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Greatest Day Journeys From Osaka

Osaka is out of this world!

This vibrant, dazzling and futuristic mega metropolis has an enormous quantity to supply guests, from its well-known neon cityscape to its status for excellent meals (incomes it the nickname of Japan’s kitchen), to tremendous cool neighborhoods, shrines, temples, castles, nightlife, theme parks, aquariums, and rather more.

After all, it’s all the time good to take a break from metropolis life too and Osaka is a perfect base to discover the remainder of the Kansai area, whether or not you’re craving the coast or countryside or simply wish to pattern a distinct metropolis.

From sacred mountains and historic rural villages to coastal retreats, well-known shrines, and artwork islands, Osaka has the most effective of Japan on its doorstep, particularly in case you have a JR Cross for limitless journey on Japan’s home rail community.

Japan’s railway system is super-fast, clear, secure, and cozy, and it’s the excellent approach to journey throughout this unforgettable nation.

Associated learn: A day in Osaka, Japan

Prepared to begin exploring? Listed here are the highest day journeys from Osaka.

8 of The Greatest Day Journeys From Osaka

As Japan’s second-largest metropolis, Osaka is extraordinarily nicely related by transport, making it the right base for day journeys to many different excellent locations.

Due to its location (and the pace and effectivity of Japanese trains), you’ll be able to attain different main cities, rural hideaways, shrines, temples, mountains, coastlines, and extra inside an hour or two of Osaka.

Associated learn: La Carmina’s Various Osaka Journey Information

Get Your JR Cross

We extremely advocate getting the JR Cross for limitless prepare journey in Japan. Right here’s why:

Limitless Journey: Get pleasure from limitless entry to most JR railways, together with high-speed Shinkansen, native trains, and buses.

Value Financial savings: Save considerably on journey prices, notably useful for long-distance and a number of journeys.

Simplicity: Keep away from the trouble of buying particular person tickets through the use of your go to simply entry trains.

Flexibility: Expertise the liberty to discover spontaneously with out worrying about further ticket prices.

Further Advantages: Profit from extras like free reserved seat bookings and reductions on different JR transport companies.

Get your JR Cross now!

Listed here are eight of the most effective day journeys from Osaka by prepare:


An apparent day journey from Osaka is one other of Japan’s most well-known and most visited cities – Kyoto, which is simply quarter-hour away from Osaka on the Shinkansen.

Referred to as the cultural coronary heart of Japan, Kyoto is packed filled with unimaginable historical past. The one draw back is that Kyoto is so well-known for its historic buildings, cultural treasures, shrines, and temples, that this can be very common with worldwide guests. It’s, nonetheless, 100% value it to see the sweetness and historical past of Kyoto with your personal eyes.

Kyoto was the capital of Japan from the eighth Century to 1868 and town embodies greater than 1,000 years of historical past.

Arguably town’s most well-known and historic districts are Gion, which is legendary for its geisha district, and Pontocho, which was the birthplace of Kabuki.

Associated learn: Full Kyoto Journey Information

A train in Japan in Autumn

Kyoto can be dwelling to a few of Japan’s greatest shrines and temples. In reality, it boasts greater than 1,600 temples which might make it laborious to know the place to begin.

Fortunately, we’ve accomplished the laborious be just right for you by placing collectively a listing of our greatest temple suggestions when visiting Kyoto. Our checklist contains Kinkaku-ji Temple, Kiyomizudera Temple, Saiho-ji Temple, Kennin-ji Temple, Tofuku-ji Temple, Nanzen-ji Temple, Ginkaku-ji Temple, and Ryoan-ji Temple.

Maybe essentially the most iconic temple in Kyoto is the “Golden Pavilion” of Kinkaku-ji – this iconic constructing has been the postcard of town for a few years. Whereas Kinkaku-ji was based in 1397, the temple needed to be rebuilt in 1955 after a devastating fireplace. Regardless of that, it’s considered one of many temples on this checklist that make up the Historic Monuments of Historic Kyoto recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Web site.

