Osaka-Kyoto Itinerary: Day 1 (Arrival) and Day 2, Day Trip to Kobe

After you have planned for your trip and read up on the background info, this is the Days 1 and 2 of the Osaka-Kyoto Itinerary:

Day 1

Take a train from Kansai International Airport to the city (Namba train station). Use google maps.

There is a huge counter that sells train tickets at the airport terminal. Do NOT buy it; it’s a scam. Instead, buy an ICOCA card and use the card to take the train. This is because the train ticket costs 3 times more than the ICOCA card.

Arrive at your hotel and rest until dinner time. (We stayed at Il Cuore Namba.)

Dotonbori is south of Dotonbori canel and Shinsaibashi-suji shopping street is north of the canel. The two areas are joined by Ebisu bridge where you can see the famous Gilco Man poster.

If you’re living around the Namba area like us, explore Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi-suji shopping street. (Use google maps to get there, the areas are side by side.)

Glico Man, viewed from Ebisu Bridge

At Dotonbori, don’t forget to visit the Ebisu bridge where the Gilco Man (originally installed in 1935), #1 attraction of Osaka, is.

You may also take a 20-minute river cruise at Tonbori River Cruise of Dotonbori canal. The boat departs from the Tazaemonbashi Bridge Boat Dock.

There are hundreds of restaurants in this area. Have your dinner. Perhaps you’d like to eat Osaka street food, okonomiyaki.

Do NOT shop at Don Quixote (aka Don Don Donki) at this time. This is only the first day and if you shop, your luggage will be too heavy. Don’t worry, this itinerary is designed so that you have a chance to shop at Don Quixote.

Rest early. It will be a long day tomorrow.

Day 2

Kuromon market – don’t miss the small entrance.

9am – Go to Kuromon market (established since 1902) where homeowners and chefs get their ingredients. There are several sashimi, sushi, and rice bowls shops: eat your breakfast here.

Kuromon Market – Lobster

Kuromon market: Japanese Awayuki Ichigo (pink strawberry) is a rare strawberry variety that tastes like white peach.

Kuromon market: cute octopus

Kuromon market: so much otoro!

Kuromon market: if you see this tempura crab, please get it. It’s so delicious, so sweet.

Many Singaporeans eat at this stall, but please don’t. The portions are small and the food isn’t good.

Very tiny rice bowls from the shop in the previous photo.

10am – Reach Osaka Castle which began its construction in 1583.

Osaka Castle

11am – Start traveling to Kobe. Check out their official tourism website to check for events. If you’re taking the high speed, it takes only 30-40 minutes but the normal train takes 1.5 hours.

Checking Kobe Tourism website, we caught the Kobe Light Festival to commemorate the victims of Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995.

1pm – Take advantage of the Kobe beef lunch set at restaurants which is cheaper than dinner. (We ate at Kobe Beef Kisshokichi.) Take your time and chat with your partner.

3pm – Explore Nankin machi, Kobe’s Chinatown, established since 1868. It is one of three Chinatowns in Japan.

Sannomiya Center Gai Shopping Street

4pm – Shop at Sannomiya Center Gai Shopping Street (7 Sannomiyacho, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0021, Japan).

“Be Kobe” in Meriken Park

5pm – Go to the famous Be Kobe sign (in Meriken Park, beside Kobe Port Tower). There will be a long queue.

Hyotan at Kobe sells only gyoza and the queue is always long.

Their super tasty gyozas are served with a special miso sauce, giving a lot of umami.

6pm – 7pm: Dinner. We ate at one of the most popular streetfood stalls in Kobe, Hyōtan (1 Chome-11-15 Motomachidori, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0022, Japan). It serves only gyoza and there will be a long queue because the hole-in-the-wall shop is small.

Travel back to your hotel in Osaka after dinner.

Next day, you’ll go to Ohara, an onsen town in rural Kyoto.

You may be interested in…
10 Must Eat Food in Kyoto and Where to Find them
Where to Stay in Kyoto, Japan: Hotel Vischio Kyoto Review
Where to Stay in Osaka: Review of Hotel Gracery Osaka Namba
10 Must-Eat Food in Hokkaido

Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.

Categories: Kobe, Osaka

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