Japan’s third-largest city might not be its prettiest, but it is one of its most welcoming. Osakan’s are known for their humour and the city has an extensive live music and comedy scene. A must-try local dish is takoyaki (grilled octopus dumplings), which is sold on most street corners.

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15 days

Japan food and art trail

Japanese culture in depth
Tokyo (3 days) Matsumoto (1) Takayama (2) Kyoto (3) Takamatsu (2) Osaka (4)
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14 days

Cities of Japan

Tokyo, Osaka, Hiroshima and beyond
Tokyo (3 days) Hakone (2) Kyoto (3) Hiroshima (2) Kinosaki (1) Osaka (3)
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15 days

Rural Japan route

Go beyond the big cities into the heart of Japan
Kyoto (3 days) Hiroshima (2) Takamatsu (3) Iya Valley (2) Himeji (1) Osaka (4)
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  • Tokyo


    Tokyo has more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other city in the world, but it’s not just about famous restaurants and high prices...
  • Kyoto


    Kyoto is home to more than 2,000 atmospheric temples and shrines...
  • Takayama


    Little Takayama in Central Honshu is famous for its taste of rural Japan...
  • Matsumoto


    The alpine city of Matsumoto is famous for many things – it’s renowned for producing incredible art and artists, its beautiful setting in the northern Japanese Alps and for being the birthplace of soba (buckwheat) noodles, a Japanese delicacy...
  • Hakone


    Hakone is best known for its natural onsen (hot spa pools) and views of Mount Fuji...
  • Kinosaki


    Kinosaki is the archetypal onsen town — as well as being tourist-friendly...
  • Himeji


    Built in 1580, Himeji-jo has a legitimate claim to be Japan’s most magnificent castle...
  • Takamatsu


    The gardens of Ritsurin Park are one of Takamatsu main attractions and are the perfect place to relax...
  • Hiroshima


    While modern Hiroshima is a thriving, cosmopolitan city, it will always be known as the city destroyed by the world’s first atomic bomb...
  • Iya Valley

    Iya Valley

    The Iya Valley is a huge expanse of tree-lined mountains and deep river gorges, home to tiny villages, hot springs and great views...
  • Kanazawa


    Kanazawa is capital of the Ishikawa Prefecture and was largely undamaged by World War Two air raids, making it a great place to explore Japan’s historical architecture, such as the Nagamachi samurai district...

Things to do in Osaka

Our recommended experiences and activities

Explore a mountaintop Buddhist community

Explore a mountaintop Buddhist community

Mount Koya is the centre of Shingon Buddhism, first established in 819. The town at the top is home to many temples and pagodas where you can say prayers, but for a peaceful — if slightly eerie experience — take a walk through the town’s silent cemetery surrounded by thick Japanese cedars in the snow.

Where to go in Japan

Our recommended places

Why Horizon Guides?

Expert travel guide

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Authentic experiences

Authentic experiences

We curate exceptional trips in underrated places, organised by the very best tour operators who live and breathe their destinations and are passionate about authentic, responsible tourism.

Give back to mother nature

Give back to mother nature

We'll plant 50 trees for every trip booked via the Horizon Guides site in partnership with the International Tree Foundation, who carry out sustainable community forestry projects in Africa.