The Osaka Duck Tour

The Osaka Duck Tour for the Sakura (and All) Season!



Written by: Shino(Shino)

● The Osaka Duck Tour♪

The Osaka Duck Tour is one of a kind Osaka sightseeing tour. Just think of a duck, who freely goes from water to land and from land to water. The Osaka Duck Tour does just that. You can hop into an amphibious vehicle that takes you around the city then splashes down into water and takes you on a river cruise!
It’s an exciting way to see the city all year round but it’s even more special during the Sakura cherry blossom season. The prospect of enjoying Sakura from land and water is enticing for many…including me. I reserved a spot on the April 4th tour and am here to report!

The Osaka Duck Tour’s amphibious bus

● Embark at the Hachikenya River Port

The Osaka Duck Tour’s amphibious bus and the driver

The tour begins at the Hachikenya River Port located near Temmabashi Station.
The driver welcomed everyone with a big smile♪

Our driver and tour guide on the Osaka Duck Tour

The cheery driver and the tour guide put everyone at ease right away.

Our charming tour guide on the Osaka Duck Tour

We knew right away our tour guide was Osakan—she didn’t even wait until departure to make everyone laugh♪
The first part of the tour is on land. The bus took us around the city of Osaka.

Osaka cityscape from the Osaka Duck Tour bus

Our guide pointed out a number of famous sites along the way and was full of jokes. The whole tour group erupted in laughter at almost every corner. But keep in mind, the entire tour is conducted in Japanese. So we sat back to take in the quickly changing scenery and peer out through the open windows. People on the bus were laughing and people on the streets were waiving at us. Osakan are, by nature, fun people 🙂

● Spring in Pink – Sakura Cherry Blossoms ♪

A view of Sakura cherry blossoms on the Osaka Duck Tour

Much of the Sakura cherry blossoms along the river were already opening at about 70% on the day of our tour. And in some places, they were fully open and beautiful!
Since we were sitting up high on a bus, Sakura was blossoming right in front of our eyes. It was as if we were touring a forest of Sakura trees, surrounded by lovely light pink blossoms waiving in a gentle breeze of spring.
We didn’t even mind the red lights because it gave us more time to absorb the marvelous view of Sakura🌸

● Cruising on the Water♪

On the count of three, we took a plunge, right into the water!

Osaka Duck Tour bus plunging into water

It was like one of those water rides at an amusement park. We all screamed like kids (lol)

Osaka Duck Tour bus floating on water

And…we were floating! Softly and smoothly, we made our way down the river. Everything seemed to be different, the view, the mood, the speed of the tour.

Sakura trees along the Okawa River

During the Sakura season, yatai stalls line the walkway along the river for people who come to see the spring spectacle.

Boats and Sakura trees along Okawa River

There were a number of other boats in the water that day too, crew boats, kayaks, yakatabune (Japanese style dinner cruisers), and more. Everyone waved and we waved back♪

Sakura trees along the Okawa River

These Sakura will be in full bloom in a few days! It’d be breath taking, I bet, especially the weeping cherry blossoms hanging over the river.
The river was peaceful and elegant on a gentle spring day.

The Osaka Duck Tour with Osaka Castle and Sakura trees in the backdrop

We even got a chance to see Osaka Castle again. This time, from our new angle, in the water!
The view of the castle from the river was special, something even Osakan’s don’t see every day.

● The Tour Guide

The driver and the tour guide, the Osaka Duck Tour

The last, but not the least, highlight of the Osaka Duck Tour is the tour guide!
Everyone loved Mei Mei, our tour guide. She’s an entertainer, a true Osakan.

Osaka Duck Tour’s tour guide

She calls Osaka Castle her “home” and was very inclusive when it came to making the whole boat of people take part in her jokes.
Her talk was captivating, and her entertaining stories incorporated her vast knowledge of Osaka everywhere. I’m from Osaka but even I learned a lot of interesting facts about my hometown on the tour.

Our enthusiastic guide on the Osaka Duck Tour

Mei Mei talked to everyone, didn’t matter where you’re from or if you spoke Osakan, and the whole bus was in high spirits the entire tour.
She was like a skilled master conductor who can create a sense of solidarity among a group of total strangers. People like Mei Mei are the best thing about Osaka in my opinion.

● A Comprehensive Tour of Osaka All Year Round

The Osaka Duck Tour with Osaka Castle and Sakura trees in the backdrop

Osaka has countless sightseeing tours, but the Osaka Duck Tour is the only one that lets you see the city of Osaka from both land and water.
We went in spring and saw the gorgeous Sakura cherry blossoms, but the tour is available and great other times of the year too. You can enjoy the bright green nature in summer, the enchanting red and yellow autumn leaves in fall, and the brilliant illuminations in the winter months♪ I guarantee it will be a highlight of your Osaka trip!
Secure your spot on the Osaka Duck Tour here ↓

Spots Introduced

Osaka Duck Tour

[Access] About 4 mins walk from Exit 2 at Temmabashi Station.
[Hours] March 20 – April 14 ※Spring Special Service
9:15 am, 10:45 am, 12:15 pm, 1:45 pm, 3:15 pm, 4:45 pm

April 15 – November 30
9:10 am, 10:45 am, 1:00 pm, 2:35 pm, 4:20 pm

December 1 – March 19
10:00 am, 11:20 am, 1:20 pm, 2:40 pm
[Closed] Open daily