Best Day Trips from Osaka

Best Day Trips from Osaka

Best Day Trips from Osaka

The economic powerhouse of the Kansai region, Osaka is the second largest metropolitan after Tokyo and is often overlooked by travellers. The city is lacking in picturesque charm unlike other Japanese cities due to rapid bombing in WW2, but its acres of concrete covered in shimmering neon shops in its numerous shopping districts selling everything from world class electronics to luxury brands to hip vintage wear makes up for the wrath of the war. The city is every shopper’s paradise. Plus, all those who like to be adventurous with their food are most welcome here. With ball shaped octopus fritters to sashimi made from poisonous fugu, you will get it all here. With Universal Studios and Osaka Aquarium, it is also a preferred choice of city for families.

With its advanced public transport (high speed bullet trains), Japan is a idle place to cover numerous cities in a limited time, and Osaka being perfectly located with some nearby popular cities, travellers can take advantage by visiting some famous temples, shrines, gardens, and memorials all in day’s time. For all those who are seeking a similar adventure, following are some options for a perfect day trip from Osaka:

1. Kobe

Perched between the sea and the mountains, Kobe is perhaps Japan’s most urbane and beautiful city. A perfect package that boasts impeccably great ambience and delectable food that is combined with the most mesmerising view of both sea and mountains, this city is downright heaven! In terms of its attractions, you will be spoilt with choices. There are plenty of enthralling activities to take part in like exploring Sake breweries in Nada district, besides a number of Sake producers that let tourists witness the whole sake brewing process. If you plan a vacay during spring, then get ready to have the time of your life, because its cherry blossom season! Visit the Nunobuki Herb Garden to experience the same, or maybe try the highest peak in Kobe is Mount Rokko and you definitely cannot miss the view from up here! The Shin-Ropeway will lift you up there while you enjoy the aerial view. The city is also famed for its mouth-watering Kobe Beef and rightly so. There are some steak restaurants in Kobe specialising in Kobe beef serving the most delicious food. The city is just a 40 minute train ride from Osaka.

2. Kyoto

Old Japan in a nutshell, Kyoto is home to atmospheric temples, spectacular gardens, the famous Japanese teahouses and sightings of adorned geishas scurrying here and there. The city is famous for its countless temples and shrines, an embodiment of its spiritual heart. Visit the jaw-dropping grandeur of Kinkaku-ji, the famous golden pavilion and the vast expansive Higashi-Hongan-ji. These are the places where the sight of monks travelling to Kyoto in between zen gardens and temples is quite common. Even though Kyoto has also transitioned to being quite modern, the pleasant smell of burning incense and colourful shrines is an indicator that Kyoto will always be tied to its roots. A city largely popular with the foodies, you will find Kyoto jammed with Michelin start restaurants, sophisticated cocktail bars, noodle joints and sushi spots; the places are sure to tease your palate and ultimately fulfil your cravings. It is an art lover paradise because the traditional art and crafts are still kept alive in Kyoto from generations unlike the rest of Japan. Stroll down the streets in Gion and explore the speciality shops like tofu sellers, washi, or tea merchants. The best time to visit is the spring time when Cherry Blossom festival also commences. The best way to travel here is by train, reaching in barely half an hour.

3. Nara

With 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Nara is known to be the most rewarding city in Japan. Second only to Kyoto, Nara is also home to some of the traditional temples and shrines along with numerous mesmerising gardens and museums. One of the must see attractions in all of Japan is in Nara; yes, we are talking about the Daibutsu (Great Buddha) housed in Todai-Ji temple, majestic temple sitting right in Nara-Koen park. A small city that Nara is, all its main highlights can be easily covered in a day, with most of them being situated in Nara-Koen Park only. One of the main attractions is Kasuga-taisha shrine, the most important Shinto shrine in Nara. Taking a stroll in Isui-en Garden while having a cup of match is an absolute must experience. Its natural beauty and blooming flowers make you never want to leave! It is easily accessible by train from Osaka and you can reach Nara in less than an hour.

4. Hiroshima

Hiroshima is internationally known due to its tragic history of the destruction when an atomic bomb was dropped on it. However, like a phoenix, Hiroshima has risen from its ashes and is now a tourist destination in its own right. An ideal destination for history buffs with plenty of historic monuments, the most popular one in Hiroshima is the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, a UNESCO World Heritage Site erected in commemoration of those who lost their lives that day. Visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum which is dedicated to document the bombing. The videos and photos are pretty graphic and are not recommended for a faint heart. But they are a proof of a resilient Japan who didn’t let these incendiaries affect its booming future. After the heart-wrenching trip, you may take a stroll down the Shukkei-in, a Zen garden with beautiful blossoming flowers and a quaint tea shop, a perfect way to end a sombre trip. Also visit the unique wooden Hiroshima Castle, a spire exhibiting breathtaking vistas of the place. The best way to travel to Hiroshima from Osaka is through Sakura Line that takes a little more than an hour and a half.

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