What to Expect
This tour is designed for those who wish to explore izakaya ( Japanese-style taverns ) and to enjoy sightseeing in Minami ( South ) Area, Osaka. The tour starts at Jan-jan alley in Shin-Sekai ( the New World ), the name of which is said to have come from the noisy sound of practicing the shamisen ( three-stringed instruments ) before World War II. This alley retains a good old atmosphere of the commoners' town. Next you will move into the core part of Shin-Sekai, which has recently become one of the busiest tourist attractions in Osaka. Shin-Sekai streets are lined with many izakaya and kushikatsu ( deep-fried beef and vegetables on skewers ) restaurants. Then you will go up to the observatory of Tsutenkaku Tower modeled after the Eiffel Tower of Paris. You can take in the twilight view of Osaka from the observation deck, including the sunset on clear autumn days.
Five minute walk brings you to the first izakaya, which has a long history and has been favored by local people. This restaurant fulfills all the requirements for good izakaya; friendly atmosphere, sophisticated taste of dishes, long establishment, reasonable prices and the like. If you wish, you can easily talk with customers sitting next to you.
After ten minute walk through Nippon-bashi Streets ( similar to Akihabara in Tokyo ), you will be at a standing pub in Namba. This pub stores scores of different brands of Japanese sake in a large refrigerated showcase. You can also enjoy tasting a variety of dishes from Japanese-style to western-style. This pub is loved by young women as well as middle-aged men.
You will visit a third and last izakaya near the standing pub. There are a couple of nice izakaya restaurants with unique characteristics. One of the izakayas is run by a sake taster who offers you fresh and delicious sashimi ( sliced raw fish ) which goes very well with locally brewed sake. Another izakaya is popular with office workers because the lady staff amuse customers with her witty and comical talk.
On the way to Subway Namba Station, you will stop at Hozenji Temple alley and Ebisu-bashi Bridge famous for a big signboard of Glico athlete with hands up. Hozenji alley is an old Osaka quarter lined with Japanese-style restaurants, pubs and bars which were and are frequented by entertainers working in Dotombori area. Your tour ends at Ebisu-bashi Bridge for photo taking against the background of the Glico runner.