Top 10 Day Trips from Osaka and Kyoto

The 10 best places to go on day trips from Osaka or Kyoto would be the following: Nara, Kobe, Hiroshima, Miyajima, Kurashiki, Naoshima island, Nagoya, Mt. Koya, Kanazawa, Lake Biwa. If you have the JR Rail Pass, a lot of these places are accessible using the JR lines for all or part of the trip.

Nara is very popular to go to after visiting Kyoto, and Kobe is only a quick Shinkansen ride away. You can see the beautiful night view of Kobe city from atop the ropeway of Mt. Rokko, and be back at your hotel in Osaka or Kyoto before midnight. Or if you like art, go for a ferry ride on the Seto Inland Sea to Naoshima island which is full of art exhibits.

There's a lot you can see without having to move your base of operations so go enjoy Japan to its fullest!

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
A museum with a collection of materials related to the damage and the suffering caused by the atomic bomb. The exhibit includes belongings of the victims and evidence from the moment immediately after the bombing. These valuable items relate the story of the atomic bomb to the younger generations with no war experience.
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Nara Park
Nara Park
There are numerous World Heritage sites in this park at the base of the lush green mountains. Some examples are Todaiji, Kofukiji, and Kasuga-taisha. The friendly deer, said to be messengers from the gods, will come to greet you.
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Mount Koya Danjo Garan
Mount Koya Danjo Garan
1,200 years have passed since the opening of Mount Koya. There are many highlights to see at Mount Koya Danjo Garan, including the Chumon Gate now being reconstructed and the special unveiling of Buddhist relics.
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Naoshima
Naoshima
A creative island of art within the serene natural landscape. It is a merging of the contemporary art and the unspoiled traditional Japanese townscape.
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Kanazawa Castle
Kanazawa Castle
Kanazawa Castle was constructed using various traditional techniques. Because it was a wooden building , it was repeatedly burned down and rebuilt. Even now it is a famous castle being passed down to future generations as a historical cultural asset.
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Nagoya Castle
Nagoya Castle
Nagoya Castle was the final castle built for the Tokugawa clan to unify the whole country. Restoration is still ongoing after the castle was burned down during the war.
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Lake Biwa
Lake Biwa
Lake Biwa takes up one sixth of Shiga Prefecture. There are many tourist spots in the area around the lake such as shrines and also areas for outdoor activities.
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Itsukushima (Miyajima)
Itsukushima (Miyajima)
Commonly known as Miyajima, it is also known as one of the Three Views of Japan. The island has a history of over 1400 years which includes the World Heritage site of Itsukushima Shrine, the many temples and shrines on Mt. Misen, and traditional events.
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Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter
Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter
This was first a flourishing merchants’ quarter in the Edo Era. It then gained attention afterwards as the buildings of Western architecture integrated themselves into the white walled townscape with the river lined with willow trees. It is a nationally designated Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings.
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Kobe Harborland
Kobe Harborland
Everyone from children to adults will enjoy this amusement zone with facilities including the large shopping mall umie, the Anpanman Museum, the huge Ferris wheel, the brick warehouses and Gaslight Street.
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