21 days in Osaka, Kobe & Otsu Itinerary

21 days in Osaka, Kobe & Otsu Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in Osaka, Kobe & Otsu Itinerary

Start: Osaka
1
Osaka
— 14 nights
Train:  30​min
2
Kobe
— 3 nights
Train:  1​h
3
Otsu
— 3 nights
Train:  45​min
End: Osaka

14
nights
Osaka

Osaka ©
Proud of their hometown's distinct culture and dialect, many natives of Osaka describe their city as "Japan's anti-capital." An antidote to Tokyo's hectic energy, Osaka marches to the beat of its own drum, serving as the country's longtime commercial and industrial hub.
Get out of town with these interesting Osaka side-trips: Koya-cho (Kongobu-ji Temple, Mt. Koya, & more), Nara (Nigatsu-do Temple, Nara Park, & more) and Byodoin (in Uji). Next up on the itinerary: find something for the whole family at Universal Studios Japan, try out the rides at SpaWorld, explore the historical opulence of Osaka Castle, and take in panoramic vistas at Kuchu Teien Observatory.

For where to stay, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, read our Osaka trip maker app .

If you are flying in from Singapore, the closest major airports are Osaka International Airport, Kansai International Airport and Chubu Centrair International Airport. In December, daily temperatures in Osaka can reach 13°C, while at night they dip to 4°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Tue) early enough to catch the train to Kobe.

Things to do in Osaka

Parks Historic Sites Theme Parks

Side Trips

Nara, Koya-cho, Mino, Suita, Katsuragi Highlands
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Universal Studios Japan ©
Universal Studios Japan
Nara Park ©
Nara Park
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan ©
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

3
nights
Kobe

Kobe ©
Walkable, small, and aesthetically charming, Kobe has served as Japan's first and premier international trading outpost since opening to trade with China in the mid-19th century.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Wed): take in nature's colorful creations at Koko-en Garden, explore the historical opulence of Himeji Castle, then revel in the low prices at Kobe-Sanda Premium Outlets, and finally admire the verdant scenery at Arima Onsen. On your second day here, explore the world behind art at Otsuka Museum of Art, get all the information you need at Awaji Highway Oasis, then take a stroll through Kobe Harborland, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Mudoji Temple.

To see ratings, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Kobe tour itinerary planner .

Kobe is very close to Osaka. In December, plan for daily highs up to 13°C, and evening lows to 6°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 3rd (Fri) to allow enough time to take a train to Otsu.

Things to do in Kobe

Parks Shopping Historic Sites

Side Trips

Himeji, Otsuka Museum of Art, Awaji Highway Oasis
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 3:
Highlights from your plan
Arima Onsen ©
Arima Onsen
Awaji Highway Oasis ©
Awaji Highway Oasis
Kobe Sanda Premium Outlets ©
Kobe Sanda Premium Outlets

3
nights
Otsu

Otsu ©
The lake port city of Otsu has a wealth of sites of historical and cultural importance and lies within close proximity to Kyoto.
Change things up with these side-trips from Otsu: Mitsui Outlet Park Shiga Ryuo (in Ryuo-cho) and Akame Shijuhachi Waterfall (in Nabari). And it doesn't end there: admire the landmark architecture of Jishu Shrine, take in the spiritual surroundings of Hiyoshi Taisha, fly down the slopes at Biwako Valley, and appreciate the extensive heritage of Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple.

To see ratings, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Otsu trip builder website .

Traveling by train from Kobe to Otsu takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 10°C, and evening lows to 1°C. On the 6th (Mon), you're off tohome.

Things to do in Otsu

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Akame Shijuhachi Waterfall, Lake Biwa, Mitsui Outlet Park Shiga Ryuo
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Biwako Valley ©
Biwako Valley
Lake Biwa ©
Lake Biwa
Mitsui Outlet Park Shiga Ryuo ©
Mitsui Outlet Park Shiga Ryuo

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