Wednesday, February 8, 2017

My Osaka-Kyoto 5 days Itinerary #1: Tips for Transportation, Food & Places to Visit

 Sample Itinerary to inspire you all for your own trip!

Hello! Some of you might know that I just recently went for a trip to Osaka and Kyoto with my family during the Chinese new year holidays. We traveled in a group of 9 including my aunt and cousins this time round, and this is actually the 1st time any of my family members travel to Japan. 

The trip was really fun, but planning it was really not easy! Although I've been to Hokkaido once, it is really an entirely different experience to plan the travel on your own.
During the planning of this trip, I considered staying in Osaka for 3 days and Kyoto for 2 days, but in the end I settled for a location in Shin-Osaka instead. I made this decision after considering the fact that moving accommodation with large luggage is simply not practical, and even if we stayed in 2 separate locations, there will still be a lot of train rides and traveling needed for the places we want to go.

Since there is a lot of walking involved, I wanted to make sure everyone get enough time to rest. Thus the itinerary that we planned out is rather relaxing, and we missed a few spots due to weather and health reasons. If you want to squeeze in more activities, it is still possible! I've added in some recommended activities in the sample 5 days Osaka-Kyoto itinerary above for those who wants a fully packed eventful day and also as a reference for myself in future! There are also tips to save money on transportation below so check them out!

Day 1 - Arrival and Namba area

Our flight arrived in Kansai International Airport at 9.30am. In order to go to our rented apartments, we have to change train at Namba first. Since everyone is hungry by the time we reach Namba, we decided to have our lunch in this area! There are plenty of shops to eat or shop in this area and if not because of our heavy luggage, we would spend more time here! Although most of the food in this city area is more than 1000yen each set, it is still possible to get cheap meals below 800yen!

 Some of these are just 680yen!

We went back and rested in our apartments in Shin-Osaka in the afternoon, and walked around our area to familiarize the area at night. We took an overnight flight earlier so it's best to take it easy on day 1!

Recommendations: If you don't feel like resting right after arriving in Osaka, I would recommend doing a Osaka city tour on this day itself. Good places to visit include Osaka Castle, Shitennoji Temple, Shinsekai and Umeda Sky buildings. Of course the list goes on!

Tips: Depending on how many places are you planning to squeeze in and how many subway rides you need to take, the Osaka one-day ticket Enjoy Eco Card might save you a lot of money and also hassle! It only cost 800yen and it covers Osaka Subway, trams and buses, that pretty much allows you to go to most attractions!

Day 2 - Kyoto Nishiki market, Arashiyama (Tenryuji, Bamboo Forest)

We decided to visit Nishiki market in Kyoto for breakfast before heading to Arashiyama area for a half day tour. Nishiki market is a great place for tourist to visit. Since it is catered to tourists, foreign or locals alike, there are a lot of ready to eat food in small portions for us to try, and by the time you reach the end of the market you'll be full!

Squid stuffed with their roe? Yums!

Assorted fish cakes. The edamame with cheese one is dabomb!

Ready to eat seafood on display. Salmon and maguro chunks on sticks? Check! Fried fish on sticks? Check! Fresh Uni (sea urchin)? Check! Slimy cod roe? CHECK!

If you are adventurous enough, give this a try!

The Cod roe doesn't look anyway appetizing, but if you love half boiled eggs, you might love this! It has a slimy, creamy texture with a egg like taste to it. Not bad if you don't consider how much it resembles tiny brain mass or even small intestines. Slurpp!

After filling our tummy up with an assortment of food, we took a 40minute bus ride to Arashiyama area. Famous for its scenic views, Arashiyama is one of the top place to visit, and although the view is not as stunning in winter as the other seasons of the year, it is still quite nice to stroll around.

Family photo at Tenryuji

Arashiyama Bamboo Grooves - Beautiful but unfortunately not a 
long stretch, and packed with tourist even on a low season day like this.

Of course, Arashiyama got more to offer! Depending on the season, you can choose to do the Hozu River boat tour or Sagano scenic train ride, which unfortunately are not operating on some days during winter. There are also a stretch of nice touristy shops and also more shrines and temples to visit if you want to explore more.

Tips: At Nishiki Market, don't be afraid to try all the food! And eat in front of the store you bought from. Eating while walking around is largely frowned on by the locals. Also, go to the bamboo groove earlier in the day to get a nice and peaceful shot!

As this day is also Chinese New Year's Eve, we ended our day by having a nice meal at Watami, which is near where we stay and also able to seat large party like us! I've never been to Watami in KL, so I can't compare the food quality. But I have to say the price is reasonable for the amount of food we gobbled down!

For more tips on money-saving railway pass that we used for our Kyoto trip the next day, where to find snow in Kyoto and also our visit to Universal Studio Japan, stay tuned for Part 2....


  1. Thanks for sharing your Osaka-Kyoto itinerary! It will come in useful when I do have plans to visit this part of Japan!

  2. this comes in so handy as I am heading there myself next month..... thanks....

  3. Quantum Binary Signals

    Get professional trading signals sent to your cell phone daily.

    Follow our signals NOW and profit up to 270% per day.