Japan community

Osaka-Kyoto

5 days ago

Hi everyone,

I plan for a solo trip to Osaka in April. One of my itinerary is of course a visit to Kyoto. My question is, should i spend a night in Kyoto or is it better for me to take a day trip to Kyoto from Osaka? What would be best in terms of budget?

I did some research and i think accommodation in Kyoto are more expensive than Osaka.

Appreciate your advice!

Thank you.

13 replies

It also depends on where in Osaka you will stay but honestly they're not too far from each other. I suggest you look into getting the Kansai Thru Pass, so you can simply travel by train and bus. https://www.surutto.com/tickets/kansai_thru_english.html
You can also plan your route like Kyoto, then Nara then Osaka and if you have more time, you can drop by Kobe too. Just choose a hotel in Osaka that's easily accessible to go to Kyoto and/or Nara.

United States of America
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5 days ago

I would spend more days in Kyoto than Osaka because there are more places to visit in Kyoto if you like cultures and temples. It takes approximately 1 hr from Osaka to Kyoto, so a day trip should be sufficient if you know where you want to go.

Australia
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5 days ago

hi there I have just spent 7 days in Osaka and used it as my base. You have two options to get to Kyoto. Using the rapid transport train or the bullet train Shinkensen.. to get to the shinkinisen you need to go to the shin-osaka train stop the next one after Osaka Station... I would suggest you just take the rapid rail train from Osaka Station. It's easy and it is usually less crowded. and only about 15 minutes more than the bullet train and not as expensive

Malaysia
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4 days ago

thanks for the info. my worry is always on the transportation to get to kyoto and the time it takes to get there. i don't wanna stay at two places because i only have 6-7 days for this trip. thanks!

Australia
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5 days ago

I just spent a week in Kyoto and it was good if you like alot of culture, temples, and maccha. However, we didn't find it to be worth staying in for so long and would've been much better as a day trip. It's super easy to get to from Osaka too. If you have a Suica or Passmo card you can pretty much travel everywhere in Japan, excluding bullet trains

Malaysia
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4 days ago

i love touring temples, cultural sites but i understand from my research that you can actually tour the main sites in kyoto in just 1-2 days. is it?
thanks for the info btw :)

Australia
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4 days ago

>>"but i understand from my research that you can actually tour the main sites in kyoto in just 1-2 days. is it? "<<

No.

Kyoto has 2,000+ temples, shrines and other sites/sights, all worthy of your attention to one degree or another. We've been to Kyoto probably at least half a dozen times (usually for a week or more) and will be there again for a week in a couple of months .... yet I feel that we have barely scratched the surface of what Kyoto has to offer.

For us, it's the gardens. We are not gardeners (at all) but just about every temple or shrine has some sort of garden. There is just something sublime and serene about Japanese gardens that we never tire of, so we'll be visiting some old favourites as well as some new places.

If you want to approach it as a 'box ticking exercise' and just visit those so-called 'must see' sites, then maybe a couple of days will suffice. If you ask me 'what are the must see sites in Kyoto?' my only response would be 'there aren't any'. Do your homework, find some places that appeal to you and visit them rather than what someone tells you is a 'must see' site. Alternatively, if you want to visit the places that are on every 'must see' list, by all means go to Fushimi-inari, Kinkaku-ji, Kiyumizadera etc. etc. - just be ready for wall-to-wall tourists. Some of us are grateful to the tourists who slavishly adhere to the so-called 'must see' lists because that means they're not at all the other places we want to go to....

Kyoto is fairly easy to get around, whether by train (JR and non-JR), subway, bus or walking. Buses can be useful but they can get crowded and can sometimes be slow (because of traffic). I would avoid taking a bus from outside Kyoto Station - the long lines of people waiting have always put us off -- much better to take a train or subway as close to where you're going as possible and then get a bus from there (or walk). Figure out where places are in relation to one another and then group them in a logical sequence so you're not going from one side of town to the other ... and then back again.

Various sites can suggest itineraries for you. We've always found this site useful -

https://www.insidekyoto.com

Thailand
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5 days ago

I used to stay at Osaka as a base for Kansai trip like every time I went there. Kyoto isn't convenience as Osaka for transportation plus - as you know, the accommodation also more expensive and not decent not varieties.

For Kansai trip I recommend Kansai-thru pass that has the unlimited train, bus and discount for some attractions. Very good for tourist.

Australia
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4 days ago

Osaka is primarily a commercial city and a bit like a mini-Tokyo but without Tokyo's attractions. It's always been a complete mystery to me why people go there. Kyoto was Japan's capital from 794 to 1868, has over a thousand years of history and is the cultural heart of Japan.

I'm not convinced that Osaka is cheaper than Kyoto - perhaps on average it is but there are plenty of places to stay in Kyoto at all price points. We've never had any difficulty finding somewhere to stay (and we're cheapskates). As for transport, it's just as easy to get to places from Kyoto as it is from Osaka. Sure, Hiroshima, Himeji, Kobe etc. are closer to Osaka but they're easy to get to from Kyoto. We've been to Kyoto numerous times (and will be there again for a week in a couple of months time) - we wouldn't dream of staying in Osaka and spending time every day "commuting" to Kyoto. As for Osaka, Dotonbori, the restaurant and nightlife part of town is worth a visit (preferably in the evening, on the way back from Himeji or somewhere) but other than that ....

Indonesia
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4 days ago

I visited Kyoto again early January this year and I think I should spent more days in Kyoto or at least two days. You can take JR Kyoto Line from Osaka Station to Kyoto Central Station approximately 40 minutes. This cost you less than Y1,000 for one way. I don't think Kyoto is more expensive than Osaka, it depends on the location and hotel brand. There are a lot of nice hotel or hostel with a good price in both cities. You can buy the ICOCA or PASMO card for JR and Metro around Osaka and Kyoto that will cost you Y3,000 and top that up at any station if you need. In Osaka probably you will visit Dotonbori, Shinsaibashi, Nanba up to Orange Street wtih a lot of shops and restaurant, while in Kyoto you might spend more time around Gion & Pontoncho.
Have a safe trip!

Japan
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3 days ago

It depends which area you would like to visit in Kyoto.
There are more attractive places in Kyoto than Osaka.
But accommodation fee is too expensive so how about staying in Osaka but near Kyoto.

India
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3 days ago

I stayed in a place which was walking distance from Gion and Yasaka shrine while my return flight back home was from Kansai, Osaka. This was probably one of the better decisions during the trip because it let me stroll through Gion at my leisure without worrying about commuting back to Osaka.

Also, I was able to see parts of Kyoto when the rush was less in the wee hours of the day and late night (esp. the cute little cafes which are open late next to the historic street). By the end of the day, I felt the additional cost of staying in Kyoto was more than worth it considering the experience I got.

China
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3 days ago

I'm also planning a solo trip in Feb. After doing some research, seems like the Kyoto worth to stay like 2 or 3 days. I think if you are in no rush, you can 2 or 3 days could be a good choice.