This is the last leg of the Osaka-Kyoto Itinerary, you may want some other information:
Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe Itinerary: Pre-planning
Osaka-Kyoto Itinerary: Day 1 (Arrival) and Day 2, Day Trip to Kobe
Osaka-Kyoto Itinerary Days 3 & 4: Ohara Onsen Ryokan and Sanzen-in Temple
Osaka-Kyoto Itinerary Days 5 & 6: Kinkakuji, Kyoto Imperial Palace, and Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
Osaka-Kyoto Itinerary Days 7 and 8: Kodaji, Kiyomizu Dera, Yamazaki Distillery, Nijo Castle, and Teahouses
8am. Check out of your hotel in Kyoto but leave your luggage with the concierge. Take a train to Fushimi Inari Shrine, famous of its thousands of torii gates. The shrine is dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice. There are many fox statues as foxes are messengers for Inari.
Do not feel obligated to go all the way to the top – the whole journey would take 3 hours. Instead, just walk halfway – maybe not even half, just walk 10 to 15 minutes in and there is an exit. Take that exit.
If you’re hungry, this exit leads you to Vermillion Cafe, which has great coffee and matcha. It overlooks a lake so people like to sit at the balconey.
If you’re not hungry yet, head over Nishiki market and have your sashimi over rice.
4pm – Go to Spa World, which is a mega huge sauna and spa. It’s an experience to have so many naked bodies in a space.
6pm – Then walk to the next structure, Tsutenkaku known as the Eiffel Tower of Osaka. There is an observatory that offers a view of Osaka. The original structure was built in 1912, and at 65 metres, it was the tallest building in Asia, shocking people at that time.
7pm – Explore Shinsekai, a colourful district that developed before the war but neglected for decades after. There is an exciting energy here. Have your dinner here: there are many kushikatsu (fried skewers) restaurants here to choose from.
9am. Day trip to Nara. Take a train from Osaka to Nara (about 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the type of train you take).
There is really only one thing to see here: the Nara Deer Park. Pay attention now because Google maps doesn’t give good directions here.
How to Get to Nara Deer Park: When you arrive at Nara Station, go one floor down to Bus Terminal. Wait at the Bus Stand #16 for a mini-bus called “Gurutto.” It will all the way to another terminal, which is a huge carpark at Todaiji Temple.
Here, play with the deers as you explore Todaiji, the most significant temple in Nara, built in 752. It houses one of the biggest Buddha statue in Japan at 15 metres.
A word of caution: the deers are very aggressive and they bite. They will bite small children.
12pm – Have lunch here. If you have patience to queue, try Kamameshi Shizuka Kouen-ten, steamed rice in a pot. It’s extremely popular and the queue is long.
After lunch, reverse-engineer your route back to your hotel in Osaka. Rest in the hotel for a while.
6pm – Visit Umeda Sky Building to have a panoramic view of Osaka. You may want to time it around sunset so you get the benefit of seeing the city in daylight and in starlight.
7.30pm – Have dinner at Dotonbori and then — this is the moment you’re waiting for — shop at 24-hour, 7-storey Don Quijote at Dotonbori. Remember to get your tax refund on the spot.
More shopping! On your way to the airport (bring your luggage), drop by Rinku Premium Outlet which is just 5-minute train ride from Kansai International Airport. Here, you’ll find Adidas, Bally, Banana Republic, Coach, Cole Haan, Furla, G-Star, Hugo Boss, Jimmy Choo, Jun, Kate Spade, Nike, Onitsuka Tiger, Pandora, Ralph Lauren, Ferragamo, Under Armour, etc.
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 eat Kobe Beef in Kobe Japan: Kobe Beef KISSHOKICHI 神戸牛吉祥吉
–Where to Stay in Kyoto, Japan: Hotel Vischio Kyoto Review
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.