When you think of guided tours, what comes to mind? Field trips for school children perhaps…? There’s more to guided tours than that! Many tours can be enjoyed by adults too, you just have to know where to go. See how beer, sweets, and other food products are made, see money or newspapers on the press, and more! You can learn about your daily life and where all these products and foods come from while having a blast. It doesn’t need to be dull–or expensive. Some guided tours are even free!
So, what are the best guided tours in the Kansai area? Check it out below!
***- FOOD & DRINKS -***
You don’t have to just sit and watch–get hands-on. Can you make it as delicious as the pros?
1. CUPNOODLE museum
For Osaka, the CUPNOODLE museum will surely come to mind as a great place to start. We even introduced it in our blog in previously here:
2. Duskin Museum (OSAKA)
Established in 1963, Duskin is well known for creating a dust rag that can be used without water! Amazing, right? So why mention it in the “food and drink” section…?
In Japan when you want to get donuts. Where do you go? Mister Donuts of course! And whose the parent company of Mister Donuts… Duskin of course!
At the Duskin Museum, you can experience Mister Donuts like never before. Learn the history or try your hand at making your own donuts. You can try glazing donuts for yourself or, top donut holes with your favorite ingredients! (1 time / 200 JPY, no reservation necessary.)
・Mister Donuts Kitchen
|Schedule||10:15~ or 14:00~ (2 times per day)|
|Time Needed||Approx. 100 minutes|
|Suitable For||Ages 6 and up. **Elementary school students (grades 1~3) must have adult supervision|
|Fee||600 JPY / person|
|Address|| 5-32 Yoshinocho, Suita, Osaka|
|Hours||10:00~16:00 (Last Entry: 15:30)|
|Closed on|| Mondays, the beginning & end of the year. |
*If a holiday falls on a Monday, then the next day will be closed instead.
|Nearest Station||Esaka Station – Osaka Metro Midosuji Line – 10 min. on foot|
|Pamphlet (Available in English)||http://www.duskin-museum.jp/leaflet/|
3. Glico Pia (KOBE)
When you think of landmarks in Osaka of course the first thing that comes to mind is… the Glico man! But did you know that Glico’s factory is actually in Kobe? Not Osaka!
Pocky, Papico ice cream, Bitte chocolate…surely you’ve tried one (or all!) of these sweets before, right
So, take the chance to see where it’s made during your stay!
First of all, check out how Pocky and Pretz are made! You can see the mixing the ingredients all the way down to packaging the finished product: an assembly line of over 100 meters. After that try out “Digital Cooking” where you can make your own sweets in a game like atmosphere. But…surely you want to actually eat something too! In that case, head on over to make your own “Original Bisco” cookie. You can bring back the cookies make in an original package–a great souvenir that also makes for a tasty snack.
・Glico Pia Kobe Factory Tour (Reservation Required)
|Available Times||10:00~, 11:00~, 13:00~, 14:00~, 15:00~|
|Time needed||Approx. 80 minutes|
|How to Reserve||https://www.glico.com/jp/enjoy/experience/glicopia/kobe/|
・Experience Corner (Fee Required)
|Time||2 times per day (10:00 and 13:00 tour groups ONLY)|
|Time Needed||70~80 minutes|
|Fees||1,500 JPY / 1 kit (serves 2 ppl.)|
|Suitable For|| Ages 12 and up|
*Children aged 4~11 years old must have a guardian present
*Children 0~3 not admitted
|How to Reserve||Same day only|
・Glico Pia Kobe
|Address|| 7-1 Takatsukadai, Nishi-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo|
*Admission begins 20 minutes before the reservation time.
|Time needed for the tour|| Approx. 80 minutes|
*Time needed for the experience corner: approx. 70 minutes
|Closed on||Fridays, Obon Holidays, Beginning & End of the Year, Maintenance Days|
|Nearest Station||Get off at Seishin-Chuo Station (Kobe Subway Line) ⇒ Take the Shinki Bus #12 and get off at Takatsukadai 1-Chome Station ⇒ 1 min. on foot|
4. Asahi Beer Suita Factory (OSAKA)
What do you prefer: Asahi? Kirin? Suntory? Beer, wine, Japanese sake… whatever it is, doesn’t going to the factory and getting to taste test sound like a great way to spend your vacation? Sorry kids, adults only!
