Before you arrive at Days 3 & 4 of Osaka-Kyoto Itinerary, you may want some other information:
11am – Have brunch and check out late. Then slowly make your way from Osaka to Kyoto Station. If your hotel is around Kyoto Station like ours, deposit your luggage at the hotel and bring a backpack of 2-day clothings. If your hotel isn’t around Kyoto Station, it’s ok.
From Kyoto Station, you can (1) take a direct bus to Ohara or (2) take the subway to Ohara and then transfer to a bus.
We wanted to include an onsen experience in our itinerary. We had a choice of either Kinosaki Onsen (2.5 hours from Kyoto) or Ohara which is a rural part of Kyoto (1 hour from city centre). We chose Ohara because less time is spent travelling and because it is more affordable.
Ohara was the best experience of our trip. I highly recommend it.
3pm – If you didn’t leave your luggage at your Kyoto hotel, leave it at the Ohara bus terminal (there are lockers) and just take 2 sets of clothes with you.
From the bus terminal, take a short climb to Yumoto Ohara Sansou (17 Kusao-cho, Ohara, Sakyou-ku, Kyoto City 601-1248; +81-75-744-2227), a ryokan or traditional Japanese inn with onsen facilities. Or you may inform them to pick you up at the bus station.
Yumoto is quite a different onsen than what we experienced previously. This is more budget friendly, only S$500 for two nights (¥38K). The main differences are (1) the food isn’t as fancy as other onsens’ and (2) toilet facilities are shared.
Being so pampered, I thought sharing toilet would be bad but it’s really quite ok. The toilets are super clean and high tech. And they were always empty when I went.
4pm – after some rest, go for an onsen! It’s really so relaxing.
6pm – Dinner is provided by the ryokan.
8pm – More onsen
I wanted to stay two days at a ryokan-onsen because I always feel that 1 day is too rushed. I wanted to slow down. But if you only want 1 day of onsen, just do follow half a day here (8am – 1pm). After lunch, continue with Day 5 itinerary.
8am – Breakfast provided by ryokan.
9am – Sneak in another onsen session.
10am – take the ryokan shuttle to the Ohara bus terminal. From the terminal, slowly make your way up to Sanzen-in temple. Along the way to the temple, there are many quaint shops and slowly take your time to take in the gorgeous scenery.
You need to pay to enter Sanzen-in temple but it is worth it. It’s one of the most beautiful and tranquil temples I have been.
1pm – Have a long lunch. After lunch, slowly stroll back to the ryokan.
Tip: the restaurant just at the gate of Sanzen-in offers a spectacular view that overlooks the mountains.
4pm – After taking a rest in your room, go for an onsen session.
6pm – dinner provided by ryokan.
8pm – Another onsen session.
Sleep early, do some light reading, communicate with your travelling companion. Next day, we would return to Kyoto city.
You may be interested in…
–10 Must Eat Food in Kyoto and Where to Find them
–5 Must Eat Food in Osaka 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
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.