8 Days In and Around Kansai Region
There is no shortage of fun activities around Osaka but another great thing about staying here is its close proximity to other famous places such as Kyoto, Nara and Kobe. All these prefectures are located in the southern central region of Japan’s main island called Kansai and are just an hour or two train ride away. If you are in the region, a day-trip to these cities are a must and offers a unique view both into Japan’s illustrious past and technologically-advanced future.
Osaka is one of the largest metropolitan city in Japan, second only to Tokyo. It’s a popular tourist destination due to its strategic location, which allows you to make multiple day trips to interesting cities, like Kyoto, Nara and Kobe. If you need help planning your itinerary to these cities, then I’ve got the perfect blog post for you! Read on.
How many days do I need to set aside in Osaka?
I recommend at least 5 days to see the must-see of the Kansai region, namely Osaka and Kyoto. The best is if you can stay at least 8 days, which will allow you to visit all the best highlights of Kansai: Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, Himeji and Hiroshima.
When is the best time to visit Osaka region?
Much like the rest of Japan, you can aim to visit during Sakura season or in the Autumn foliage season. Click on the respective blog posts for predicted times as they change every year. Keep in mind these seasons would be peak tourism time, so it will be very crowded.
Aside of that, spring time around early May is probably the best time to visit. Try to avoid the hurricane or typhoon season in August – September.
How do I get to Osaka from outside of Japan?
Your best bet is flying to Kansai Airport (KIX), which is very close to Osaka. KIX is a major international airport and it’s accessible from many destination via a direct flight. If you cannot find a direct flight, you can still try accessing KIX via a short overlay in Tokyo.
Tips for traveling in Kansai
If you are only visiting Kyoto and Nara, I recommend making Osaka your base instead of staying overnight in those cities. Accommodation options are better (cheaper) in Osaka, there are more to do at night, and the train back is only 15-30 minutes.
But if you really want to stay in Kyoto, you can do so for one night. Choose to stay at a Ryokan for that authentic Japanese experience. I don’t recommend staying overnight in Nara since it’s a quiet area.