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Thursday, 3rd July 2014
In Japan Travel News,

Osaka gets double decker bus tour

Japan's second-largest city of Osaka offers an incredible foodie culture, a spectacular shopping scene and one of Japan's best-preserved castles, among other things. And from July 10th, there will be a brand new way of discovering this thrusting metropolis.

Kintetsu Bus Company told media outlets today (July 2nd) that it would commission a double-decker bus service tour of the city that will commence next week. The company already runs a number of tours throughout Osaka, but this will be the first to feature such a vehicle.

A trial run saw the bus start out from Midosuji Street before continuing in a southerly direction towards Yodoyabashi and the Namba area, famed for its long shopping arcade. Participants enjoyed the view of the Dotonbori River, a popular tourist destination and an iconic part of the city.

The tour then proceeded to Tsutenkaku Tower, famed for its streets, which are designed to mimic those of Paris and Venice. After circling Japan's tallest building Abeno Harukas, the bus returned to Uehonmachi Station.

During the 80-minute journey, participants were treated to an audio guide, which will be made available in Chinese, Korean and English as the city is keen to cater to its increasing number of foreign visitors.

Teenagers and adults aged 13 or above will have to pay 2,000 yen (£11.50) to experience Osaka in this way, while children aged between four and 12 will pay half the price. Anyone younger travels for free. 

Other sites in Osaka that should be checked out include the Hozenji Temple, dedicated to the Fudo Myo-o (Immovable King of Wisdom), located near the Dotombori Arcade.

Visitors to this wonderful and exciting city should be aware they can raise a smile to almost anyone's face by saying the word 'ohkini' for 'thank-you' instead of the more usual 'arigatou gozaimasu'. This is a dialect that is used in Osaka and Kyoto, seldom known to tourists.

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Osaka gears up for festival-filled February (2nd January 2015)
Osaka Monopoly 'selling well' (12th March 2009)
New subway lines opens in Osaka (20th October 2008)