Experience Osaka's Vibrant Nightlife!10 Best Bar Hopping Tours in Osaka To Enjoy This City's Vibe

Experience Osaka's Vibrant Nightlife!10 Best Bar Hopping Tours in Osaka To Enjoy This City's Vibe

Osaka is Japan's second largest city and hosts a lively nightlife. The city which gave rise to the practice of kuidore Osaka is a haven for those keen on a fun night of drinks and delicious local fare. Check out our list of the best tours that will help you get a taste of its bar scene and more!

Hop, Skip and Cheers- Spend a Memorable Night Bar Hopping in Osaka

Drinking in Japan is widespread and mainstream and yet you won't find any of the negativities commonly associated with the habit (drunken brawls, lawlessness and more). Neither is drinking a mere leisure activity in Japan. On the contrary, drinking is a cultural phenomenon in the country and there are many traditions and etiquette that come with it. The locals use it as a way of socializing and striking up friendships among themselves, and as a way of extending hospitality to the tourists.

Tourists can avail of this remarkable experience through bar hopping tours, especially in the city of Osaka. Downtown Osaka is one of the hips happening places in Japan and can give you the experience of a lifetime. Such tours involve a local tour guide taking a small group of people around the backstreets of the downtown area visiting hidden bars, clubs and izakayas. The duration of a tour is usually a few hours and happens at night. You drink local alcohol, partake of Japanese traditional dishes, get first-hand experience of the country’s drinking culture and have unlimited fun in an affable and rich ambience.

10 Best Bar Hopping Tours in Osaka

The following list contains 10 such tours. The itinerary and highlights of each tour has been included. Choose one that suits you the most.

1. Night Tour in Namba

This tour organized by Magical Trip will let you experience the vibrant nightlife of Osaka. You will soak it in as you meander through food joints and hidden pubs while indulging in delicious food and drinks.

You will join the group meets at Namba Subway station. As a part of you will visit 3 izakaya bars in the Namba area. You will also walk around Dotonbori. The tour ends with the return to Namba Subway Station.

Highlights:

The tour is inclusive of 4 drinks, 8 deep-fried skewers and 1 dish OR 3 drinks, 8 deep-fried skewers and 2 dishes. Vegans can rest assured as vegan options are available for the above skewers and dishes. The tour is 3 hours long and it is designed for small groups. The tour guide knows English hence communication won’t be a problem.

The cost per person for this tour is $90, and can be booked on Magical-Trip.

2. Craft Beer Tour

This tour has been designed for craft beer lovers. You will be guided through the streets of the Umeda district in downtown Osaka hopping bars that serve Japanese craft beer. The group meets and sets off from Nishiki-Cho in Osaka. Since the tour is built around craft beer, the venues are specific to it. You will visit every craft beer bar in the tour area.

Highlights:

The tour includes 1 half-pint at every bar you visit. Food is not included in the tour ( you can eat at your own discretion and separate expense). This 3-hour long tour is meant for groups of 1-6 people. You will be accompanied by a guide who is a certified expert on the subject of the Japanese craft beer process, history, and culture. He is well-versed in English so communication won’t be an issue. This tour gives you the wonderful opportunity of on-site learning as you will receive insight into the subject of Japanese craft beer while savoring it.

The tour costs $52.12 and you can find out more about it on By Food.

3. The Ultimate Night Tour ($104.26)

This tour is the best way to explore the nightlife of Osaka. It is characterized by delicious food, drinks and making merry. The tour is hosted by Rodney. The group meets in front of the Bic Camera East exit in Namba You will be able to enjoy dinner and drinks at an izakaya. Thereon you will embark on a tour exploring the backstreets of Namba, hopping through hidden bars in the alleyways ( you will visit 3 bars). You will also visit the Dotombori. The best feature of the tour is that you will be getting a closer look at the party centers of Amemura and Shinsaibashi.

