The Kansai Region is the perfect destination if it’s your first time in Japan. It is rich in cultural heritage, evident in the number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites that dot its map, yet its biggest city, Osaka, also feels undoubtedly modern and futuristic. It also prepares you for the craziness and fast pace of Tokyo, if you also plan on paying the capital a visit.

The itineraries below will take you to four of Kansai’s biggest tourist destinations: Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe and Nara. All these involve spending your nights in Osaka and visiting the other destinations only on a day trip.

Note that the indicated costs and times are just rough estimates that are meant to give you a ballpark figure. The actual prices and schedules may be different in reality so always double check with official sources. The estimates also have big margins. Better overestimate than under. Please make the necessary adjustments to match your conditions.

If you need more help planning your trip, you may check out these guides:

Osaka Travel Guide
Kyoto Travel Guide

If you’re only interested in Osaka and Kyoto and not Kobe or Nara, we have a dedicated post for that too:

Osaka-Kyoto Itineraries


Tip! Rent a pocket wi-fi for hassle-free travels!

The language barrier in Osaka is real, so you can save a lot of time and avoid stress if you’re connected to the Internet, which you can use to translate and navigate. You can reserve one in advance via Klook for only PhP 389 per day for unlimited 4G access. That’s a lot cheaper than those you will find at Kansai airport. The best part, if you’re a group, you can connect multiple devices hassle-free. You can then split the cost with your friends. You can pick up the device at the airport. No deposit is required.

RESERVE THIS NOW


DIY Osaka-Nara-Kyoto Itinerary: 4 Days

Duration: 4 days, 3 nights
Hotel stop: 3 nights in Osaka

PASSES YOU NEED:

  • 1-day Osaka Amazing Pass, ¥2500, to be used on Day 2, Reserve Here!
  • 1-day JR West Kansai Pass, ¥2200, to be used on Day 4, Reserve Here!

Day 1: UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN
12:30pm – Arrival at Kansai Airport
01:00pm – Collect Klook Passes at Arrival Hall
01:30pm – Train to Universal City, ¥1190
02:30pm – Universal Studios Japan, ¥7900, Reserve Here!
08:00pm – Train to Namba, ¥410
08:40pm – Hotel check in
09:00pm – Late dinner, ¥1000
10:30pm – Back to hotel, lights out

Day 2: OSAKA CITY TOUR
05:00am – Wake up
06:00am – Subway to Tamagawa Station (Endo Sushi), FREE (OA Pass)
07:00am – Breakfast at Endo Sushi, ¥1242
08:30am – Subway to Tanimachiyonchome Station (Osaka Castle), FREE (OA Pass)
09:00am – Osaka Castle, FREE (OA Pass)
12:00nn – Subway to Nakatsu Station (Ramen Yashichi), FREE (OA Pass)
12:30nn – Lunch at Ramen Yashichi, ¥730
02:30pm – Subway to from Nakatsu to Umeda, FREE (OA Pass)
03:00pm – Umeda Sky Building Observatory, FREE (OA Pass)
04:30pm – Subway from Umeda to Namba, FREE (OA Pass)
05:00pm – Tombori River Cruise, FREE, (OA Pass)
06:00pm – Dotonbori Night Tour, FREE (OA Pass)
07:30pm – Early dinner at Tokisushi, ¥1134
10:30pm – Back to hotel, lights out

Day 3: NARA DAY TOUR
06:30am – Wake up call
08:00am – Walk to Osaka-Namba Station
08:06am – Osaka-Namba Station to KintetsuNara, ¥560
09:00am – Sarusawa-ike Pond
10:00am – Kofuku-ji Temple, museum, eastern hall, ¥800
12:00nn – Lunch, ¥1000
01:30pm – Gango-ji Temple, ¥500
03:00pm – Kasuga Taisha Shrine, ¥500
04:30pm – Nara Park, FREE
06:00pm – Dinner, ¥1500
07:08pm – Train to Osaka-Namba, ¥560

Day 4: KYOTO DAY TOUR
07:00am – Wake up, hotel check out
08:00am – JR Trains to Kyoto Station, FREE (JR West Pass)
09:00am – Leave bags in locker, ¥700
09:50am – Train to Saga-Arashiyama, FREE (JR West Pass)
10:10am – Explore Arashiyama, Tenryuji Fee: ¥500
12:00pm – Train to Kyoto Station, FREE
12:30pm – Lunch, ¥1000
01:40pm – Train to Inari Station, FREE (JR West Pass)
02:00pm – Fushimi Inari Shrine, FREE
04:00pm – Train to Kyoto Station, FREE
04:30pm – JR Ltd. Exp. Haruka train, FREE (JR West Pass)
06:00pm – Dinner, ¥1500
07:00pm – Flight check in
09:15pm – Flight out

Cost Estimate: JPY 29,000 (USD259, SGD355, PHP14000, EUR222), excluding airfare and hotel.


DIY Osaka-Nara-Kyoto Itinerary: 5 Days

Duration: 5 days, 4 nights
Hotel stop: 4 nights in Osaka

PASSES YOU NEED:

  • 1-day Osaka Amazing Pass, ¥2500, to be used on Day 3, Reserve Here!
  • 1-day JR West Kansai Pass, ¥2200, to be used on Day 5, Reserve Here!

Day 1: DOTONBORI
12:30pm – Arrival at Kansai Airport
01:00pm – Collect Klook Passes at Arrival Hall
01:39pm – Nankai Airport Express to Namba, ¥920
02:15pm – Walk to hotel
02:40pm – Hotel check in, freshen up
04:30pm – Kuromon Market, Budget: ¥1500
06:00pm – Dotonbori
08:00pm – Dinner at Tokisushi, ¥1134
10:00pm – Back to hotel, lights out

Day 2: UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN
07:00am – Wake up call
08:20am – Walk to JR-Namba Station
09:00am – Train to UniversalCity Station, ¥180
09:30pm – Universal Studios Japan, ¥7900, Reserve Here!
Food expenses: ¥2500
08:00pm – Train to Namba, ¥410
08:40pm – Hotel check in
09:00pm – Late dinner, ¥1000
10:30pm – Back to hotel, lights out

Day 3: OSAKA CITY TOUR
05:00am – Wake up
06:00am – Subway to Tamagawa Station (Endo Sushi), FREE (OA Pass)
07:00am – Breakfast at Endo Sushi, ¥1242
08:30am – Subway to Tanimachiyonchome Station (Osaka Castle), FREE (OA Pass)
09:00am – Osaka Castle, FREE (OA Pass)
12:00nn – Subway to Nakatsu Station (Ramen Yashichi), FREE (OA Pass)
12:30nn – Lunch at Ramen Yashichi, ¥730
02:30pm – Subway to from Nakatsu to Umeda, FREE (OA Pass)
03:00pm – Umeda Sky Building Observatory, FREE (OA Pass)
04:30pm – Subway from Umeda to Namba, FREE (OA Pass)
05:00pm – Tombori River Cruise, FREE, (OA Pass)
06:00pm – Dotonbori Night Tour, FREE (OA Pass)
07:30pm – Early dinner at Tokisushi, ¥1134
10:30pm – Back to hotel, lights out

Day 4: NARA DAY TOUR
06:30am – Wake up call
08:00am – Walk to Osaka-Namba Station
08:06am – Osaka-Namba Station to KintetsuNara, ¥560
09:00am – Sarusawa-ike Pond
10:00am – Kofuku-ji Temple, museum, eastern hall, ¥800
12:00nn – Lunch, ¥1000
01:30pm – Gango-ji Temple, ¥500
03:00pm – Kasuga Taisha Shrine, ¥500
04:30pm – Nara Park, FREE
06:00pm – Dinner, ¥1500
07:08pm – Train to Osaka-Namba, ¥560

Day 5: KYOTO DAY TOUR
07:00am – Wake up, hotel check out
08:00am – JR Trains to Kyoto Station, FREE (JR West Pass)
09:00am – Leave bags in locker, ¥700
09:50am – Train to Saga-Arashiyama, FREE (JR West Pass)
10:10am – Explore Arashiyama, Tenryuji Fee: ¥500
12:00pm – Train to Kyoto Station, FREE
12:30pm – Lunch, ¥1000
01:40pm – Train to Inari Station, FREE (JR West Pass)
02:00pm – Fushimi Inari Shrine, FREE
04:00pm – Train to Kyoto Station, FREE
04:30pm – JR Ltd. Exp. Haruka train, FREE (JR West Pass)
06:00pm – Dinner, ¥1500
07:00pm – Flight check in
09:15pm – Flight out

Cost Estimate: JPY 35,000 (USD313, SGD429, PHP17000, EUR268), excluding plane tickets and accommodations.


DIY Osaka-Nara-Kobe-Kyoto Itinerary: 6 Days

Duration: 6 days, 5 nights
Hotel stop: 5 nights in Osaka

PASSES YOU NEED:

  • 1-day Osaka Amazing Pass, ¥2500, to be used on Day 3, Reserve Here!
  • 1-day JR West Kansai Pass, ¥2200, to be used on Day 6, Reserve Here!