Additionally vying for the highest spot amongst Kyoto’s temples is Kiyomizudera and its magnificent veranda. Kiyomizudera is discovered on Mt. Kiyomizu and overlooks town. The unique temple dates again to 798 though what you’ll see now’s the model that was rebuilt in 1633. The temple’s identify interprets as “Pure Water Temple” and comes from the pure waters flowing over the Otowa Waterfall shut by. Nevertheless it’s actually the immense wood stage, stated to have been constructed with no single nail, that’s the star attraction right here.

Kyoto can be well-known for its Shinto shrines in fact. Probably the most well-known and most essential being Fushimi Inari Taisha, whose vermillion purple torii gates have been featured within the 2005 movie ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’.

Fushimi Inari Taisha was based in 711, which makes it one of many oldest shrines in Kyoto. It was initially situated on Inariyama hill, within the southwest of town, earlier than being relocated to its current and everlasting dwelling by the Hata household in 816. A century later, in 942, it was given the best rank amongst Shinto shrines, and in 1499, after the attractive and ornate fundamental shrine construction was constructed, Japan designed Fushimi Inari Taisha as an Essential Cultural Property.

The origin of Fushimi Inari Taisha is steeped in legend. The story goes {that a} rice cake was fired into the air and changed into a swan that flew to the height of Mt. Inari. Rice started to develop on the mountain high and the spot turned the pinnacle shrine for Inari Okami, the Japanese god of rice, sake, and prosperity, and the patron of companies, retailers and producers.

Right now, 1000’s of individuals from throughout Japan,and tens of millions of tourists from around the globe,come to wish for fruitful harvests, enterprise success, and different blessings. It’s notably common for New Yr prayers in Japan – probably the most essential dates within the calendar.

After all, many worldwide guests come to see the well-known Senbon Torii—the 1000’s of vermilion purple gates in dense rows resulting in the Torii gate mountain climbing path. Every one bears the identify of an individual or enterprise carved in black who donated the gate to obtain good luck and fortune.

Learn how to get from Osaka to Kyoto by prepare

The JR Tokaido Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka Station to Kyoto Station takes simply quarter-hour and is absolutely lined by the JR Cross whereas travelling on Hikari and Kodama trains.

Use the Osaka train station to start your day trips from Osaka, Japan


One other glorious day journey from Osaka, simply 40 minutes away by prepare, is Nara—an space filled with historical past, wildlife, scenic views, temples, and shrines.

Most of Nara’s historic sights, in addition to its well-known free-roaming deer, are situated inside the 660-hectare Nara Metropolis Park, which is comparatively small and straightforward to navigate.

Begin with a go to to the Heijo Palace web site, which is a remnant from the time when Nara was the Capital of Japan and is now a World Heritage web site.

From right here, go to town centre for a go to to Kohfukuji and its three-story pagoda. This is among the most well-known pagodas in Japan.

Subsequent, the Nara Nationwide Museum is just a five-minute stroll away. It homes an impressive assortment of Buddhist artwork and historic nationwide treasures.

After lunch head east by the deer park to the Kasuga Taisha Shrine, recognized for the numerous stone lanterns donated by worshippers, a profound environment of calm will be felt. After visiting the shrine, take a stroll by the forest and soak within the peaceable environment surrounding the place.

The final and most well-known of our suggestions is Tōdai-ji – the crown jewel of Nara. This Buddhist temple complicated homes the Nice Buddha and its guardians. Regardless that it was accomplished in 752 A.D., it stays as one of many nationwide masterworks of Japan.

Learn how to get from Osaka to Nara by prepare

You should utilize each the JR Yamatoji Line and the Kintetsu Nara Line to achieve Nara by prepare from Osaka, with a journey time of round 40-50 minutes.

A deer in Nara in Japan


Simply 1.5 hours from Osaka and the house of the world-famous beef, Kobe is a beautiful coastal metropolis and an excellent day journey vacation spot.

What’s so particular about Kobe beef we hear you ask?

Kobe beef is among the most legendary sorts of beef on the earth, each for its high quality and its worth. After all, Kobe beef is extra than simply meals; it’s a once-in-a-lifetime culinary expertise, and there’s nowhere higher than Kobe itself to pattern this scrumptious meat. Whereas it may be served in many alternative methods, arguably the most effective dishes to eat it are both in shabu shabu, which is a soup that has boiled meat, sukiyaki (sizzling pot), or teppanyaki, which is most individuals’s favourite. That’s when the chef prepares, cooks, and serves the Kobe beef proper in entrance of you.

