Where To Eat and Drink in Hozenji Yokocho Alley, Osaka

Hozenji Yokocho Alley is home to some terrific restaurants and bars
Hozenji Yokocho Alley is home to some terrific restaurants and bars | © gyro/Getty Images

Hozenji Yokocho is a hidden marvel. Named after a nearby temple, this famous cobbled alleyway is tucked away in the middle of downtown Osaka. Here are the best places to eat and drink during your pilgrimage to this fabled place.

Hozenji Yokocho feels a world away from the frenetic energy of the surrounding Namba and Dotonbori neighbourhoods

The neon lights and gaudy displays of the surrounding Namba and Dotonbori entertainment districts disappear on this quiet, historic alley. Filled with delightfully local bars and restaurants, Hozenji Yokocho is a must-do in Osaka. Though renowned, Hozenji Yokocho and the associated temple of the same name manage to remain serene and picturesque most nights. Eat and drink like a local at one of these great venues.

Hozenji Yokocho leads up to a serene, peaceful temple of the same name

Matsusakagyu Yakiniku M

Bar, Japanese

Japanese-style barbecue, or yakiniku, is the focus of this delicious and renowned Hozenji Yokocho restaurant. The main meat served is Matsusakagyu, one of the three major types of wagyu (Japanese beef), which is sourced directly from a farm in Matsusaka City in Mie Prefecture. Guests are shown into their own private room and sat at tables with built-in grills before choosing from various meats, seafood and vegetables. Reservations are recommended.

Hozenji Sanpei, Ōsaka-shi

Restaurant, Japanese

Specializing in okonomiyaki, one of Osaka’s signuature dishes, is Hozenji Sanpei. Okonomiyaki is a mixture of cabbage, flour and egg plus the diner’s choice of meat and vegetables grilled into a patty topped with sauce. While sitting either at the bar – with a direct view of the kitchen – or in a private booth, guests can watch their meal prepared by the chefs on the grills in front of them. It’s a tantalizing experience.

Kushikatsu Daruma Hozenji

Restaurant, Japanese

Kushikatsu are basically deep-fried skewers of meat and veg – and they’re something you should not leave Osaka without trying. Guests all share the same sauce at kushikatsu restaurants, so there is a strict rule against double dipping. Of the countless kushikatsu restaurants in Osaka, local chain Daruma is the most renowned. There is often a queue to get in, which is usually a sign of a good restaurant.

Robatayaki Mizukakechaya

Restaurant, Japanese

Robatayaki Mizukakechaya is a classic izakaya (Japanese pub). Known for their friendly, laid-back atmosphere, izakayas are the perfect place to experience a number of Japanese dishes and customs in one place. The food at Robatayaki Mizukakechaya is better than the average Japanese pub’s. The place offers delicious dishes like buttered scallops and tofu salad, and most of it is only 300 yen ($2.75) per serving. Smoking is allowed, and the bar has English menus.

Katsudon Hozenji Yokocho

Restaurant, Japanese

Katsudon Hozenji Yokocho is a cosy shop specializing in katsudon, a Japanese dish of rice topped with deep-fried pork cutlets, egg, vegetables and sauce. The blend is both savoury and sweet, featuring caramelised onions and umami sauce. While many Japanese restaurants simply have one version of katsudon on their menus, this restaurant has multiple versions of the beloved dish – it even offers a katsudon curry. The restaurant has counter seating only and an authentic, retro atmosphere.

Meoto Zenzai

Restaurant, Japanese

Meoto Zenzai is a popular sweets restaurant with a bit of folklore behind the signature dish of the same name. Back in the Meiji Era (1868-1912), a restaurant used to serve red-bean soup with sweet rice cakes (meoto zenzai) in two bowls instead of one, to make it look like a larger portion. Meoto Zenzai still serves its dessert this way. The “meoto” in the name actually means “married couple” since the pair of bowls is reminiscent of two lovers. It’s bad luck to share the bowls, however, so each guest must eat both. Thankfully, the servings are fairly small.


Restaurant, Japanese

It might come as a surprise that a Michelin-star restaurant exists in the backstreets of Namba among local izakaya, but that’s exactly what Wasabi is. Tiny but elegant, this restaurant specializes in kushikatsu – but a more upscale version than at places like Daruma. Each skewer is visually appealing and made of the finest seasonal ingredients. The batter is extra crispy and less oily than standard kushikatsu. The second floor houses AWA, a champagne bar. Nothing about this kushikatsu restaurant is typical, and that’s exactly what makes it so appealing.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


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.


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!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


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.


Keen to explore the world?

Our passionately curated premium small-group trips are an invitation to connect with like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences.