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Daytrips from Osaka

Print this guide Created by Gabi Logan
Daytrips from Osaka
Between the historic imperial capital Kyoto and ancient Nara, Osaka is well-placed for day trips to major historic sites as well as natural attractions.
Good for: Groups, Seniors, Individuals
Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall
8 ratings 8 ratings
 
Kyoto
Kyoto

The shrines and temples of Kyoto offer a rare link between modern life in the city and its very ancient past. The Shimogamo Shrine dates to the 6th century and seems suspended in time, its serenity and spiritual power still palpable. Visit Fushimi Inari Shrine, then see the life-sized Thousand Armed Kannon statues of Sanjūsangen-dō. Enjoy traditional geisha performances, then savor a... More

The shrines and temples of Kyoto offer a rare link between modern life in the city and its very ancient past. The Shimogamo Shrine dates to the 6th century and seems suspended in time, its serenity and spiritual power still palpable. Visit Fushimi Inari Shrine, then see the life-sized Thousand Armed Kannon statues of Sanjūsangen-dō. Enjoy traditional geisha performances, then savor a tranquil meal at a restaurant overlooking the Kamo River. Less

Kobe
Kobe

Famous for its luscious beef and crisp, pure sake, the Japanese port of Kobe is a thriving metropolitan city with an international feel. The sake-brewing season runs from October through April, and that's the best time to take a tour of a kura (the Japanese word for brewery). Visit the Hakutsure Sake Brewery Museum year-round. Naturally, the nightlife here is prime perfection.

Mount Koya
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Mount Koya

Wooden temples hidden among the trees, mist-covered mountains, smooth-headed monks in colorful robes--all the Buddhist film archetypes are alive on Mt. Koya. A deeply sacred place, central to the Shingon sect of Buddhism, Mt. Koya is also a World Heritage Site due to its more than 1000-year-old teaching and meditation sites.

Fee: No      Duration of visit: 2-3 hours
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Nara
Nara

Thirteen hundred years ago, Nara (then Heiju-kyu) was the imperial capital of Japan. In 2010, festivities are in the works to celebrate this ancient city's anniversary. "Old Japan" is still easy to spot here, from Great Buddha Hall to traditional ryokans and the serene Isuien garden. Travelers rave about walking tours of Nara, particularly in the historic Naramachi merchant area.

Himeji
Himeji

One of the best preserved and most architecturally demonstrative, Himeji's 400-year-old castle is so exquisite that it alone is worth a trip to the city. The castle is close to the train station, so it makes an ideal short stop on a day trip to several sights.

Omiya Bonsai Village
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Omiya Bonsai Village

Loosely clustered into the "bonsai village," 15 bonsai nurseries lie within walking distance of one another in Omiya, each displaying its wares in an formal, open-air Japanese garden. In May, the village puts on a Bonsai festival, and all the nurseries display their finest creations against a backdrop of spring flowers.

Fee: No      Duration of visit: 2-3 hours
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Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.