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The Absolute Best Day Trips from Osaka | Not to be Missed!!

Osaka Day Trip and Osaka Day Tours

Are you planning your Osaka itinerary and wondering what the best day trips from Osaka are?

Join in on the fun and don’t miss out on the best day trips from Osaka!

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Osaka is one of the most beautiful port cities and is a commercial center on the Japanese island of Honshu.  It is a perfect place to base yourself at and to discover the surrounding regions when you venture out on your day trips from Osaka!  Your adventure only starts here!

Are you ready for an adventure?  On your Osaka day trips you will get amongst beautiful temples, shrines, and much much more.  You will walk with the deer in Nara Deer Park, you will check out amazing city of Kyoto and Himeji castle will steal your heart away!  Kurashiki old town’s cobble stone streets will teleport you to Japan’s past and your trip to Miyajima island… (well this is my favourite) will create unforgettable memories!  Is your passport ready??

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Absolute Best Day Trips from Osaka

1. Osaka to Kyoto Day Trip

Kyoto is our favorite city that we have visited on our trip to Japan!  Wonder if it will be yours too.  This city was home for the emperors for over a millennium, from 794 until 1868.  You will find a number of spectacular gardens, Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, imperial palaces and traditional wooden houses.

Fushimi Inari Shrine Kyoto Japan

Our top three of the most beautiful places that we have been to personally and recommend for your itinerary are:

  • Gion District – the famous Geisha District
  • Fushimi Inari – sensational path of orange gates
  • and Bamboo Forest

There are so many amazing places that we recommend for you to see apart from the above three.  If you have a bit more time spare on your day trip to Kyoto, we would also urge you to see Kinkaku-ji temple ( the Golden Pagoda), Ginkaku-ji temple (the Silver Pagoda), Philosopher’s Path (only in Cherry Blossom season) and the famous Kyoto Streets Ninen-zaka and Sannen-zaka!  Yup, I know…  So much to see!  You might have to do two day trips from Osaka to Kyoto!

Osaka Day Trips to Kyoto Gion District

How to get from Osaka to Kyoto:

The best way to get from Osaka to Kyoto is by JR Kyoto Line:

    • JR Kyoto Line will take you from Osaka Station to Kyoto Station in 29 minutes.

We highly recommend for you to purchase the JR Rail Pass prior to coming for your holiday to Japan.  Click here to purchase your pass now!

For latest timetables, please follow the link Osaka to Kyoto by train.

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Tip:  If you are travelling with a JR Rail Pass (which we highly recommend!!)  you might want to take an Osaka to Kyoto bullet train.  This shinkansen train will take you from Shin-Osaka Station to Kyoto Station in just 15 minutes.  Worth it if you have a JR pass and that way you can see more of Kyoto!

Purchase JR Rail Pass

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2. Nara Day Trip

Welcome to the 8th century capital of Japan.  Nara is located in the south-central Honshu and only under an hour away from Osaka!  We heard that here at Nara, the deer walk amongst the temples and mingle with the visitors!  Nara Deer Park is awesome!!  Katie and Lily were more then stoked to be able to feed all the deer.  You can buy a packet of deer biscuits for only 150 Yen.  Note that you might have to buy a few packets, because there are a lot of deer in the park and they all look super cute!

Temples at Nara Park Japan

In the heart of the Nara Deer Park you will find one of the most significant temples of Japan, the famous Todai-ji temple.  This temple is home to the magnificent Daibutsu, Todai-ji’s 15 metre high bronze Buddha statue.  This is one of the biggest Buddha statues that I have ever seen!

Deer at Nara Park - Osake day Trip - Japan

Related Post: Things to do in Nara

How to get from Osaka to Nara:

The best way to get from Osaka to Nara is by the JR Yamatoji Line:

    • JR Yamatoji Line will take you from Osaka Station to JR Nara Station in 50 minutes.

We highly recommend for you to purchase the JR Rail Pass prior to coming for your holiday to Japan.  Click here to purchase your pass now!

For latest timetables, please follow the link Osaka to Nara by train.

Purchase JR Rail Pass

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3. Universal Studios Japan | USJ Osaka

OK, I know that this one is in Osaka.  Although it is a bit closer for you to travel, this destination will require a full day of exploring!!  It is a definite must do on your Osaka day trip!Univeral Studios Osaka Japan

Universal Studios Japan is not only for the kids!  Even us, big kids, are allowed to have some fun too!  There is so much to choose from!  The park is divided into eight main sections.  There is New York, San Francisco, Amity Village and Hollywood to check out.  There is a Jurassic Park world with a pretty awesome ride … Waterworld with the unique show to see and the Universal Wonderland as well.  However, what we came here to see was the one-of-a-kind —-> The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!!
Girls Enjoying Universal Studios

We surprised Katie and Lily with a daytrip to Universal Studios in Osaka and we have to say that we were all super impressed.  It was simply spectacular! The Harry Potter World is just brilliant!  You can find everything there!  From Butterbeer, to wands, to cloaks for each of the houses!  You can enter the Hogwarts Castle, where you can even find the paintings … speaking to each other!!  Katie proclaimed that the ride inside the castle was ‘ the best ride of ALL TIME!!!’  – Pretty impressive huh!!  We had lunch at the Three Broomsticks and the atmosphere was just amazing!! Harry Potter at Universal Studio Osaka JapanThe park is also the home of Sesame Street and Hello Kitty!  We saw loads of dressed up Hollywood characters wonder up and down the streets!  We watched a pretty crazy fun show at Waterworld!  Man, the atmosphere at the show was incredible!!!

