Looking for a full-day, private vehicle tour that covers top spots with a fun, knowledgeable, and truly fluent English speaker? You've found it. We show you Dotonbori, Osaka Castle, Shin-sekai, a view from high above, and more! Plus, get some local insight and interesting commentary at some of our other recommended stops. All of this at your pace, with your own personal driver/guide, and high quality vehicle service. Your guide is *guaranteed* to be a native English speaker or honest equivalent.
What is included in the tour
- Hotel pickup and drop-off
- All vehicle costs
What is NOT included in the tour
- Food and drinks
- Admissions (which will range from zero to a few hundred yen or so, depending on if you change the plan)
- Pickup if you are outside of central Osaka (defined as within or along the JR Loop Line). North of the Yodogawa River (but still in Osaka city) will incur a 1,000 yen group surcharge for both pickup and drop off. Port of Osaka pickups will incur a 2,500 yen extra fee each way.
Private car service allows you to leisurely and comfortably see Osaka highlights such Osaka Castle, Dotonbori, Shin-sekai.
From the moment we depart your Osaka lodgings, you are served up a cavalcade of all things entertainment, historic, foodie, and of splendid view! With entertaining (and sometimes... pithy?) commentary to boot, you're going to have a great day exploring our beloved hometown of Osaka. Depending on your wishes, changes to the itinerary can be made upon request (some changes may incur additional fees), but our recommended batting order is as follows:
- Osaka Castle. Of course you're going to see Osaka Castle, arguably the most iconic spot of great historical significance in Osaka. We'll traverse the grounds, all the while talking about the history, architecture, and significance of the spot. Since the rebuilt interior of the castle is rather disappointing, we recommend giving that a miss. Trust us.
- Shitennoji. This is said to be the oldest Buddhist temple in Japan, and the grounds make for a great place to stroll about. We'll regale you with stories and lob you just enough info on the place to make it interesting without being tedious. Unless you like loads of info, because we have that too. It's your private tour after all! :)
- Shin-sekai. Fun for all ages, in an odd sort of reality-independent way, this is a must-see while in Osaka. Games, food, fashion (perhaps heavily skewed toward the eye of the beholder), and that general, unmistakable Osaka vibe. No one forgets a visit to Shin-sekai.
- Lunch, and a trip up Harukas. We'll have a lunch to your liking in the Tennoji area, which is also where the super tall building known as Harukas is. This being the tallest non-tower building in Japan (300m), there are views aplenty. (We in Osaka have heard there is some tower with a height of biblical proportions in Tokyo, but we're not so interested.) We won't go up to the top of Harukas, but we go high enough to enjoy a breathtaking view of Osaka, and on a good day, all the way to Kobe and more. Some local shopping is available here too, if you're keen.
- Namba-Dotonbori. We've got a little flexibility here, but we love showing people not only the internationally famous Kuromon Ichiba (seafood market, with an emphasis on the ready-to-eat), but also some cool back streets, the kitchenware district, a department store food hall, and then of course a walkabout in the Dotonbori area proper.
By now, with items on your Things to See list neatly checked off -- and a few write-ins as well -- it will be just about time to drive you back to your lodging. You liked Osaka before the day started, but now your LOVE it. Naturally, this was our plan all along.