As we stated, it’s a really particular expertise and Kobe is the place to go for this culinary journey!

Kobe isn’t simply well-known for meals too. If you wish to strive considered one of Japan’s most well-known conventional drinks, then make sure to go to town’s Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum.

If that isn’t sufficient to persuade you to go to Kobe, town additionally boasts loads of procuring alternatives, scenic views from the highest of the close by Mt. Rokko and its personal Onsen Sizzling Springs Resort (Arima Onsen) inside the metropolis limits.

And eventually, Kobe (Ashiya district particularly) was additionally the childhood dwelling of well-known Japanese writer Haruki Murakami

Associated learn: The Final Information to Road Meals in Japan

Learn how to get from Osaka to Kobe by prepare

Utilizing a JR Cross, take both the Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka Station to Shin-Kobe Station in simply quarter-hour or for a extra centrally situated terminus, take the JR particular speedy prepare from Osaka Station to Kobe’s Sannomiya Station, which takes 20 minutes. Both approach, it’s a fast journey and an ideal day journey.

Kobe in Japan

Koyasan and Kumano

The three grand shrines of the Kumano area are collectively referred to as the Kumano Sanzan temples. They encompass the Kumano Hongū Taisha, Kumano Nachi Taisha, and Kumano Hayatama Taisha. These Shinto shrines are extremely sacred and a standard pilgrimage vacation spot.

Hidden away within the forests close to the southern finish of the peninsula, the three shrines are related by the traditional pilgrimage trails of the Kumano Kodo. Because of this visiting the Kumano Sanzan isn’t only for these excited about Japan’s religious aspect, it’s additionally excellent if you need the nation’s pure aspect.

You even have the possibility to witness considered one of Japan’s most breath-taking waterfalls, Nachi-no-taki, while you cease at Nachi Taisha shrine.

Associated learn: Eko Koyasan – A Mountaintop Buddhist Retreat with 100 Working Temples

Amazingly, the Kumano Sanzan Temples and Ise Grand Shrine should not the one historic sights within the Kii Peninsula. You’ll additionally discover the historic and delightful Buddhist monastery complicated at Mt. Koya. Referred to as Kōyasan Shingon and situated 800 meters above sea degree, this can be a distinctive and religious vacation spot.

One of the crucial essential temples right here is Danjo Garan, which has been a middle of spiritual instructing because the ninth century. When you’re fortunate you may even spot some present college students strolling round of their yellow robes. Sights to see there embody the not too long ago renovated Chūmon gate and the intense purple Konpon Daitō pagoda.

One other main temple is the Oku-no-in sanctuary, dwelling to a cemetery of 200,000 tombs and the mausoleum of Kōbō Daishi, the founding father of Shingon Buddhism. There within the forest, you’ll discover many stupas lined in moss and an air of tranquility and reverence.

Koya-san can be the start and finish of the Shikoku Pilgrimage, which options 88 temples and shrines and might take three months to finish on foot.

Even in case you don’t have time for all 88, you’ll be able to guide a Shukubo (a ‘temple keep’) in Koya-san (which has greater than 100 temples to select from, many with their very own onsen and zen gardens for optimum leisure).

Temples similar to Eko-in and Muryoko-in are 1,000 years outdated and permit company to meditate, observe calligraphy, participate in morning chanting and different rituals, and rather more. It’s doable to remain for weeks to totally immerse your self within the religious life.

Learn how to get from Osaka to Koyasan by prepare

With a journey time of round two hours, this is among the longer day-trip locations, but it surely’s undoubtedly value it. You’ll need to set off from Nankai Namba Station in Osaka earlier than getting off Gokurakubashi Station on the foot of Mount Koya.

A forest in Koyasan, Japan

Himeji Fortress

One in all Japan’s most stunning and historic castles and simply 50 minutes from Osaka on the Shinkansen, Himeji Fortress is nicely value a go to. Along with the citadel backyard, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Web site and a nationwide treasure of the best rank. Due to its good white exterior and resemblance to a heron chickening out, the citadel bears the identify “White Heron Fortress” (Shirasagi-jō).