You simply cannot miss out on this day trip!!

How to get from Osaka to Universal Studios Japan:

The best way to get to the USJ Osaka is:

    • From Osaka Station it will take you only 12 minutes.

We highly recommend for you to purchase the JR Rail Pass prior to coming for your holiday to Japan.  Click here to purchase your pass now!

For latest timetables, please follow the link Osaka to USJ by train.

Purchase JR Rail Pass

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4. Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle | Osaka Day TripsHimeji-jo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a spectacular example of a 17th century Japanese castle.  The castle is also called Shirasagijo or the White Heron Castle.  This white walled architectural marvel is the best preserved castle in all of Japan!  Well, that says it all… a definite must see!  Make sure to check out the famous Koko-en garden next to the castle.Himeji Castle Shirasagijo in Japan

If you have time to explore a bit more, we would recommend that you make your way to Mt. Shosha.  You can take a local bus to the end of the line, where you can go on a little adventure at the Mt. Shosha ropeway!  The bus station is close to the Himeji castle.

How to get from Osaka to Himeji:

The best way to get from Osaka to Himeji is by:

    • Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka Station and it will take you only 29 minutes.

We highly recommend for you to purchase the JR Rail Pass prior to coming for your holiday to Japan.  Click here to purchase your pass now!

For latest timetables, please follow the link Osaka to Himeji by train.

Purchase JR Rail Pass

5. Kurashiki

Kurashiki is a little delight for those of us travellers in need of a bit of culture and in search of the old Japan.  This is a perfect place for that!

Kurashiki dates back to the Edo Period (1603-1867) and has a well preserved canal that runs through the centre of the old town.  The canal is one of the main attractions of the town, alongside Ohara museum and beautiful old wooden houses lining the streets.  In Cherry Blossom season, this place looks magical!

Kurashiki Japan

Katie and Lily were especially happy to check out the rainforest cat cafe located at the beginning of the Kurashiki scenic streets.  We don’t have those back in Australia, so this was a bit more of a treat for them!  In turn, we loved to wander around the magical old town whilst snapping some unique pics.

Kurashiki Okayama Japan

How to get from Osaka to Kurashiki:

The best way to get to from Osaka to Kurashiki:

    • Sanyo Shinkansen will take you from Shin-Osaka Station to Okayama Station in 50-70 minutes depending on the model of a train you catch.

We highly recommend for you to purchase the JR Rail Pass prior to coming for your holiday to Japan.  Click here to purchase your pass now!

For latest time tables, please follow the link Osaka to Kurashiki by train.

Purchase JR Rail Pass

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6. Miyajima

Miyajima is amazing!  This beautiful island has been called an Island of Gods on the Seto Inland Sea and for a reason!  It is one of the most scenic and spectacular places in Japan!  The Great Torii gate shine like a beacon in the sea, welcoming you to the island and the Itsukushima Shrine (World Heritage site).  Beautiful streets of the old Japan open up around and up to the magnificent Mt. Misen, where you can go on a ropeway to the top for a panoramic view.  What is not to love about this island…  History and romance walk hand in hand here and a feeling of peace and bliss relaxes you to the core!  Well, at least it did for me.

Miyajima Island Hiroshima Japan

Unofficially, Miyajima is called a deer island of Japan.  Deer walk here freely amongst the locals and tourists alike.  Our kids were super stoked to see so many animals on our travels, but I think meeting deer in such a beautiful setting was just that little bit extra special.

Miyajima Island Japan

How to get from Osaka to Miyajima:

The best way to get from Osaka to Miyajima is by the Sakura Line.

  • Sakura Line will take you from Shin-Osaka Station to Hiroshima Station in 1 hour and 32 minutes.
  • Local train from 9th Station from Hiroshima to Miyajima-guchi will take 30 minutes.
  • Transfer to JR Ferry, which will take only 10 minutes to Miyajima

We highly recommend for you to purchase the JR Rail Pass prior to coming for your holiday to Japan.  If you have a JR Pass, not only can you get to Miyajima for ‘free’ on it, but you can always catch the ferry for ‘free’ as well!  Click here to purchase your pass now!

For latest time tables, please follow the link Osaka to Miyajima by train.

Purchase JR Rail Pass

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Osaka Day Tours – Organized Tours

If you feel like it would be easier for you to go on an organized Osaka Day tour, than these choices might help:

We love going on day trips!  I guess every day that we are on our trips seems to be a day trip to somewhere, always packed to the brim with activities and destinations.  And that’s the way we like it!  Because why not?!  If you are in a beautiful country or your bucket list destination, make the most of it!  Take all the time that you have and explore as much as it is possible.  Because, who knows if you ever will have a chance to come back again.  We hope you enjoy your day trips from Osaka as much as we did!  Peace and safe travels to you all!!

Over to you:

Which of the destinations of our ”Absolute Best Day Trips from Osaka” did you like the most?

Are you going to choose to explore the spots by yourself or on an organized tour?

 

Osaka Day Trips Pinterest

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Phil Nolan
    April 27, 2017 at 6:18 am

    I just spent a few days in Osaka and saw a lot of the things mentioned here. In fact I just played my video of Nara park and all the deer as all as a couple other nearby things.

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