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Top Day Trips from Osaka

By Viator, December 2017

4.5 502 Reviews | Add your review

Osaka is a perfect base from which to explore other parts of Japan. All of the country's major cities are accessible within a few hours by high-speed train, and a handful of desirable destinations make for great day trips.

Kyoto – 30 minutes
Japan’s former imperial capital, Kyoto can be reached within 30 minutes from Osaka by train. On the quick ride, the scenery transitions from urban and cosmopolitan to picturesque and historical. On a day trip to Kyoto, it is possible to see multiple famous temples, such as the Golden and Silver Pavilions, try local Kyoto food, and even explore the storied Geisha district. Any trip to Osaka would not be complete without spending at least a day in neighboring Kyoto. 

Nara – 30 minutes
Wild deer roam free in the ancient city of Nara, located about 30 minutes from Osaka by train. Nara, formerly known as Heijo, was Japan’s first capital city. Today, historical treasures like temples, shrines, and pagodas can still be seen all around the small city. The best things to do on a day trip include walking through Nara Park, laying eyes on the giant Buddha statue in Todaiji Temple, and enjoying the laid back atmosphere in the city’s quaint backstreets. 

Kobe – 20 minutes
The city known for the world’s most tender beef, Kobe is nestled seaside a short 20-minute train ride away from Osaka. For centuries, Kobe served as an international seaport, welcoming seamen from neighboring countries and those further afield. That history can still be felt today in the bustling, foreigner-friendly city of Kobe. While there for the day, don’t miss the views from the enormous Ferris wheel at Kobe Harborland and over the city on the Shin-Kobe aerial tramway. 

Himeji Castle – 30 minutes
At only 30 minutes from Osaka by train, visitors should make time for a quick day trip to Himeji Castle. The UNESCO World Heritage site is Japan’s most famous and traditional castle. It has survived wars and natural disasters, and except for some current scaffolding being used for renovations that obstructs the view, remains a beautiful relic of another era. Check renovation updates on the Castle for the most up-to-date information on which areas are accessible. Under normal operation, visitors can explore the grounds, as well as the interior, of the Castle. 
 
Hiroshima – 85 minutes
Internationally known for being one of the two sites targeted with a nuclear bomb during World War II, Hiroshima’s history is complex, rich, and represented in beautiful ways through museums and memorials in the city. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park commemorates the lives lost in the bombing and represents a future of peace and cooperation to avoid international conflicts. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum is the city’s main attraction. The city also boasts excellent shopping and nightlife. Hiroshima is about 85 minutes from Osaka by train. 

Mt. Koya – 90 minutes
Slightly further afield than other day trip options, Mount Koya is a sacred Buddhist mountain located 90 minutes from Osaka by train. The iconic image of the mountain and forests on it is one encompassed in fog; the image captures the mystical, spiritual appeal of the location. Mt. Koya has excellent hiking opportunities, but visitors primarily flock to it for peace, serenity, and temple stays. 

Tours & Tickets

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Day Trip by Bus to Kyoto, Nara and Kobe from Osaka, Osaka, null
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Day Trip by Bus to Kyoto, Nara and Kobe from Osaka

4.5 star rating: Recommended 70 Reviews

This is a day trip from Osaka to Kyoto, Nara and Kobe. Tour sites you will visit include: Kyoto Arashiyama, Kinkaku-ji, Nara Todaiji Temple and Park, and the ...  Read more

Location: Osaka, Japan
Duration: 13 hours (approx.)

From USD $91.50
Hiroshima and Miyajima Day Tour from Osaka, Osaka, Day Trips
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Hiroshima and Miyajima Day Tour from Osaka

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 30 Reviews

See Hiroshima’s historic sites on this 13-hour tour from Osaka. Ride a bullet train to Hiroshima and then a boat to Miyajima Island, where you’ll see the ...  Read more

Location: Osaka, Japan
Duration: 13 hours (approx.)

From USD $369.66
Private Full Day Charter including Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto from Osaka, Osaka, Day Trips
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Private Full Day Charter including Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto from Osaka

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 7 Reviews

Enjoy a private 8 hour tour from Osaka in a private vehicle with your English/Chinese speaking driver. Visit Osaka, Kyoto and the Nara areas. There are 2 ...  Read more

Location: Osaka, Japan
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $624.10
Kyoto and Nara Day Tour Including Golden Pavilion and Todai-ji Temple from Osaka, Osaka, Private ... 
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Kyoto and Nara Day Tour Including Golden Pavilion and Todai-ji Temple from Osaka

4.5 star rating: Recommended 199 Reviews

See the main sights of both Kyoto and Nara in one day! This day trip from Osaka takes you on a morning tour of Nijo Castle, Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden ...  Read more

Location: Osaka, Japan
Duration: 11 hours (approx.)

From USD $171.87
Day Trip by Bus to Kyoto from Osaka, Osaka, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : false ESSENTIAL : ADMISSION :

Day Trip by Bus to Kyoto from Osaka

4 star rating: Recommended 8 Reviews

This is an easy, culturally-enriching bus trip from Osaka to Kyoto. The tour stops at the Fushimi Inari temple and the UNESCO world heritage sites, the ...  Read more

Location: Osaka, Japan
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $71.17
12-Hour Sightseeing Trip from Osaka to Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe, Osaka, Day Trips
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12-Hour Sightseeing Trip from Osaka to Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe

4 star rating: Recommended 6 Reviews

Adventure out of Osaka for the day and take a 12-hour trip to see Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe with an English-speaking tour conductor. Visit sites such as Kyoto ...  Read more

Location: Osaka, Japan
Duration: 12 hours (approx.)

From USD $91.50
Biwako Valley Ski Resort Round-Trip Transport from Osaka, Osaka, Day Trips
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Biwako Valley Ski Resort Round-Trip Transport from Osaka

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

Take a day trip from Osaka during your stay to the snowy mountains of Biwako, only two hours away. With this bus tour, you'll be able to enjoy a day in the ...  Read more

Location: Osaka, Japan
Duration: 12 hours (approx.)

From USD $86.41
Day Trip by Bus from Osaka to Kyoto and Nara, Osaka, Day Trips
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Day Trip by Bus from Osaka to Kyoto and Nara

3 star rating: Worth doing 2 Reviews

This is an affordable yet culturally-enriching bus trip from Osaka to Kyoto and Nara. The tour stops at Kyoto Arashiyama and Nara park Todaiji temple with time ...  Read more

Location: Osaka, Japan
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $71.17
Nara Afternoon Tour of Todaiji Temple, Deer Park and Kasuga Shrine from Osaka, Osaka, Day Trips
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Nara Afternoon Tour of Todaiji Temple, Deer Park and Kasuga Shrine from Osaka

4 star rating: Recommended 35 Reviews

Enjoy an afternoon visit to Nara, whose combined historic monuments make the ancient city a UNESCO World Heritage site. This imperial capital from the 8th ...  Read more

Location: Osaka, Japan
Duration: 6 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $99.86
Kyoto Morning Tour of Kinkakuji Temple, Nijo Castle and Kyoto Imperial Palace from Osaka, Osaka, ... 
TVRM_SORTED : false ESSENTIAL : ADMISSION :

Kyoto Morning Tour of Kinkakuji Temple, Nijo Castle and Kyoto Imperial Palace from Osaka

4.5 star rating: Recommended 48 Reviews

See Kyoto highlights on this 6-hour tour from Osaka! Visit two UNESCO World Heritage sites — Ninjo Castle and Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Pavilion) — as you tour ...  Read more

Location: Osaka, Japan
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $90.25

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