Day 1: DOTONBORI
12:30pm – Arrival at Kansai Airport
01:00pm – Collect Klook Passes at Arrival Hall
01:39pm – Nankai Airport Express to Namba, ¥920
02:15pm – Walk to hotel
02:40pm – Hotel check in, freshen up
04:30pm – Kuromon Market, Budget: ¥1500
06:00pm – Dotonbori
08:00pm – Dinner at Tokisushi, ¥1134
10:00pm – Back to hotel, lights out

Day 2: UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN
07:00am – Wake up call
08:20am – Walk to JR-Namba Station
09:00am – Train to UniversalCity Station, ¥180
09:30pm – Universal Studios Japan, ¥7900, Reserve Here!
Food expenses: ¥2500
08:00pm – Train to Namba, ¥410
08:40pm – Hotel check in
09:00pm – Late dinner, ¥1000
10:30pm – Back to hotel, lights out

Day 3: OSAKA CITY TOUR
05:00am – Wake up
06:00am – Subway to Tamagawa Station (Endo Sushi), FREE (OA Pass)
07:00am – Breakfast at Endo Sushi, ¥1242
08:30am – Subway to Tanimachiyonchome Station (Osaka Castle), FREE (OA Pass)
09:00am – Osaka Castle, FREE (OA Pass)
12:00nn – Subway to Nakatsu Station (Ramen Yashichi), FREE (OA Pass)
12:30nn – Lunch at Ramen Yashichi, ¥730
02:30pm – Subway to from Nakatsu to Umeda, FREE (OA Pass)
03:00pm – Umeda Sky Building Observatory, FREE (OA Pass)
04:30pm – Subway from Umeda to Namba, FREE (OA Pass)
05:00pm – Tombori River Cruise, FREE, (OA Pass)
06:00pm – Dotonbori Night Tour, FREE (OA Pass)
07:30pm – Early dinner at Tokisushi, ¥1134
10:30pm – Back to hotel, lights out

Day 4: NARA DAY TOUR
06:30am – Wake up call
08:00am – Walk to Osaka-Namba Station
08:06am – Osaka-Namba Station to KintetsuNara, ¥560
09:00am – Sarusawa-ike Pond
10:00am – Kofuku-ji Temple, museum, eastern hall, ¥800
12:00nn – Lunch, ¥1000
01:30pm – Gango-ji Temple, ¥500
03:00pm – Kasuga Taisha Shrine, ¥500
04:30pm – Nara Park, FREE
06:00pm – Dinner, ¥1500
07:08pm – Train to Osaka-Namba, ¥560

Day 5: KOBE DAY TOUR
06:30am – Wake up call
07:30am – Walk to JR-Namba Station
08:08am – JR Trains to Kobe Station, ¥710
09:00am – Harborland sightseeing
10:30am – Lunch at Motomachi, ¥2000
12:30nn – Train to Iwaya Station, ¥140
01:00pm – Earthquake Museum, ¥600
02:30pm – Train to Shin-Kobe Station, ¥350
03:00pm – Shin-Kobe Ropeway, ¥1400
03:15pm – Rokko Mountain
05:00pm – Back to Shin-Kobe Station
05:10pm – Shin-Kobe to Sannomiya Station, ¥210
05:52pm – JR trains to JR-Namba Station, ¥710
07:30pm – Dinner, ¥1000
09:00pm – Back to hotel, lights out

Day 6: KYOTO DAY TOUR
07:00am – Wake up, hotel check out
08:00am – JR Trains to Kyoto Station, FREE (JR West Pass)
09:00am – Leave bags in locker, ¥700
09:50am – Train to Saga-Arashiyama, FREE (JR West Pass)
10:10am – Explore Arashiyama, Tenryuji Fee: ¥500
12:00pm – Train to Kyoto Station, FREE
12:30pm – Lunch, ¥1000
01:40pm – Train to Inari Station, FREE (JR West Pass)
02:00pm – Fushimi Inari Shrine, FREE
04:00pm – Train to Kyoto Station, FREE
04:30pm – JR Ltd. Exp. Haruka train, FREE (JR West Pass)
06:00pm – Dinner, ¥1500
07:00pm – Flight check in
09:15pm – Flight out

Cost Estimate: JPY 43,000 (USD384, SGD527, PHP20800, EUR329), not counting hotels and plane tickets.


Budget Tips

If you’re on a tight budget, here are some ways to bring down the cost.

