Buzzy Osaka provides visitors with everything they could want from a city break. Historical shrines and temples abound, neon lights create a warm glow, izakayas (pub restaurants) are plentiful, and so are some of the best shopping streets in Japan. This variety can also be found in the city’s hotels, many of which boast unparalleled health and wellness perks, including massage treatments and onsen hot springs. Ready for the kind of spa Japanese people swear by? Then prepare to relax.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
From its luxury dining to the spacious rooms with unmatched city views, InterContinental Osaka is the height of splendour. What elevates this hotel even further is its outstanding Meguri Spa, which focuses on the Chinese philosophy of the five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal and water) to provide guests with a rounded wellness experience, spanning from body scrubs to facials, steam baths and saunas.
As a member of the Hilton Group, Conrad Osaka already has a name that practically guarantees luxury – proven by the spa treatments at this Osaka hotel. The signature tension-relief massage promises to leave you feeling rejuvenated and the authentic in-spa Japanese hot-stone therapy raises things to the next level. There are onsen-style hot baths, too, which sit poised above the view, as do the taupe-toned treatments, so you can relax beside the glow of the urban firmament below.
Stressed-out parents visiting Japan’s outpost of Universal Studios should steal away an hour or two at the Liber. Sure, it may be poised to take in Osaka’s edition of the theme park, but the hotel rests peacefully on the banks of the bay, and clean lines and serene modernism pervade throughout. Transformative spa and wellness experiences are on the menu, too, at the riverside spa with an open-air bath that looks on to the Anji, blending the waterway’s natural breezes with the warming properties of the hotel’s onsen. Wet and dry saunas, a beauty salon and a relaxation room are just what the doctor ordered after all those rides and rollercoasters.
Perfectly situated a short walk from Osaka’s central Namba Station, surrounded by ancient shrines and shopping streets, Hotel J-Ship has capsule-style cabins to bed down in at night, as well as a wealth of experiences during the day. A zen rock garden decorates the hall on the way to the spa’s lounge and the various baths combine traditional onsen waters with charcoal shampoos for a rejuvenating experience.
The Ritz-Carlton Osaka welcomes guests into a world of luxury and relaxation. City views from spacious rooms and French cuisine served in a lavishly decorated dining hall make this an unforgettable stay. The spa and wellness offering here is broad: from a ki purifier to a shisui detox facial, treatments strive to breathe new life into body and soul.
The Imperial Hotel has a resort-like fitness centre that takes in tennis courts, a large private pool and even an indoor golf range. Saunas and baths can also be imbibed by members and a panoply of flavours, from French to Chinese and traditional Japanese food at the dedicated sushi restaurant, wait to sate hungry sybarites afterwards.
This 51-storey hotel is one of Osaka’s most defining landmarks, standing proud on the city’s neon-lit skyline. Staying as a guest is as impressive as the building’s stature – felt most clearly at the hotel’s open-air Solaniwa Onsen, where spring waters from hundreds of metres below rise to the surface. The space, decorated with plants, rocks and a traditional Japanese garden, is as healing as the waters.
Dormy Inn provides an authentic Kansai-region experience. This extends from the local cuisine offered at the inn’s restaurant to the male and female hot baths, found on the guesthouse’s top floor (with a handy free drink service, too, so you can bask without bothering about keeping hydrated). After a day of sightseeing, a visit to these baths and adjoining saunas works wonders – it’s a spa Japanese people would recommend.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.