Highlights:

Dinner and the first drink at an authentic izakaya is included in the tour. So are the first drinks at each of the 3 locations visited post dinner. The extra drinks and delicacies that you can get at a separate expense will not burn a hole in your pocket as the tour gives you a “pub passport”. A “pub passport” is a booklet that includes free drinks and discounted entry fees to bars and nightclubs. Communication won’t be a problem because the guide speaks English. The tour is 3 hours long and designed for 2-6 people. This tour enables you to experience and soak in a different side of Osaka that is rich, vibrant and unique.

Check out this tour on By Food.

4. Local Bar Hopping Hosted by Hiro

This tour is exactly like an outing with a close friend. The experience will be something that you will cherish for a long time. You will be hosted by a local named Hiro who will guide you through the streets and bylanes of downtown Osaka letting you indulge in the culture and feel of its nightlife. It is hosted by Hiro and you will need to pay $91 per person. As a part of the tour, you will be visiting 3 local bars or restaurants in the area. The group meets at Swissotel before setting off.

Highlights:

The Tour is entirely customizable which is its best feature. You can tell the host which area you want to visit and he shall arrange the tour in that area. The tour includes 1 drink and 1 dish at each of the 3 venues. You can have any drink or dish at the said venues provided they are below 500 yen each. Transportation cost is inclusive if the group moves to an area away from Namba. The host knows English and the tour is 2.5 hours long.

5. Osaka Pub Crawl

This tour provides the best drinking experience in Osaka. What is best about this whole affair is that you get to enjoy your tour with a dynamic crowd made up of like-minded people.


As a part of the tour, you will visit as many bars and clubs as possible during the tour hours. The host promises to cover 3 bars and clubs at least. The starting point of the tour is Voyager Lounge Bar.

Highlights:

The tour includes an entrance fee to all clubs and bars and welcome shots (1 per bar). Besides, there will be unlimited bottle shots in between bars and 50% discount on drinks. The tour does not include food. You have to get them at your own discretion and expense. As mentioned earlier, you will visit at least 3 bars and clubs and 1 dance club. Other features include exclusive entry to after-parties, games and other fun activities. A party animal would love this tour. The tour guide knows both English and Japanese and the tour duration is 5 hours.

The tour is conducted by Tokyo Pub Crawl and the fare per person is $21.88

6. Bar Hopping Tour in the Nightlife Districts of Osaka

This customizable tour will give you an unforgettable night. You will be accompanied by a like-minded host and get first-hand experience of the local work-hard, party-harder culture.

You can make this tour entirely to your tastes. Give the tour guide inputs about your likes, dislikes and preferences when he contacts you. Using this the guide will have an itinerary that will get covered during the tour.

Highlights:

The tour includes 2 drinks of your choice. You will get unparalleled insights of the local culture and scene from your knowledgeable guide, in the 4 hours of touring. Communication won’t be a problem as your guide knows both Japanese and English.

City Unscripted Conducts this tour and the fare per person is $222.91

7. An Immersive Food and Bar Hopping Tour in Namba

This tour will give you a taste of the past and the present. You will walk the lanes of Osaka’s busiest shopping district ( Ura Namba) and immerse yourself in an atmosphere that fuses the past and the present.

The group meets at Namba HIPS then proceeds to visit 2 or 3 bars depending on the tour course chosen by them. You will walk through Hozenji Temple and surrounding areas followed by a photo session at Glico Man sign, one of Osaka’s main attractions.

Highlights:

You will experience the history and culture of the place. So, this tour is ideal for those who love to explore and understand new places and cultures. The tour becomes sweeter as you will get to savour some of the local favorites like beer, sashimi platter, lemon chuhai, tori paitan ramen and much more. Your tour guide knows english so communication won’t be a problem during the 2 to 3 hours of the tour.

The tour is conducted by Deep Experience and the fare per person is $74.52

8. An All-inclusive Culture Dive Tour ($110)

This tour has been tailor-made for foodies. You will visit street food vendors, restaurants and markets of Osaka by night not only sampling their delicious fare but also learning about Japanese cuisine, culinary traditions and their food culture.The group will meet up at the Mcdonald’s outside Temma Station and start the tour. Under the guidance of the tour guide, you will be exploring places like Pulala Tenma, Ogimachi Park, Tenjimbashisuji shopping street and Kyobashi.