The historical past and identification of Himeji metropolis had lengthy revolved round its citadel, which originated in 1333 when the primary fort on Mount Himeji was constructed. Slightly over two centuries later, in 1581, the fort was changed into a citadel. Within the following a long time, Himeji citadel was steadily expanded, creating an intensive citadel complicated with superior defensive methods, which ended up being the most important citadel in Japan.

Not like different castles in Japan, Himeji citadel stood the take a look at of time and was by no means destroyed by battle or pure catastrophe, it survived firebombs throughout WWII and the good Hanshin earthquake in 1995. In 2010 Himeji citadel underwent an enormous restoration challenge that took over 5 years and re-opened to the general public in 2015.

Right now Himeji citadel stays open to the general public on most days and is a wonderful instance of prototypical Japanese citadel structure, feudal protection works and general cultural significance.

Learn how to get from Osaka to Himeji by prepare

Take the Hiraki Shinkansen prepare from Shin-Osaka to Himeji Station. It’s a direct line and simply 50 minutes away.

Himeji temple in Japan

Naoshima Artwork Island

Well-known for each its trendy indoor and outside artwork, sandy seashores, gorgeous panoramic views and sunny climate, Naoshima Artwork Island makes for an excellent place to unwind, and you’ll keep there too.

The island is dwelling to the enduring Yellow Pumpkin by Yayoi Kusama. That is solely the start of the gathering of open air-sculptures and installations, together with works by Dan Graham, Shinro Otake and Karel Appel.

What about lodging you ask? How about staying in a museum? Benesse Artwork Home is essentially the most well-known and maybe most intriguing museum on Naoshima. Created in 1992, Benesse Home is not only a museum however an upscale resort as nicely.

Staying company can wander the exhibitions at evening with out being distracted by others. The artwork assortment contains work by Tadao Ando, George Rickey, Alberto Giacometti, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Andy Warhol and others.

Learn how to get from Osaka to Naoshima Artwork Island by prepare

Take the JR Sanyo Shinkansen Line to Okayama earlier than altering to the JR Uno Line to Uno Station. It’s then only a quick 20-minute ferry journey to the island) departing from reverse the prepare station).

Naoshima Art Island in Japan

Ise Jingu

Referred to as the religious dwelling of the Japanese individuals, Ise Grand Shrine (or Ise Jingu) dates again nearly 2,000 years and stays an important and culturally important shrine in all of Japan. When you’re fascinated by Japan’s religious historical past and the great thing about its shrines and temples, then Ise Grand Shrine needs to be on the very high of your checklist.

The shrine is the house of the solar goddess Amaterasu, Japan’s supreme deity, and the situation of the Sacred Mirror of the Emperor. One of the crucial fascinating info about Ise Grand Shrine is that each 20 years, the internal and outer shrines in addition to the Uji Bridge, are taken down and utterly rebuilt in step with Shinto beliefs of rebirth and renewal.

Ise Grand Shrine is not only spiritually and culturally essential to Japan, it’s also probably the most stunning shrines you may ever hope to go to. 

Ise Grand Shrine is called Ise Jingu as a result of ‘Jingu’ is the best classification of Shinto shrines. Shinto is among the two fundamental religious perception methods in Japan, the opposite being Buddhism.

As a fundamental rule, shrines like Ise Grand Shrine are associated to Shinto, whereas temples belong to Buddhism. Not like Buddhism, Shinto originated in Japan and is deeply woven into the material of Japanese tradition and historical past.

The Shinto faith includes the worship of a number of gods or spirits referred to as kami, who’re stated to inhabit all issues. Purity is the large focus of Shinto, and totally different rituals contain cleaning worshippers.

Since Shinto has developed organically and has no single origin or sacred textual content, practices fluctuate relying on the kami and the area of Japan by which they happen.

Learn how to get from Osaka to Ise Jingu by prepare

First, use the JR Tokaido Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka Station to journey to Nagoya then switch to the “Mie” speedy prepare to Ise. The Fast Mie prepare is among the few choices to entry the prefecture of Mie, well-known for town of Toba, Ise Jingu temple, Ise Shima Nationwide Park and naturally, Mie itself.

The Japan Rail Cross is legitimate on the Fast Mie prepare, and as talked about above, seat reservations will be made totally free. There’s one catch although, as between Kawarada Station and Tsu Station the prepare travels on non-public railways operated by the Ise Railway. For this half, a 540 yen further fare is required, which isn’t included within the go. The fare is collected on board by the conductor however will also be paid forward of time on the ticket workplace.

