Monday, September 22, 2014

Japan 2014 - Kobe, Kyoto, Nara & Osaka Itinerary (10-days)

So I've gotten a lot of email requests asking for my Japan itinerary as a guide to help them plan out their trip. So here it is!

Mind you, my itinerary was rather pack as we wanted to make the most out of our trip. There was a lot of walking and public transportation involved as those were the best, cheapest and most efficient way of moving between three main cities of Kansai (well, four if you count Nara).



To get around, everyone in my group had two 3-day Kansai Thru Pass and an Osaka Unlimited Pass which is available for purchase at the Travel Desk at the information counter of the Kansai International Airport  are only activated once they are swiped at a subway entrance gate. For a more in-depth post on their prices and benefits -----> here

Here is the breakdown of my mode of transportation passes according to days:
3-Day Kansai Thru Pass 1: Day 1, 2 & 3
3-Day Kansai Thru Pass 2: Day 5, 6 & 9
2-Day Osaka Unlimited Pass: Day 7 & 8
Bicycle: Day 4
 
Kobe – Kyoto – Osaka Itinerary
KOBE (2 nights)
Day 1 - Kitano Ijinkan & Harbourland 
11am - Check in at Yume Nomad Guesthouse
1pm - Failed Lunch attempt at Steakland Kobe
2pm - Kitano-Cho
5pm - Return to guesthouse to rest and freshen up
7pm - Mosaic for dinner and sightseeing of the harbour.
(Pass used: 3-Day Kansai Thru Pass 1) 



Day 2 - Rokkosan Pasture, Mount Rokko & Sannomiya
10am - Head to Mount Rokko
11am - Cable car to the top of Mount Rokko (570yen for one way)
12pm - Rokkosan Pasture (entrance fee - 500yen)
             Lunch
             Chill out at Rokkosan Pasture
4pm - Return to Sannomiya for F&E
6pm - Head back to guesthouse with packed dinner.
(Pass used: 3-Day Kansai Thru Pass 1)



KYOTO (3 nights)
Day 3 - Fushimi Inari Shrine
10am - Check out of Yume Nomad and take train to Kyoto
1pm - Check in at Hana Hostel, Kyoto
130pm - Lunch at McDonalds near Kamogawa river
230pm - Fushimi Inari
5pm - Back to hostel to check in, wash up n rest.
8pm - Dinner at Ikkousha Hakata Ramen in Kyoto Ramen Koji, Kyoto station.
(Pass used: 3-Day Kansai Thru Pass 1)



Day 4 -  Imperial Palace, Kitano Shrine, Kinkaku-ji & Gion
830am - Cycle from Hana Hostel to Kyoto Imperial Palace
930am – Gather at gate for free palace tour (pre-booking required)
10am - Kyoto Imperial Palace Tour
11am -Kitano Tenmangu flea market (opens only on 25 of every month)
           Lunch at the market
230pm - Kinkaku-Ji
4pm - Return to hostel to rest and drop off stuff
6pm - Cycle to Gion for dinner and geisha hunting spotting
(Cousin's bike tire punctured on the ride there so we ended up walking the bikes back to the hostel after. We were back by 9pm)
(Moved around with bicycles)



Day 5 - Arashiyama & Cat Cafe Nekokaigi
8am - Bus and train to Arashiyama
9am - Tenryuji Temple and Garden
10am - Bamboo Groves
1030am - Togetsukyo Bridge
11am - Foot spa at Arashiyama station
1130am - Train to Sanjo Station
12pm - Break at Starbucks beside the Kamogawa river
2pm - Nekokaigi Cat Cafe
3pm - Teramachi shopping arcade for lunch and shopping
5pm - Bus back to hostel area
8pm - Dinner at Sukiya
(Pass used: 3-Day Kansai Thru Pass 2)



OSAKA (4 nights) 
Day 6 - Nara & Dotonbori 
9am - Check out from Hana Hostel
           Take the Kintetsu Nara train to Nara 
1030am – Arrive in Nara
                 Deer Park
                 Todaiji Temple
1230pm  - Lunch in the area
2pm - Board Kintetsu train to Osaka
3pm - Check in to Namba Guesthouse
5pm - Explore Dotonbori, Shinsaibashi and America-Mura
8pm - Dinner at Kamukura Ramen
(Pass used: 3-Day Kansai Thru Pass 2)



Day 7 - Pokemon Center & Cherry Blossoms, Osaka Castle Park
10am - Cruise Ship Santa Maria
11am - Pokemon Center, Umeda Station
1pm - Lunch in Umeda
230pm - Museum of History 
5pm - Osaka castle (extended hours)
7pm - Osaka castle Nishinomaru garden (extended hours)
           Dinner at Garden
10pm - Taito and Sega Arcade
(Pass used: 2-Day Osaka Unlimited Pass)



Day 8 - Tsutenkaku Tower, Den Den Town & Umeda Floating Garden Observatory 
10am - Tsutenkaku tower
12pm - Lunch and exploring Den Den Town, Nipponbashi
2pm - Dotonbori
5pm - Umeda Floating Garden Observatory
8pm: Dinner and shopping in Dotonbori
(Pass used: 2-Day Osaka Unlimited Pass)



Day 9 - Osaka Day 9:  Ramen Museum, Kyoto Hanami & Kiyomizudera Night Illumination
9am – Momofuku Ramen Musuem in Ikeda
12pm -  Head back to Kyoto via Hankyu train
1pm - Yasaka Shrine for street food
           Maruyama Park
           Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka streets
6pm - Kiyomizudera Night Illumination
8pm - Head back to Osaka for dinner and last minute shopping 
(Pass used: 3-Day Kansai Thru Pass 2)


Day 10 -  Bye Japan :(
730am - Take Nankai Rap:t train to airport
8am - Check in for flight
9am - Breakfast at airport food court
11am - Depart for KL



And there you have it. Basically a detailed itinerary of my 2014 Japan trip to the Kansai area. Once again, I do realize it was rather compact and can be exhausting. So anyone who is planning to follow it, please select your attractions wisely and perhaps opt to cut out a few.

Do drop me an email or a comment if you have an questions or clarifications to make. I will try my best to reply to all my viewers.

Also read about:
Osaka on a Budget
Kobe: Yume Nomad Guesthouse review
Kobe Day 1: Kitano Ijinkan & Harbourland 
Kobe Day 2: Rokkosan Pasture, Mount Rokko & Sannomiya
Kyoto: Hana Hostel Hybrid Inn review 
Kyoto Day 3:Fushimi Inari Shrine
Kyoto Day 4: Imperial Palace, Kitano Shrine, Kinkaku-ji & Gion
Kyoto Day 5: Arashiyama & Cat Cafe Nekokaigi
Osaka: Namba guesthouse (NUL-Live.com House), Osaka Review
Osaka Day 6: Nara & Dotonbori 
The Artistic Manhole Covers of Japan
Osaka Day 7:  Pokemon Center & Cherry Blossoms, Osaka Castle Park
The Flavours of Haagen Dazs Japan  
Osaka Day 8: Tsutenkaku Tower, Den Den Town & Umeda Floating Garden Observatory 
Osaka Day 9:  Ramen Museum, Kyoto Hanami & Kiyomizudera Night Illumination
Osaka Day 10: Bye Japan :(
Kobe, Kyoto, Nara & Osaka Itinerary (10-days)

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