The Best Day Trips from Kyoto according to Top Travel Bloggers

The Best Day Trips from Kyoto according to Top Travel Bloggers


This week, I asked some fellow travel bloggers for the best day trips from Kyoto. Transport networks are excellent in Japan with high speed trains, making it easy. In fact, you can now get to Tokyo from Kyoto in just 2 hours and 20 mins! Top day trips from Kyoto include Osaka, Nara, Nagoya and Arima Onsen.

Day Trip from Kyoto to Osaka

By Amber from With Husband In Tow 

Osaka is a food traveler’s paradise and the perfect day trip from Kyoto. Located less than 60km (40 miles) from each other, travelers can ride the world famous Shinkansen high speed train and arrive in the heart of Osaka in only 15 minutes.

This leaves plenty of time during a day trip to experience the “Kitchen of Japan” as local residents often refer to Osaka. The first stop on any day trip to Osaka should be Dontonburi. The main tourist and eating district of Osaka, Dontonburi is lined with an abundance of local food speciality restaurants. When it comes to what to eat in Osaka, try the two most famous dishes Okonomiyaki (a Japanese-style pancake) and Takoyaki (fried octopus balls). Or, stop at one of the city’s famous conveyor belt sushi restaurants.

Day Trips from Kyoto - Osaka

After you have stuffed yourself, head over to 16th century Osaka Castle to explore part of Osaka’s past. Considered one of Japanese greatest castles, Osaka Castle is a very popular attraction especially during cherry blossom season. For a taste of the city’s recent past, head over to Shinsekai, Osaka’s old downtown district. Packed with shops selling retro clothing and housewares, Shinsekai district is home to the Tsutenkaku tower. Osaka’s ode to the Eiffel Tower, the structure offers 360 degree views of Osaka. For even better views, Umeda Sky Building in the Kita district rises 173 meters above the city.

For baseball lovers, consider planning a day trip around the Hanshin Tigers schedule. The stadium is located a short train ride from the center of the city. Osaka also offers loads of shopping opportunities for daytrippers. Kuromon Market has housed vendors for over 190 years and is one of the largest markets in Japan. Between all of the food and shopping, Osaka offers an entirely different experience from its more cultured and historic neighbor, Kyoto.

Japanese Baseball Game

Day Trip from Kyoto to Arima Onsen

James Ian at Travel Collecting

Arima Onsen, in Mount Rokko, the hills just north of Kobe, is an easy day trip from Kyoto.  It has been an onsen (hot springs) town for about 1,000 years.  It is famous for its gold (kinsen) and silver (ginsen) waters.  The “gold” (actually a reddish brown) water gets its color from iron, and also has very high levels of salt (much saltier than the sea).  It has therapeutic qualities for ailments such as arthritis.  The “silver” (actually clear, colorless) water is bubbly (carbonic) water that is good for circulation and metabolism. There is also a second type of “silver” water that has very low amounts of radium which helps muscle fatigue and boosts your immune system. 

Day Trips from Kyoto - Arima Onsen

Even if you aren’t seeking these curative qualities, soaking in hot mineral spring water is a wonderful way to spend a day.  You can even go to an outdoor onsen, which is my favorite. Sitting in hot water, in cool mountain air is so relaxing!  Arima Onsen is a great day trip, but it’s also worth considering staying in ryokan (traditional inn) overnight to get the full benefit. 

To get to Arima Onsen, take the train from Kyoto to Shin Osaka and then the Arima bus (about one hour 40 minutes) or a bus directly from Kyotoeki Bus stop just near Kyoto JR train station (about one hour 20 minutes).  For a longer, but more scenic route (train – cable car – ropeway), take the train to Kobe and then the Rokko Cable Car up the mountain to the Rokko Sanjo Station and then transfer to the Rokko Arima Ropeway. 


Day Trip from Kyoto to Nara

Paul Fournier from JourneyCompass

After you’ve figured out where to stay and what to do in Kyoto, Nara is a great worth while day trip to add to your itinerary too. Its main attraction is the deer park, where you can see hundreds of deer roam free. And since they’re used to humans, you can feed them too. It’s a unique experience.

Day trips from Kyoto - Nara

Apart from that, the city itself is worth exploring too with its traditional architecture. The Todaiji Temple, and the Kasuga Shrine being some of the highlights.

The easiest way to get from Kyoto to Nara is via train, with either the JR or the private Kintetsu line. The travel time is about an hour, though the Kintetsu line is a bit faster when taking a direct express, and it’s more comfortable too.

Day trip from Kyoto to Nagoya

By Lena Scheidler from Nagoya Foodie

If you are a foodie like me and are interested in exploring different Japanese local cuisine then you should do a day trip to Nagoya just to enjoy the food. Some of the amazing foods to try in Nagoya (https://nagoyafoodie.com/nagoya-food-guide/) include Hitsumabushi, grilled freshwater eel on rice, Kishimen, flat and broad noodles in a hot broth, and Tebasaki, Nagoya style chocken wings which are perfect with a cold beer or Chuuhi.

Japanese food in Nagoya

Of course there are other things to do beside food. You could visit Nagoya Castle or one of the most important Japanese shrines calles Atsuta Jingu. There is also an old shopping arcade called Osu Shopping Street which is worth checking out.

Atsuta Jingu - Nagoya

From Kyoto the fastest way is by Shinkansen, bullet train, which costs around 5500 yen (55 US dollars) and takes just over half an hour. If you have a Japan Rail Pass this is free. Another option is taking a local train. You will need to change trains at Maibara Station. The local train takes about 2 hours and costs 2500 yen (25 US dollars).


Further reading on Kyoto

If you enjoyed this blog on Day Trips from Kyoto, you might also like to read about the best temples in Kyoto and Kyoto Tours.

Templeseeker

Hi, I'm Amy Trumpeter and I have over 25 years of travel experience. I love seeking out temples, Churches and other religious and historical buildings. I write mainly about Asia, Europe and North Africa. My BA (Religions and Theology) and MA (South Asian Studies) were gained from the University of Manchester. Come and join me on my templeseeking journey around the world!

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