Arrive Kansai International Airport at 3.50 pm, transportation options to go to your hotel may be JR train (Haruka Line or Nankai line) Limousine or taxi or bus check here .It takes around 45-60 minutes to the city. Once arrive at your hotel, take enough rest to prepare yourself ready to explore Kyoto tomorrow morning.
Day1 : Explore Kyoto
Morning : Start your first day with the trip to Kyoto, the former capital of Japan. It was the center of politics and culture for 1,100 years. Kyoto is famous for its temples and shrines. First stop to visit is Fushimi Inari Shrine where you will find numbers of red tori pole laying like a tunnel for almost 4 km length. Getting by JR Tokaido-San-Yo Line Special Rapid stop and transfer at Kyoto Station to JR Nara Line and get off at Inari station. The shrine is right across the Inari Station.
Fushimi Inari Shrine has Fox as a symbol. Japanese believe that Fox (kitsune), is the messengers from god. Tori pole was brought here by people who came and make a wish. Once they wish become true, they will come back and bring the Tori pole to the shrine.
From the Shrine, continue to Kiyomizu-dera temple. Use Kyoto- City Bus All-day Pass and get on any of the following bus no.; 100, 202, 206, 207 and get off at Gojozaga.
Afternoon: Before visiting Kiyomizu-dera temple , having a tasty Udon at Yanamoto Menzo .This place is famous for Udon and is busy all day long. We suggested you go early to be on the line. The restaurant open daily from 11:00 to 19:45.
Kiyomizu-dera temple or its official name as Otowa-san Kiyomizu-dera, is one of Kyoto’s must-see attractions. The temple is part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities) UNESCO World Heritage site. There is not a single nail used in the entire structure. Kiyomizu means clear water, or pure water. Beneath the main hall is the Otowa waterfall, where three lines of water fall into a pond. Each line represents each blessing; Wealth, Beauty and Healthy. You can drink the water, which is believed as a holy water that has wish-granting powers. Part of the fun of visiting Kiyomizudera is the approach to the temple along the steep and busy lanes of the atmospheric Higashiyama District. There are many shops and restaurants in the area for a tourists and products on sale range from local specialties such as Kiyomizu-yaki pottery, sweets and pickles to the standard set of souvenirs.
Evening: Meet Geisha at Gion. From Kiyomizu-dera temple, take one of these bus no. 12,46,100,201,202, 203,206,207 and get off at Gion. Once get off, you will noitice a huge junction. Walk to the area that is directly opposite the entrance of a shrine.
You will see the street with many red lanterns. While you walking through this street, you may bump into a Geisha (so called Maiko). If you spot them, be respectful to them. Along the street, there’re also shops, restaurants and ochayas (teahouses) which still in traditional michaya wooden house. At the end of the street, there is Gion corner where you can enjoy Japanese traditional show. The shows introduce you to several traditional Japanese arts and include short performances of a tea ceremony, ikebana, bunraku, Kyogen comic plays and dances performed by real maiko.
Coming back to Osaka from Kyoto Station by bus number 100 or 206 (20 minutes, 230 yen). Alternatively, the closest train stations are Gion Shijo Station on the Keihan Line and Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Line.
Day2 : It’s time for Osaka
Morning : Your full day exploring Osaka city begin at Osaka castle. Catch JR or subway to Morinomiya station. Osaka castle is a Landmark of the town and it’s a Japanese most famous castle. The castle was built in the end of the 16th century by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a well-known warlord, 55 meter height, 8th floors and has a view spot on the 8th floor. There is a museum build inside the castle exhibiting painting, dresses and other stuffs related to Toyotomi family. Outside the castle is surround with a big park which is a popular spot during festival seasons, especially the cherry blossom bloom (hanami) when the sprawling castle grounds are covered with food vendors and taiko drummers.
Afternoon: From Osaka castle, take subway Chuo line to Osaka-ko station to visit Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. This aquarium located in the ward of Minata, near Osaka Bay. It is one of the largest public aquariums in the world, open 10 am-8 pm. Many zones exhibit varieties of animals not limited to sea animals but also reptile, mammal, and birds. However, the highlight here is its gigantic whale sharks. If you’re hungry, there’s a restaurant where you can also enjoy the ocean view and you might be in time to see the exquisite sunset over Osaka Port. You can also walk along Osaka bay to get on a Giant Ferris Wheel, one of the largest Ferris wheels in the world at 100m in diameter and 112.5m in height. On a sunny day, it offers you a wide panoramic view of Osaka Bay and surrounding areas, such as Ikoma Mountains to the east, Akashi Strait Pearl Bridge to the west, Kansai International Airport to the south, and Rokko Mountains to the north. It takes about 15 minutes to complete a ride. For those with Acrophobia, try “Santa Maria” ship for sightseeing cruises.
Evening: Last night in Osaka, let’s do shopping and dining at Dotomburi – Shinsaibashi. Take subway to Namba station. Dotomburi is a famous tourist district for its popular nightlife, shopping and dining. You can try Osaka crab, Okonomiyaki, Ramen and a famous Pablo’s cheese tart. One of the area’s most prominent features, a billboard for confectionery company Glico displaying the image of a runner crossing a finishing line, is seen as an icon of Osaka within Japan. Don’t forget to take some shots here.
Day3 :Let’s Have Fun
Morning: Spend your last day in Osaka at Osaka Universal Studio where you will enjoy all the fantasy. Take a train to Universal studio station. It’s better to be there early as there’s always be a queue. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the newest zone here. You can ride on Hogwarts express train, Taste what they called Butterbeer, visit The Three Broomsticks, a tavern serving traditional British fare and shop for Chocolate Frogs at Honeydukes. At Hogwarts castle, there are “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride”, an amazing flight simulator filled with special effects. There’s also a “Flight of the Hippogriff” mini coaster, in which guests pass by Hagrid’s Hut before climbing into a wicker Hippogriff, a winged horse with an eagle head.
Not only the Harry Potter zone, Osaka Universal Studio also have many other zones not-to-be missed adventures such as Spiderman the ride, Back to the future ride, Jurassic Park, Wonderland, Hollywood dream the ride and the parades.
Spare your time to get back to the hotel to take all your stuffs to airport. For those who had already bought space for an extra cabin bag or extra check-in luggage, you will leave Osaka knowing that you had shopped to your heart’s content without having to worry about overweight bags. at (link to manage your booking).
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