Best Day Trips from Osaka
Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
The city Kyoto is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan. 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 1600 Buddhist temples and more than 400 Shinto shrines will give you an deep insight of the Japanese culture and history. The train ride from Osaka to Kyoto takes only 1 hour. My list with favourite spots in Kyoto is endless, but I would always start with Fushimi Inari-Taisha.
Nara, Nara Prefecture
Nara can be reached by train within 1 hour from Osaka. It is with Kyoto my must-see recommendation for you. The former capital of Japan (710 to 784) offers great sightseeing spots including 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. My personal highlight, if I have to pick one, was the Todaiji Temple (largest wooden building in the world).
Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture
Many people call Kobe one of the most beautiful cities in Japan. It takes only 50min by train from Osaka. One of the three Chinatowns in Japan (Yokohama, Nagasaki, Kobe) is located here. Enjoy the cosmopolitan atmosphere in the city. For good shopping possiblities and food check out the Kobe Harborland area.
Himeji Castle, Hyogo Prefecture
Lake Biwa, Shiga Prefecture
Mount Koya (Koya-san), Wakayama Prefecture
Koya-san is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site - Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range. It takes appr. 100min by train from Osaka to Mt. Koya. You should definitely plan an overnight stay there in one the famous Ryokans. More than 100 temples are located in this area and waiting for your visit.
Yoshino, Nara Prefecture
Mount Yoshino is is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site - Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range. It is the most popular cherry blossom spot in Japan. The scenery is amazing and you will find there many great ancient temple areas like Kimpusen-ji, Yoshimizu-jinja Shrine, Yoshino-jingu Shrine and Yoshino Mikumari Shrine.
Ise, Mie Prefecture
Ise City is famous for the Ise Shrine, most sacred place in the Shinto Religion. But there are more great places to discover like Meoto Iwa (Wedded Rocks) and the Edo Wonderland Theme Park. It takes appr. 2,5 hours by train from Osaka to Ise City. For an overnight stay in Ise I can recommend you one of the traditional Ryokans.
Miyajima, Hiroshima Prefecture
Miyajima Island is my must-see recommendation for you. The famous Itsukushima Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located at the island. It takes appr. 100min by train from Osaka over Hiroshima Station to Miyajima. For an overnight stay on Miyajima Island try one of the beautiful Ryokans.
Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture
The Hiroshima Peace Memorial building was the last standing structure in central Hiroshima after the atomic bomb blast on the 6th August 1945. The Atomic Bomb Dome is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. It takes appr. 80min by train from Osaka to Hiroshima Station.