Known as ‘the nation’s kitchen’, Osaka is a food lover’s paradise, with the city revered for its colourful and delicious street food and its many fine-dining restaurants. For delegates looking to unwind post-event, the city offers a number of fun and quirky options centred around food. Here are four of the best:

Tuna-filleting performances

A number of restaurants around Osaka offer tuna-filleting demonstrations—groups get the chance to sample the famed bluefin tuna following the demo. Fish shops, such as Daiki Suisan in Dotonbori, also offer tuna filleting performances, with fresh bluefin tuna cut and sliced in the open kitchen every day. For larger groups, it’s possible to arrange a tuna-filleting demonstration and tasting in hotels.

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Making okonomiyaki and takoyaki

Those in the know head to Osaka’s Namba and Shinsaibashi districts to get their fill of some of the city’s most famous street food. Two popular dishes include okonomiyaki (a pancake made from cabbage, eggs and flour topped with seafood or meat) and takoyaki (fried octopus balls).

Foodie favourite... takoyaki


Delegates can make their own versions of the dishes and get to taste their efforts, with cooking activities lasting between two to three hours; options include a market tour to view the ingredients and food before the cooking begins.

Venues hosting the activity include private cooking schools and restaurants, or for a more atmospheric experience, small groups can try their hand at making beautiful round-shaped takoyaki at a traditional street stall.

Plastic food paradise

For a more quirky food option, groups can try their hand at making plastic sushi and desserts—known as sampuru (fake food), it’s an art form in itself, with hundreds

of plastic food displays in Osaka’s restaurant windows for inspiration. At Morino Sample, a guided factory tour is available at the weekends—groups can watch craftsmen making food samples, before creating their own versions of parfaits or cake decorations. At Design Pocket in the Namba area, groups can enjoy a plastic-food-making experience, creating sushi samples and rice balls or desserts.

Gin tasting... MyPlace Bar at Hilton Osaka


Gin and cocktail tastings

The MyPlace bar at Hilton Osaka opened in March. During bar hours, the menu features more than 50 gins and craft beers and the hotel can arrange gin-tasting and cocktail-making sessions with mixologists for groups of 70 people. Sample Ki No Bi, Japan’s first artisanal gin, made in Kyoto with local botanicals including bamboo and green sansho berries.