Sunday, May 26, 2019

Japan 9D8N Itinerary: Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Nara

During our previous family trips to Japan (Okinawa, Kyushu, Central Japan), we moved from one hotel to the other as we covered a large area. For this trip to Kansai area - Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe and Nara, we made our life easier by staying at one hotel at Osaka. We are sharing our 9D8N itinerary, together with the mode of transportation.

Day 1 Osaka
  • [Nankai Railway from Kansai International Airport to Namba 難波]
  • Check in Toyoko Inn Osaka Namba Furitsutaiikukaikan Nishi
  • Dotonbori 道頓堀 and Shinsaibashi 心斎橋
  • Dinner: Ichiran Ramen 一蘭, Kani Doraku かに道楽, Excelsior Caffe (Cremia soft serve), Luke's Lobster, Calbee+


Takoyaki @Dotonbori

Day 2 Kobe (use Hanshin Tourist Pass)
  • [Hanshin Railway from Osaka Namba to Koshien 甲子園 to take queue number at Kidzania, then proceed to Sumiyoshi 住吉]
  • Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum
  • [Hanshin Railway from Sumiyoshi to Koshien]
  • Lunch: McDonald's
  • Kidzania Koshien
  • [Hanshin Railway from Koshien to Namba]

Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum

Kidzania Koshien

Day 3 Kyoto

Shimogamo Shrine


Day 4 Osaka (use Enjoy Eco Card)
  • [Osaka Metro from Namba to Umeda, then Hankyu Railway to Ikeda 池田]
  • Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum (Cupnoodles Museum Osaka)
  • [Hankyu Railway from Ikeda to Umeda]
  • Lunch: Sarabeth's Osaka @Lucua (JR Osaka Station)
  • Pokemon Centre & Tomica @Daimaru Umeda
  • [Osaka Metro from Umeda to Yodoyabashi]
  • Osaka Illumination Hikari Kyoen
  • [Osaka Metro from Yodoyabashi to Dobutsuen-mae 動物園前]
  • Dinner: Jumbo Tsuribune Tsurikichi ジャンボ釣船つり吉
  • [Osaka Metro from Dobutsuen-mae to Namba]

Cupnoodles Museum Osaka

Hikari Kyoen

Day 5 Kyoto
  • [Osaka Metro from Namba to Yodoyabashi 淀屋橋, then Keihan Railway to Fushimi-Inari 伏見稲荷] 
  • Fushimi Inari Shrine
  • Lunch: Omiya 近江家
  • [JR Inari 稲荷 to Kyoto 京都, then change another JR to Saga Arashiyama 嵯峨嵐山]
  • Arashiyama (stay till 5 pm for the light up Hanatouro)
  • [Hankyu Railway from Arashiyama 嵐山 to Umeda]
  • Dinner: 焼きスパ ローマ軒 @Hankyu Sanban-gai
  • Shopping: Uji-en Japanese green tea @Hankyu Sanban-gai
  • [Osaka Metro from Umeda 梅田 to Namba]

Fushimi Inari Shrine


Day 6 Osaka (use Enjoy Eco Card)
  • [Osaka Metro from Namba to Tanimachi 4-chome 谷町四丁目]
  • NHK Osaka
  • Osaka Castle
  • [Osaka Metro from Morinomiya 森ノ宮 to Ogimachi 扇町]
  • Lunch: MOS Burger
  • Kids Plaza Osaka
  • [Osaka Metro from Ogimachi to Nanba]
  • Dinner: 家カフェ おたま @Namba Parks
  • Shopping: Phiten knee guards @Namba Parks

Osaka Castle

Kids Plaza Osaka

Day 7 Nara & Osaka

Nara Park

Kuromon Ichiba Market

Day 8 Osaka (use Osaka Amazing Pass)

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Osaka

Glion Museum

Day 9 Home Sweet home
  • [Nankai Railway from Namba to Kansai International Airport]
Post Trip Reflection

When I visited Kansai area with my friend many years ago, I thought this area is more suitable for adults, as there are many shrines and temples, as well as dining and shopping districts. Now when I am visiting Kansai again, but with my children, I realise that there are many places that children can enjoy - Kidzania Koshien, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Osaka, Kids Plaza Osaka, and Cupnoodles Museum Osaka, just to name a few.

The area that we travelled is easily accessible by public transportation, so there is no need for self-driving. In fact, the public transportation network is so extensive that it can be quite confusing at the first glance - read Tips #2 on 5 Tips for Planning Japan Trip (Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Nara).

Unlike our previous trips to the quieter parts of Japan, Kansai area is very crowded (ok, still less crowded than some parts of Tokyo). We encountered 3 times in 9 days when some locals "fought" for seats with our children on Osaka Metro! However, I am still thankful to meet kind tourists who gave up their seats for my children on the crowded public transport.

Our Japan Travelogue (Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Nara) December 2018

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