Osaka is a popular destination in Japan because of its accessibility and many attractions such as Universal Studios, Osaka Castle, Dotonbori and others. One of the reasons many people visit this Japanese city is that it provides easy access to nearby famous destinations. The city can serve as your base for making day trips to the following places you can include in your itinerary.
This ancient city is one of the most visited destinations in Japan. It is famous for the many centuries old temples, shrines and districts within its confines. The city has many UNESCO-listed heritage sites and relatively unknown places that will fill your itinerary. After visiting the main sites, you can just explore and get lost in Kyoto’s preserved neighborhoods where you can catch a glimpse of the past and relive the Edo Period.
Nara is a centuries old city that is a possible day trip from Osaka. The city is home to one of the biggest Buddha statues in the country found inside Todaiji. This city landmark gets a lot of tourist foot traffic because of its historical and cultural value. Other than this famous attraction, there are other temples and ancient structures in Nara that are worth a visit. Visitors can also just hang out at the deer park to feed the animals or enjoy the seasonal weather.
The city is home to one of the most famous and beautiful castles in Japan. Himeji Castle, simply put, is stunning with its elegant white exterior and majestic aura. The castle is picturesque regardless of the season you visit, but more so during cherry blossom season. Explore the complex and take plenty of photos. After the castle, you can drop by the garden for a relaxing couple of hours.
The two biggest attractions in the city are the Okayama Castle and the Korakuen Garden. The garden is beautiful with different trails that allow you to get away from the crowds. The castle is a recreation, but will still grab your attention with its stunning black façade. Kurashiki is just a few minutes away from the city and has a quaint canal area and traditional houses.
Wakayama is not as popular as the other places mentioned above, but it has its own charms. Situated south of Osaka, this destination has a number of interesting attractions that will fill your day trip itinerary. The Wakayama castle provides you a glimpse of the past, Mt. Koya has scenic views and a serene ambiance, and the Kumano trail allows you to immerse in nature and learn more about Shintoism in the country.
These are some of the places you can visit as a day trip from Osaka. The JR Kansai WIDE Area Pass is a good value option to see the cities on this list. You can take the shinkansen all the way to Okayama and Himeji with this pass. It also covers some lines going to Wakayama, Nara and Kyoto.
Traveling to Japan? What destinations are you looking forward to seeing?