FIELD TRIPS & TOURS

hands on

There's no better way to get to know a city than by getting up close and personal with its people and products. Osaka has abundant activities that allow you to do just that.

Two of the nation's most famous beverage companies are based right here in the city and offer tours of their facilities. The Suntory Yamazaki Distillery, located in the stunning Yamazaki Gorge, is the oldest whiskey distillery in Japan. Their approximately 90-minute tour covers production processes, from preparation to fermentation, distillation, storage and bottling. The Asahi Beer Suita Factory offers a tour followed by a 20-minute tasting of freshly-brewed draft beer with unlimited refills.

If food is more your thing, then Osaka, known as the Nation's Kitchen, is your city. The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum explores the fascinating history of instant ramen, which was invented right here in Osaka in 1958. Best of all, there are two activities that allow you to become a noodle creator yourself. In the main museum, make your own tailor-made cup of noodles by choosing your soup, toppings and even designing your cup. Upstairs, reservations can be made for a noodle-making workshop, which teaches you how to make this delicious snack from scratch.

At the Conpeito Petit Museum, sweet-lovers can learn all about the candy that was first introduced to Japan from Portugal in the 16th century. Here, visitors can see this confectionary being made, and even have a go at making it themselves. And at the Morino Sample factory, more sweet treats can be handmade, but in this case, the desserts aren't real - they're made of plastic. Osaka is the birthplace of plastic food, those extremely lifelike models that can be seen in display cases outside restaurants. At this plastic food factory, owner and second-generation artisan Fumio Morino will teach you how to create your very own plastic ice cream sundae during workshops held on Saturdays and Sundays.

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