Kyoto Day Trips from Osaka

By Viator, March 2014

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Osaka is an excellent location from which to explore various tourist attractions in Japan. In particular, Kyoto is widely regarded as one of the Japanese cities that are not to be missed for visitors from abroad interested in Japanese history and culture. Formerly the imperial capital of Japan, the city is home to some of most beautiful and fascinating palaces, castles, temples, etc. that can be found anywhere in the country, all of which are easily accessible via day trips from Osaka.

Home to the Emperor’s residence from 794 to 1868, Kyoto boasts some of the most important national heritage sites in existence, many of which are best explored in the halcyon stillness of early to midmorning. Get a head start on the crowds and take a 30-minute train from Osaka, where guides will happily direct you through Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), Kyoto Imperial Palace and the Kyoto Handicraft Center, all before lunchtime.

Hoping to sleep in after a long night of sake? Take advantage of tour packages that depart later in the day for an afternoon of sightseeing instead. Recommended sites included the Heian Shrine, Sanjusangendo Hall (housing all of the 1,001 statues of Kannon) and the views of Kyoto city from the Kiyomizu Temple.
There are too many noteworthy destinations to list here, but other must-see spots in the Kyoto area accessible from Osaka include the Todaiji Temple and the Deer Park and Kasuga Shrine in Nara. Nara was the site of the original Japanese permanent imperial capital and is home to many historic treasures, as well as some of the oldest Buddhist temples in Japan.

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