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Osaka tours and excursions

Osaka tours

Boat tours

Osaka's waterways are the foundation of the city's economic history, and a cruise along the Okawa River is both picturesque and informative. There are also boat tours of Osaka Bay which stop at Tempozan Village, the site of some exciting port redevelopment projects.

Osaka Waterbus runs the Aqualiner, a futuristic-looking tourist boat cruising the Okawa River. The company also offers scheduled and charter cruises further north in the river as well as in Osaka's bay further south. Sunrise Tours offer boat rides through the Osakajo Bay.

Tel: +81 3 5796 5454.
Website: http://www.jtb-sunrisetours.jp

Walking tours

Seeing Osaka on foot is a great way to become acquainted with both the modern and historical landmarks of the city. The views from Osaka Castle and Umeda's Floating Observatory offer different perspectives of the bustling metropolis. Sunrise Tours organise guided walking tours, taking in all the key sights.

Tel: +81 3 5796 5454.
Website: http://www.jtb-sunrisetours.jp

Osaka excursions

Kyoto

Japan's old imperial capital and still the cultural heart of the nation, Kyoto is less than half an hour away from Osaka on the Shinkansen (bullet train). The city has more than 2,000 temples and shrines and a wealth of other cultural and historical treasures, including the old Gion entertainment area where real geisha can still be spotted dashing between teahouse engagements. Other highlights include the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, with its thousands of torii gates up in the hillside behind it, and the Kiyomizu Temple, with its verandas seemingly hanging in the air above the steep hillside below. The Kinkakuji Temple, with its impressive gold-leaf-covered pavilion, has a lovely garden, as does the Heian Shrine.

Kyoto City Tourist Information
2F, JR Kyoto Station Building, Kyoto

Tel: +81 75 343 0548.
Website: http://www.kyoto.travel

Nara

A city older than Kyoto and the first permanent capital of Japan before Kyoto, Nara is located just 45 minutes away from Osaka and has a wealth of cultural riches, including a large number of old temples, shrines and art works. It boasts the world's largest wooden building at Todaiji Temple, which houses a famous bronze Buddha of gigantic proportions, as well as the world's oldest wooden structure at Horyuji Temple. Both have status as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites and are among the most important temples in Japan. The city has many other interesting temples in addition to some beautiful parkland and plenty of arts and crafts and souvenir shops.

Tel: +81 742 272 223.
Website: http://www.city.nara.lg.jp

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Featured Hotels

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Hotel Unizo Yodoyabashi

Hotel Unizo Yodoyabashi is a cheap yet elegant business-type hotel close to Osaka's museum district. The rooms are exceptionally clean and comfortable with spacious bathrooms and large-screen TVs. There's also an in-house spa and Japanese and Italian restaurants.

Toyoko Inn Shin-Osaka Chuo-guchi Honkan

Part of the excellent-value business hotel chain, this Toyoko Inn is just five minutes from the Shinkansen station and makes a solid choice for a cheap hotel in Osaka. The Toyoko Inn has good facilities such as free Wi-Fi, coin-operated laundry facilities, and a free breakfast buffet.

Hilton Osaka Hotel

With its excellent location just outside JR Osaka Station, the Hilton Osaka offers convenience as well as luxury to its guests. There are four restaurants serving a variety of international cuisines, including Windows on the World, which boasts great views of the city from the 35th floor and live music every evening. The hotel has a business centre, a beauty salon, swimming pool and fitness room.

Imperial Hotel Osaka

This opulent hotel is in a pleasant location overlooking the Okawa River in the north of Osaka, and is just as luxurious as its famous Tokyo cousin. Purified air is pumped into the rooms, the service is extremely attentive and there's also a golf driving range. The Imperial Hotel's elegant in-house restaurants serve French, Chinese and a range of Japanese cuisines, including teppanyaki and sushi.

Hotel Nikko Osaka

Hotel Nikko Osaka is a top-class hotel in Osaka, close to the main nightlife and shopping arcades of the Minami area. The spacious rooms are supremely comfortable and decorated in a sleek, modern style, with the upper floors offering views of Mt Ikoma. There's a good range of restaurants, including three offering breakfast. There's also a business centre in the hotel.

Swissôtel Nankai Osaka

Swissôtel Nankai Osaka is located in the heart of Namba, above the Nankai train station, which makes it extremely convenient for direct access to Kansai International Airport. The rooms are modestly decorated and have great views over southern Osaka. There are also seven restaurants, bars, a gym, spa and indoor swimming pool.