Itinerary for my 6 Days 5 Nights Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo Trip
Searching for ideas to plan a trip to Japan? Read my recent 6 Days 5 Nights Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo Trip itinerary for a brief idea on things to do in Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo.
Day 1 – DENDEN Town and Shinsaibashi, Osaka
We arrived 7am in Kansai Airport, from here we took JR and thereafter transferred to Metro to MOXY Osaka Honmachi by Marriott (our hotel stay in Osaka) hoping that we could check in. No chance of that, as expected, we left our luggage at the reception and started our Osaka tour.
First thing we did was to fill our stomach, I had this red bean toast from a cafe near the hotel; look at the generous serving of red beans.
After filling our stomach, the first stop was Tsūtenkaku Tower (通天閣), a defining landmark of Shinsekai. We didn’t go up the tower though; just stole a few shots of it.
From there we walked down a few streets to DENDEN town. This is a popular shopping haven for fans of Japanese Anime and Manga; you can also find shops selling games, toys, animation, books, figurines, cosplay stuffs etc.
After DENDEN Town, we headed back to MOXY Osaka Honmachi to check in and to have our lunch. Absolutely love this nice and trendy hotel. You can read the review here.
Second round of shopping started at Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade. The street seems to be never ending with shops and restaurants on your left and right, and on different part of the nearby roads. I thought I could have spent the whole day there.
The big Daimaru is also here. Lululemon is nearby but I didn’t get anything as the selection was pretty limited. On top of that, the price in Japan wasn’t attractive enough after I did some quick calculation.
There are drug stores everywhere in this street with many Mandarin speaking staff, thus you can ease your mind about language barrier. Certain drug store also sells SK-II at a cheaper price. Then again, even with less 30%, it is still not worth buying. I am able to get it cheaper in iShopChangi.
All My Shopping Loots
LuLuLun Masks; Porter; Asics; KitKats, there were probably 100 flavours with some seasonal flavours, and I even managed to find Sake and Chestnut flavoured; Osaka Banana and Peach Cake.
Had our ramen in this Four Heavenly King Ramen Noodle Bar. Simply yummy!
Worth to mention
Purchases exceeding JPY 5000 now qualified for vat exemption. This is much lower than previously required spending. Some shops do direct deduction in your final total while some charge you VAT first in your total bill before refunding to you in cash at another processing counter.
Day 2 – Universal Studio
The main reason to visit Universal Studio was of course the Harry Potter Studio. When I visited Osaka in 2005, the Harry Potter studio was not built yet. We did not buy any Express Passes back in 2005 and I remembered queuing for some studios for about two hours.
This time we purchased four Express Passes, including Harry Potter Studio. Osaka’s Universal Studio is not only huge but also fantastic! The day and night parade were simply spectacular! Singapore’s Universal Studio pale in comparison. We spent whole day in Universal Studio.
Parade, Universal Studio Osaka
You could accumulate all your shopping (minimum JPY 5000 before tax) throughout the day and do a one time VAT refund at this small shop near to the entrance of the Universal Studio. The queue was pretty long at night but it moved pretty fast.
We ended our day with dinner at MacDonald outside Universal Studio. I ordered this seasonal Peach milk shake.
Day 3 – Kyoto
Another highlight of this trip was Kyoto. I wasn’t able to go to Kyoto in my last trip in 2005. There are many famous attractions in Kyoto and I told myself that I must visit them this time.
We arrived in the morning via JR. From the main Kyoto station we took bus to the boutique shop where we have booked our Kimono for the day; just for the fun and the experience of wearing one. I wouldn’t be doing this probably if I was not travelling with my friends.
Kiyomizu Temple (清水寺)
From the shop it is possible to walk to the Kiyomizu Temple (清水寺). It was raining on and off and therefore it affected the mood of photo taking in a way.
Hōkanji Temple (Yasaka-no-Tou)
We returned the Kimono an hour later as it was kind of uncomfortable around the tummy area. Next, we walked to Hokanji Temple and further down to Gion. Then we had our lunch in Gion area.
Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺, Golden Pavilion)
Took bus to next attraction, Kinkaku-ji. It is simply gorgeous and stunning!
Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社, Fushimi Inari Taisha)
From Kinkaku-ji, we took bus to main Kyoto Station and then via metro to Fushimi Inari Shrine.
We had wanted to shop in Kyoto main station before going back to Osaka, only to realise that shops, malls and restaurants had closed since 4 pm due to the typhoon. And we also realised there was no JR service back to Osaka too; the only option was via Shinkanshen which price is doubled that of JR.
We have no choice but to top up the difference at the ticket office. The good thing was it took only 15 minutes from Kyoto to Osaka via Shinkanshen.
Back in Osaka, it seemed business as usual. We also settled our dinner at 7-11 nearby our hotel. Managed to find the Michelin Instant Ramen in 7-11 as well. Last year when I was in Tokyo and Hokkaido I could not find it at all; it seemed easier this year as I was able to find this Michelin Instant Ramen in almost all the 7-11 I visited.
Day 3 of my 6 Days 5 Nights Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo Trip ended with a symphony, courtesy of the typhoon.
Day 4 – Nara
Breakfast before heading to Nara
On our way to take JR, we passed by this breakfast place selling this water melon bread and I just had to try; it was actually quite good.
Nara (奈良) is the place famous for the deer. You see so many of them. To me this place is kind of interesting; seeing the deer roaming in the Nara Park.
Pack of 4 types of Honey from Sugi Bee Shop
We passed by this Sugi Bee Shop selling honey. I didn’t know that Japan is famous for honey. We get to try all sort of honey in this shop. It was refreshing. The shopkeeper said that they are also selling in Takashimaya Singapore which I was not aware. My friend who is from Hong Kong said he bought before and it is very expensive in Hong Kong. The shopkeeper recommended buying four in a pack which would qualify for VAT refund, which I did eventually. We settle our very late lunch in this shop.
Day 5 – Tokyo
I took Shinkansen to Tokyo from Shin-Osaka as flying back to Singapore from Tokyo. The Shinkansen ticket cost JPY 13,620 one way and the journey took about 2 hours 30 minutes (Nozomi train).
PRESS BUTTER SAND
Upon arrival in Tokyo station, remember to buy this PRESS BUTTER SAND (link in Japanese); you will see the long queue. I was trying to check for VAT refund for purchase of JPY 5,000 and above but unfortunately none of the workers understood what I was trying to say. As I didn’t want to hold up the queue I just made payment and left.
Reached MOXY Tokyo Kinshicho by Marriott at around 2pm. Was glad that room is ready for check in. Review to be served at a later date.
Quickly rushed down town to Harajuku (原宿) or shopping before meeting up with another two friends from Singapore who happened to be in Tokyo also. Went to LINE FRIENDS Store and Head Porter Store but didn’t see anything interesting.
We then made our way to the Digital Art Museum and spent a good 3 hours in the museum. There were so much to see.
Some shots from the Digital Art Museum
Day 6 – Shinjuku (新宿) / Narita Airport
My flight was at 555pm. Day 6 was the last minute shopping day! After breakfast, I went to a nearby 7-11 to get more Michelin instant ramen as I realised I still have some space after the night packing in Osaka.
Checked out hotel and left my luggage in hotel reception before heading to Shinjuku. Bought two Porter bags; one in Takashimaya and another at Tokyu Hands. And I was given this Hello Kitty card from Takashimaya promoter which entitled me to a 5% discount.
For both Takashimaya and Tokyu Hands, VAT refund was processed at a separate counter and there was a service charge. So I got charge in full to credit card and got back VAT refund less service fee in cash.
Headed back to the hotel, picked up my luggage and made my way to airport. I thought Kinsincho is near to Narita Airport but it actually took 75 minutes from Kinshincho to Narita airport and worst still the direct train, without transfer, is only once per hour.
By the time I reached airport it was already 4pm. I had wanted to arrive 3 hours before departure time to have plenty of time in lounge for showering and shopping.
All My Shopping in Narita airport
Time to board to explore my first Sky Suites Business Class with Japan airlines. Review to be served later.
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