JAPAN 2017: 7D6N Kyoto-Osaka-Nara Itinerary

We just got back from our trip to Japan last week and I’m so excited to share with you guys our itinerary that I planned and used during the trip! First of all, we decided to not get a tour for this trip because you know, Japan = Everything is Expensive!!! So my mom gave this task to me and my sister, Dana, to plan everything out and be the tour guides because she doesn’t like to study for it anymore. This made me really excited because I always wanted to make our own itinerary and for once, be in charge (and maybe to prove to my parents that we can travel on our own already? Haha) 

You might be asking how I found the time to plan this? I started doing it last January, during our Christmas break. I was supposed to do it with Dana, but she’s busy with school and I didn’t have anything to do for a week before school starts, so I decided to do it on my own.

It was really hard to research everything. I read from different travel sites, blogs, instagram and watched vlogs to find out which places are a must-go for tourists. I even googled every place to locate it in the map and find the route from our AirBnb to every destination! For those of you who are travelling to Japan with family and  loves adventures, then this itinerary is perfect for you! I’ll be posting another blog of our Japan trip for more details and tips so please do check them out πŸ™‚ Meanwhile, here’s a little preview of our itinerary πŸ™‚


1. Arrival at Kansai International Airport

2. Travel to Kyoto via JR Haruka Express – Tip: You can buy the JR pass valid for 1 day worth 2300 yen than 2850 yen (One-way). You can read more about the JR Haruka here.

3. Arrival at Kyoto and check-in in our AirBnb – Tip: Rent an AirBnb because you will definitely save money than booking a hotel especially if you are a big family.

I highly recommend Cheiko’s Apartment ! Aside from its good location and neighborhood, it really exceeded our expectations! The place was very comfy and cozy for a family of 6. It is fully furnished and very clean. Plus Cheiko is a really accommodating host! Make sure to check out her apartment. πŸ™‚

4. Familiarize yourself with the neighborhood – check out nearest convenience stores, restaurants and bus stops.

5. Rest! 

I also included destinations such as the Golden Pavilion/Kinkaku-ji Temple, Ryoanji Temple and Ninnaji Temple for our first day, but since we arrived late in the afternoon and had trouble finding our AirBnb, we weren’t able to reach it before closing time.


1. Go to Arashiyama 

2. Arashiyama Bamboo Groves 

3. Tenryuji Temple

4. Kimono Forest

5. Togetsukyo Bridge6. Monkey Park**

7. Lunch

8. Travel back to Kiyomizu-Dera Temple

9. Walk through the streets of Higashiyama District ( Sannen-zaka and Ninen-zaka streets) to reach the Kiyomizu-Dera Temple

10. Yasaka Shrine**

11. Gion District


1. Fushimi Inari Taisha2. Nishiki Market**

3. Nijo Castle **

4. Kinkakuji Temple/Golden Pavilion

5. Depart for Osaka through Rapid Express

6. Arrival at Osaka, Check-in at AirBnb

Here’s a link of our AirBnb in Osaka. It is very convenient especially if you’ll be using public transportation to explore Osaka. It is near the Matsuyamachi station, just 2 stops away from Shinsaibashi Station and 4 stops away from Namba station! If your feet are strong, you can walk from here to Shinsaibashi to shop and Dotonbori to go on food trips!

7. Dinner at Shinsaibashi


1. Osaka Castle2. Osaka Museum of Housing and Living

Just a short reminder that the museum is closed during Tuesdays and Holidays. We went there on a Tuesday so we weren’t able to go inside but there are lots of stuff to see inside! You can dress in a Kimono and walk through recreated old town streets of Japan!

3. Tenjinbashishuji Shopping Street

This shopping street is just beside the Tenjinbashishuji Station and Osaka Museum of Housing and Living. There are a lot of drug stores, convenience stores, food stalls and other merchandise!

4. HEP Five Ferris Wheel

5. Hankyu Umeda Main Store**

6. Grand Front Osaka**

7. Umeda Sky Building

8. Dotonbori

9. Tombori River Cruise 



1. Universal Studios Japan 

2. Wizarding World of Harry Potter!!!! 



1. Travel to Nara

2. Kofukuji Temple**

3. Nara Park 

4. Todaiji Temple 

5. Travel back to Osaka

6. Shopping at Dotonbori, Shinsaibashi, and Ebisujibashi – Recommended places: Don Quijote, Tokyu Hands, Daiso, GU, 3 coins store



  1. Travel from AirBnb to Kansai International Airport

Our itinerary changed a bit because of the rainy weather so we had to move our USJ trip the next day. We were also not able to visit some of the places (I placed an asterisk** on them) because our feet were too tired and we were not able to wake up early during some of days. If you have the luxury of time, I highly suggest you visit them because they are famous tourist spots as well.

Comments are very much appreciated! This is my first time to share our travel itinerary so I’d really love to hear from you on how I can improve on this. Thank you so much! ❀

Day 1 of 7: Arrival in Japan + Tips on Travel Passes and Accommodation




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