Our trip started in Osaka, we then headed West towards the island of Kyushu including a number of places along the way, with Fukuoka as our final destination.
If you're looking for a full itinerary in Japan including Osaka, Kyoto and some other epic cities then you have absolutely come to the right place! We spent 10 days in Japan, exploring some of the cities and regional areas and have put together a FULL ITINERARY of everything you need to know, places of interest to visit, where to eat in Japan and how to get around in this beautiful Country.
HOW TO GET THERE?
We flew with Singapore Airlines to Japan with a transit via Singapore.
Here are some indication on flight times from departing around the world:
Flying from Sydney Australia to Tokyo Japan takes just 10 hours on a direct flight, with more than 5 flights leaving per day.
Flying from London England to Tokyo Japan takes 13 hours on a direct flight with more than 5 flights leaving per day.
Flying from Los Angeles California to Tokyo Japan takes 12 hours on a direct flight 12 hours with more than 5 flights leaving per day.
There are a number of ways to get between the cities of Japan with the main modes of transport being the following:
JR Pass – This is a very cost effective way of traveling long distance in Japan. The pass can only be used by foreign tourists and can be used on bullet trains.
ICOCA card - a rechargeable contactless smart card used on JR West rail network in Japan
This is a full 10 day itinerary through Japan starting in Osaka and travelling towards west Japan, including a trip to Kyoto. The trip will end in foodie heaven, the city of Fukuoka with a number of stops along the way.
Day 1-2 Osaka
Landing into the Osaka International airport, we used our JR passes to travel from Kansai airport into Tennoji station (30 minutes)
To make the most of the nightlife check out Dotonbori Canal area, a 10 min walk from where we were staying.
Finding the main food street in Dotonbori is easy, it pretty much starts as soon as you can see the big giant hanging crab, running parallel to the canal. Our top pick to try is the gyoza at Ohsho, you can find this restaurant by the big gyozas hanging outside! Gyoza is crispy meat dumplings, 250 yen for 6 pieces.
Takoyaki is another popular try which are the balls made up of flour and butter filled with octopus, ginger and green onion.
Spend the entire next day at Universal Studios Japan! We had so much fun wandering around the theme park. The park is made up of movie themed areas for some of the best blockbuster hollywood hits. Each area has endless fun, rides, eats and fun souvenir stalls.
The other attractions included Spiderman, Harry Potter world, Jurassic park and other movie themed areas, each having their own rides at the Universal Studios Japan. The best ride in our opinion, which also surprised us was was attack on Titan XR where you’re immersed into virtual reality, wearing goggles, whilst on a crazy rollercoaster – Insane but AMAZING! For safety (obvious) reasons we were not allowed cameras on the rides, and so you will just need to experience these for yourselves!
Entry fee: 9,000 JPY per adult (60 USD)
HOT TIP: We would highly recommend getting the express pass which allows bypassing all queues, we saved a ton of time using this!
Accommodation: Hotel The Grandee Shinsaibashi Click here for accommodation info
Day 3 Kyoto
Make your way from Osaka by using your JR pass to take the Limited express super Hakuto to Kyoto. (30 mins)
Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
Arashiyama bamboo forest is one of Kyotos top visited sights, but it's for good reason. The best way to explore the bamboo forest in Kyoto is by taking the walking path through the forest and explore the magical feeling there. It is open 24 hours a day and only a 10 minute walk from the train station.
The best thing about this place is it is absolutely FREE to visit. We all love free things to do, don't we!
Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine
Soak up the beautiful red torii gates, the two dense rows of torii gates of Senbon Torii. It is highly likely you have seen this stunning location before being one of Kyoto's most visited sites, but to give you some history of this unique place it is the most important of several thousand shrines that have been dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice.
Similar to the Arashiyama bamboo forest, it is FREE to enter and also open 24/7. The museum part is staffed between 9-5pm if you wish to visit here and there is a small entrance fee of 300 yen for this part only.
Highlight: Stop for lunch at Mendaka for fire ramen, the best ramen we had in all of Japan (and EVER)!
Arguably, the most famous shrine with a 1,350 year history. It is quite often visited as it sits between the Gion district and the Higashiyama district, and so easily accessed when walking between the two places.
Kyoto's most famous geisha district. Tourists visit here hoping to catch a rare sighting of a geiko or a maiko, however it is likely that if you think you saw one, it is actually just a sighting of a tourist dressed up in the traditional clothing of a geisha. It's wonderful to take a walk through the charming streets that are filled with teahouses and traditional wooden buildings, it really feels like the true heart of Imperial Kyoto.