Asahi was the first “Super Dry” beer made in Japan and furthermore the factory in Suita has a longstanding history of over 120 years! The birthplace of Asahi beer.
You can touch the hops, malt, and main raw materials; Observe the process for preparation, fermentation, and bottling; and at the end of the tour of course SAMPLE IT! You can try up to 3 cups during the 20 minute taste testing.
・Asahi Beer Factory Tour (Reservation Only)
|Time needed||Approx. 90 mins|
|Reservation Site|| https://factory.asahibeer.co.jp/reservation/?area=suita |
**Reservations made on this website will be guided in Japanese. If you wish for a different language, please call directly: 06-6388-1943 between 09:00-17:00.
・Asahi Beer Suita Factory
|Address|| 1-45 Nishinoshocho, Suita-shi, Osaka|
|Closed on||Beginning & End of the Year and Other Designated Days|
|Nearest Station|| Suita Station – Tokaido Main Line (JR Kyoto Line) – Exit the East Ticket Gate (North Exit) – 10 min. on foot|
Suita Station – Hankyu Senri Line – Exit the East Ticket Gate or West Ticket Gate – 10 min. on foot
If whiskey is more your thing, check out our blog with all things Made in Japan! Learn about the Suntory Whisky Factory there~
***- OTHER FACTORY TOURS – ***
5. Japan Mint (OSAKA)
Japan Mint is famous for its cherry blossoms on the outside… but have you ever entered the building itself? In fact, have you ever had the chance to see where money was made in person?
In the Mint Museum, there are over 4,000 history exhibitions from all over the world. You can even see old coins that aren’t in use anymore–how much would they be worth today…
See the press in action: watch how money is made. Perhaps the most money you’ve ever seen all at once~~ Once the factory tour is over you can visit the Mint Museum or view the cherry blossom path. Note, however, that while inside the Mint Museum photography is prohibited except in certain areas.
・Factory Tour (Reservation Required)
|Tour Times||9:00, 10:00, 10:30, 13:00, 13:30, 14:30|
|Time Needed||1 hr 30 min|
|Closed on||Weekends and national holidays, December 28th~January 3rd, Maintenence Days, the days leading up to and during cherry blossom season, etc.|
|Address|| 1-1-79 Temma, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka|
|Closed on||The 3rd Wednesday of the Month, the Beginning & End of the Year, Before & During Cherry Blossom Season|
|Admission Fee|| Free|
**No reservation required for visiting the museum only.
6. Expo ’70 Commemorative Park – The Tower of the Sun (OSAKA)
The Expo Memorial Park was built on the sit of the World Expo (Osaka Expo), held in 1970–for the first time in Asia. The Tower of the Sun was the center of it all and still stands here today, 50 years after the Expo! Starting last year, in 2018, you can now tour the inside of this historical landmark!
What do you imagine you’ll find inside…?
・Tower of the Sun Tour (Reservation Required)
|Viewing Time||Approx. 30 mins|
|Closed on|| Same as park closings.|
**Park closings: Every Wednesday. If a holiday falls on a Wednesday, then the following day will be closed instead.
**Note: From Aprils 1st until Golden Week there are no closings and from October 1st to November 30th there are no closings.
|Entrance Fee|| -Adults: 700 JPY|
-Children (7~15 years old): 300 JPY
**Note there is a separate fee to enter the park area itself: 250 JPY for adults, 70 JPY for children
|Reservation Site (English)||https://taiyounotou-expo70.jp/reserve-en/|
・Expo ’70 Commemorative Park
|Address|| Expo Park, Senri, Suita-shi, Osaka|
|Closed on||Every Wednesday. If a holiday falls on a Wednesday, then the following day will be closed instead.|
|Admission Fee|| -Adults: 250 JPY|
-Children (7~15 years old): 70
|Nearest Station|| -Bampaku-Kinen-Koen Station – Osaka Monorail – 5 min. on foot|
-Koen Higashiguchi Station – Osaka Monorail – 5 min. on foot