Ise Jingu in Japan


Osaka’s rail connections are a passport to smaller cities and villages you could not have heard of or thought-about visiting earlier than. Uji is a major instance and will be reached in round one hour from Osaka on the Shinkansen.

Uji is especially recognized for 3 issues: its World Heritage websites, which encompass historic temples and shrines, its tea and the Story of Genji.

Let’s begin with Uji’s temples and shrines.

Of the varied temples in Uji, one you received’t wish to miss is the Byodo-in Temple. This historic Buddhist temple dates again to 1053 and is considered one of two World Heritage websites within the metropolis. Byodo-in Temple is well known for its elegant Phoenix Corridor, an image of which truly adorns one aspect of the ten¥ coin. Inside this deceptively tall corridor you’ll discover a lovely three-metre-tall statue of Buddha Amida. Apart from seeing the Phoenix Corridor, ensure that to go to the temple museum and see its assortment of artefacts.

Subsequent is Ujigami Shrine, an important place of Shinto worship in Uji and one other of Japan’s monuments acknowledged by UNESCO. The shrine isn’t notably giant however is shrouded in loads of imperial historical past and is claimed to have been constructed by 1060. This makes it one of many oldest Shinto shrines in Japan.

Subsequent is an superb literary truth that pertains to Uji. Do you know that the oldest novel on the earth is believed to be a Japanese story from the eleventh century? The novel is The Story of Genji written by Murasaki Shikibu, a Japanese noblewoman, recounting a romance story of a prince and his adventures.

Uji is the setting for the ultimate ten chapters of the novel, a undeniable fact that town continues to be fairly pleased with. No shock then that there are a number of landmarks round Uji that commemorate that connection. One is a statue celebrating the novelist Murasaki Shikibu, simply by the Uji Bridge throughout the river.

However the metropolis additionally hosts the Story of Genji Museum devoted to the story. Contained in the museum displays present you what modern life was like throughout the interval when the novel was set.

Murasaki Shikibu statue in Kyoto, Japan
KYOTO, JAPAN – OCTOBER 21: Murasaki Shikibu statue in Kyoto, Japan on October 21, 2014. A Japanese novelist, poet and lady-in-waiting on the Imperial court docket throughout the Heian interval, greatest referred to as the writer of The Story of Genji

Consuming inexperienced tea is ever-present in life in Japan, being each the most well-liked beverage and a part of many customs and traditions. Uji and its surrounding area has lengthy had a status for its superior tea, and it was one of many first locations to correctly undertake this behavior from China.

Whereas within the metropolis, the easiest way to expertise tea in Uji is by visiting considered one of its riverside tea homes. You’ll additionally discover Uji tea in most native eating places and shops, whereas it’s widespread to search out matcha-flavoured meals like ice-cream on the market. There are even sure locations, just like the Taihoan tea home the place you’ll be able to expertise a conventional Japanese tea ceremony first-hand.

Lastly, as a aspect attraction, the Uji River, operating by town, is among the most stunning spots in Uji. As you look alongside the river to the encompassing hills blanketed in forest, loads of nature is on show, particularly fairly in spring or autumn.

To actually calm down, take a ship journey on an area boat often used for cormorant fishing.

Learn how to get from Osaka to Uji by prepare

Utilizing your Japan Rail Cross, journey on the JR Kyoto Line from Osaka to Kyoto earlier than switching to the JR Nara Line from Kyoto to Uji. The full journey time is round an hour.

Day Journeys from Osaka by Practice

Osaka is the guts of Japan, completely mixing historic richness with city class. As a gateway to the Kansai area, it gives quick access to close by cultural treasures and culinary delights, because of glorious connectivity and the JR Cross, making each tour a singular glimpse into Japan’s numerous tapestry.

Ebook the Japan Rail Cross On-line

When you’re eager about diving deep into Japan and overlaying lengthy distances, it’s best to completely take into consideration getting the Japan Rail Cross (also called JR Cross). Taking the prepare in Japan is all about being environment friendly, cost-effective, and straightforward to entry – and the JR Cross delivers on all these perks.

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