  • Avoid eating out. All the itineraries above assume you’re eating out for every meal. Staying in a place with a kitchen or go to the grocery/supermarket for food instead of restaurants.
  • If you must eat out, do so for lunch. I know, I know. You’re in Japan. It would be a shame to not experience its dining scene. If you really have to eat out, do so for lunch when you’re already out. For dinner, you can just buy something from the supermarket. This way, you have a perfect balance of supermarket and restaurant food.
  • Skip Universal Studios Japan. You’ll be able to save 7900 yen if you replace it with something much cheaper.
  • Drop the other destinations. The biggest fraction of the cost is spent on transportation. Visiting multiple destinations push the total expenses much higher. If budget is a concern, drop the other cities and focus on just one or two. To be honest, Osaka and Kyoto alone can fill a full week’s itinerary. You don’t have to see everything. You can have more fun if you don’t feel like you’re not on the season finale of the Amazing Race. Choose one or two destinations and stick to them.

Where to Book Tours

The budget estimate above is based on DIY. But if you want to join day tours instead, you can too. This way you have a travel guide so you could appreciate the significance and history of the sites better and some transfers/transportation too.

Kyoto Day Tour from Osaka

Join this Tour
Nara Afternoon Tour from Osaka

Book This Tour

Top Budget Hotels and Hostels in Osaka (Under $70)

GOEN LOUNGE&STAY
T-SITE ANNEXⅡ 5F/6F 8-9, Okahigashi-cho, Hirakata, Osaka

Check Rates

ZenLabo Osaka

ZenLabo Osaka
1-7-6, Sennichimae, Namba, Osaka

Check Rates

Hostel Jin

Hostel Jin
2-4-19, Nishikujo, Konohana-Ku, Osaka

Check Rates

Ark Hostel

Ark Hostel
1-15-11 Edobori, NIshi-ku, Umeda, Osaka

Check Rates

Search for more Osaka Hotels




Watch our Latest Video!



Important Reminders


Yoshke Dimen

Yoshke Dimen

Storyteller at Yoshke.com
Yoshke is a part-time digital marketing consultant, part-time travel blogger, and full-time dreamer. He has three passions in life: social media, travel, and --- wait for it --- world peace. Yoshke has won 3 PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS and received 9 nominations. Learn more about his personal journeys at Yoshke.com.
Yoshke Dimen

Comments

  1. Marian Bautista says:

    hi. would like to know if you used a jr west pass?or an osaka amazing pass? what do you recommend? thanks

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Marian. We have updated the post just now, so hopefully our update answers your question. :D

  2. zhiara go says:

    Hi whats the best pass to use? We will be staying in Osaka Nov 27-Dec3. We will be heading to nearby cities like Nara and Kyoto.

  3. dine says:

    Hi! we are planning a trip to Osaka for 6days. Planning to do your IT guide for Osaka-Kyoto-Nara/Kobe. My 70 yr old Mom will be joining us, do you think di sya mahihirapan if we follow your itinerary? if not, any suggestion? Thanks in advance!

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Dine, in general, these itineraries involve a lot of walking that can’t be helped if DIY. Example, the Osaka Castle grounds, it’s vast. It really requires a lot of walking.

      So di ko sure if appropriate sa mom mo. Depende rin kasi sa current fitness nya. I know my mom, who is also a senior citizen, can do this itinerary with no problem. But my aunt na halos ka-age nya, hindi na kaya.

  4. Russell De Guzman says:

    Hi!

    I patterned my trip to one of your itineraries when I went to Hong Kong-Macau last year and it was very useful.

    Will be in Osaka spring this year and I’m planning to do the 6-day itinerary.

    Would you recommend I get an ICOCA IC card for this itinerary?

    Thanks!

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Hi Russell,

      We’re currently in Kansai exploring Osaka/Kobe/Kyoto etc. We’ll be updating this very soon so baka mas ok ung updated na.

      But to answer your question, yep. For the 6-day itinerary, the ICOCA card will be useful.

  5. Jing Fragante says:

    On the days that you did not use a pass (e.g. days 4 and 5 on your 6-day sample itinerary), did you just use an ICOCA card? If so, hindi ba sya more expensive, since regular fare sya? Thanks!

  6. Agnes says:

    Hi
    Other days with Yen amount, what train or pass need to buy so that it save money?

  7. Dastan says:

    If i have extra days which is 7days in total, what do you do for extra days? do you go for kyoto for the extra days? or somewhere else in osaka?

    • Yoshke Dimen says:

      Personally, I’d spend another day in Kyoto and visit other sites.

Leave a Reply