the love of the Osakan people for money. After the guide will give you inside information about the shrine, we will walk on to the oldest temple in Japan: Shitennoji. Here we can admire a statue of the ‘Japanese Jesus’, and I will introduce you to the history of Buddhism in Japan.
We will then continue on to the most famous place in town: the Osaka Castle. We will enjoy the view, and if it happens to be spring, we will be able to see a sea of pink cherry blossoms. Once the evening falls we will head back south, to immerse ourselves in a hip neighbourhood that is nicknamed ‘small America’. After this we will go to Dotonbori, the lively quarter that’s well-known for its delicious food in small food joints and one of the most romantic temples in Japan. Here we can also take a little peek at the slightly more absurd parts of Japanese culture, cue the many manga shops and Japanese style host clubs.
As a last stop we will bring you to Shinsekai, a cheaper and grittier part of town where locals eat large quantities of food for very low prices. It is also possible to go here for lunch. This tour is fully customizable: if you are more interested in the youth culture of Japan then we can take you to the neighbourhood where the Japanese otaku (Japanese style ‘nerds’) come together to buy manga together or to dress up like their favourite manga character.
This tour could be done either on foot or by bicycle (costs of bicycle rental not included).