Highlights:

The tour includes dinner and 3 alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks. Public transportation fee and admission fees wherever required are covered. The features of this tour are personalized tour experience, and getting a taste of local living both in a literal and metaphorical sense. You will literally savour delicious traditional Japanese dishes and metaphorically get a local feel by travelling in public transport just like the locals do.

There is plenty of scope to soak in the local atmosphere by exploring many venues. The group strength cannot exceed 6 members so this tour is ideal for you if you dislike boisterous company in large numbers. The tour is of 3 hours duration. Your tour guide is a native English speaker ( or equivalent) so there will be zero issues with communication.

You can be a part of this tour conducted by Pinpoint Traveller for $110 (price will vary by group size).

9. Bar Hopping and Night Walking Tour

This tour is for you if you want to throw caution to the winds for a night, and party. It will take you to hidden bars and other fun places in Osaka, and let you party as hard as the locals.

As a part of the tour, you will make four stops. This include an opportunity to experience an authentic Japanese restaurant, an izakaya bar and a terrace bar along the Dotonbori river.

Highlights:

You will enjoy authentic Japanese food and drinks. There will be lots of craft beer and sake. It shall be an informative tour besides food, drink and party. The tour guide is well-versed in Japanese and English. This 3-hour tour is designed for large groups of a maximum of 30 people. Parents can bring their 2+ years old children.

The tour is hosted by Kazane for a price starting from $228 a person.

10. Backstreet Night Tour

This tour is perfect for you if you wish to explore Japanese culture through its cuisine. You will visit a variety of neighbourhoods in Osaka, making your way through the backstreets and stopping at bars and restaurants that the locals love. The group meets at Torigoro. You will be walking through the streets and by lanes of downtown Osaka, visiting bars, izakayas and karaoke bars that fall on the route. The tour also includes photography at the famous Glico man signs.

Highlights:

This tour includes 1 drink and an izakaya dinner. You will get an English speaking tour guide so communication won’t be a hassle. The tour is 3 hours long and a group can have maximum of 8 people.

The tour is organized by Taste Osaka and the fare starts from $109.78 per person.

Bar Etiquette in Japan: Important Considerations to Keep in Mind

Every country has a set of customs and etiquettes that are unique to them. Guests are expected to respect these customs and etiquettes, and such is not an outrageous demand. Here are Japanese etiquettes that you should keep in mind when bar hopping in Osaka.

The Legal Drinking Age in Japan is 20 Years

This is self explanatory. Don’t book a bar hopping tour if you are below the legal drinking age. Similarly, exclude the underage member from attending a bar hopping tour if you are traveling in a group.

Never Pour Your Own Drink

Source vinepair.com

This belongs under Japanese courtesy and is followed everywhere in Japan. It is also something that is easily forgettable for a foreigner so be careful in that regard. Also, it is no invitation for you to be impudent and order people around you to fill your emptied glass. You have to be subtle with this and the best way to do so is to offer to pour the drink of another. It will begin a cycle where you pour the drink for someone and then they do the same for you out of courtesy.

Wait Until Everyone Has Been Served

This too belongs under Japanese courtesy. You wait until everyone else in your group has been served before you start drinking. It is polite to do so and instills a sense of community and affability in the tour group.

Food and Drink Must Go Together

The Japanese always accompany their drinks with some food. The traditional local bars known as izakaya are characterized by the availability of numerous small, usually inexpensive dishes that you can have with your drinks.

Avoid Cancelling the Tour (Unless it's Absolutely Necessary) or Being Late for It

This is one mistake that most tourists make. It is quite common in many countries to cancel appointments and reservations at the drop of a hat, and nobody makes a big deal about it. It is also common to be late for your appointments and reservations. The situation in Japan is very different. The Japanese do not take kindly to people who cancel appointments, bookings and reservations. They might let other cultural transgressions slide but this is where they draw the line. You are sure to offend the locals if you cancel your tour or turn up later than you should.

From our editorial team

Use Taxis Often

Taxis are especially useful after midnight. You can always find them outside subway and train stations. Uber is also available in Osaka. Tipping is not required in Japan. A simple "thank you" will suffice.

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