Chugoku&Shikoku 3 Days Itinerary-A

Summary

  • Start
    Kansai Airport, Osaka, or Kyoto
  • Finish
    Kansai Airport, Osaka, or Kyoto
  • Mileage
    Total 650km
    160km per day
  • Travel Pace
    Fast
  • Onsen Stay
    Max.1 night
  • Recommended Seasons
    All year round

This is 4 days road trip itinerary that takes you to the Seto Inland Sea and the charming old town Kurashiki. You can enjoy driving through the beautiful and calm waters of the Seto Inland Sea.
You can stay in Kurashiki for 2 nights.
It is okay to depart from either Kansai Airport, Osaka or Kyoto.

If you prefer a more relaxing itinerary, please refer 4 days itinerary which you can stay in Kurashiki for 2 nights.

 

Osaka – Takamatsu

Start: Osaka (大阪京都)
Finish: Takamatsu (高松)
Mileage:
From Kyoto: 245km
From Osaka: 210km
From Kansai Arirpot: 240km
Travel Pace: Fast

On this day, you will head from Matsuyama to Takamatsu via Akashi Kaikyo Bridge and Awaji Island.

Recommended Itinerary(Sample)

1

Inn in Osaka or Kyoto

Parking MAPCODE:

What is MAPCODE?

9:00

Although it depends on the departure point, it is recommended to start as early as possible because the mileage is 245km. Also, use the expressway as much as possible to reduce travel time.




140 min

When you depart, take the expressway (4, 5, and E28) directly to Awaji Island.
The [Akashi Kaikyo Bridge] that passes on the way has a beautiful view and you can enjoy comfortable driving.

Akashi Kaikyo Bridge

2

Uzu no Michi & Eddy Memorial Hall

Parking MAPCODE:

406 212 782*48What is MAPCODE?

Onaruto Bridge

11:20

Immediately after arriving at Awaji Island, Akashi Kaikyo Bridge (Awaji SA) has a wonderful view and is perfect for a break.
After passing Awaji Island, you will arrive at the first destination of the day, [Uzu no Michi & Eddy Memorial Hall]. Here you can enjoy the whirlpools of Naruto and the Onaruto Bridge.

[Uzu no Michi] is a promenade installed under the road of Onaruto Bridge, and you can enjoy whirlpools while taking a walk in the air for about 500m.

[Eddy Memorial Hall] is a facility where you can experience the Naruto Ohashi Bridge and whirlpools in a simulated manner using virtual technology.




5 min

3

Whirlpools Sightseeing Boats

Parking MAPCODE:

What is MAPCODE?

Uzushio Kisen & Wanda Naruto, a tidal boat that allows you to see the whirlpools right in front of you.

12:30

There is a platform for [Whirlpools Sightseeing Boats] where you can see the whirlpools of Naruto in front of you. Experience the famous Naruto Whirlpools from the top of the ship.

Small boats are recommended on weekdays, and large boats are recommended on weekends and holidays.

[Weekday]
Uzushio Kisen (small size 1550 yen 20 minutes) is recommended
MAPCODE: 406 211 567

[Weekend or Holiday]
Wanda Naruto (large 1800 yen 30 minutes) is recommended
MAPCODE: 406 210 211

Uzushio Kisen


Wanda Naruto

5 min

4

Otsuka Museum of Art

Parking MAPCODE:

406 211 331*85What is MAPCODE?

Otsuka Museum of Art, featuring masterpieces from around the world

14:30

After enjoying the whirlpools of Naruto, let’svisit [Otsuka Museum of Art].
This is a museum that reproduces the world’s masterpieces in full size, created by the Otsuka Group, known for its Pocari Sweat. All the masterpieces that everyone has seen in textbooks are recreated from ceramic plates, so you can touch them directly. You will be overwhelmed by the extraordinary number of exhibits.

There are many delicious restaurants around Naruto.
Choose your favorite restaurants such as seafood, Tokushima ramen, and Naruto udon.

Tokushima Ramen
This area is famous for “Tai” (Sea bream)




60 min

5

Inn in Takamatsu

Parking MAPCODE:

Please head to the hotel you reserved.What is MAPCODE?

17:40

After enjoying Naruto, take the expressway (E11) again and head toward Takamatsu.

You will stay in Takamatsu on this day.
There are many hotels in Takamatsu on the south side of Takamatsu Station, but restaurants are especially concentrated around Takamatsu Castle. Enjoy local gourmet food such as bone-in chicken and olive dishes as well as Sanuki udon.

Sanuki udon (thick Japanese wheat noodles)




On this day, you will also pass near [National Akashi Kaikyo Park] where various flowers such as tulips and cherry blossoms bloom all year round, and [Awaji Hanasajiki] where you can see rape blossoms in spring and cosmos fields in autumn. If you are traveling during this time of the year, we recommend that you adjust the time and stop by.

Awaji Hanasajiki” where flowers can be enjoyed all year round.

Driving Map For the Day(Sample)

The driving map will show additional 10-20 spots for the day! You will travel only to your favorite spots.
Check pin color and MAPCODE usage.

[Drive Map]Osaka/Kyoto-Takamatsu – Google マイマップ
Osaka/Kyoto-Takamatsu

Where to stay in Takamatsu

The inns are concentrated south side of Takamatsu station.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 4-star western-style hotels.
  • Parking
    Some inns have official parking but in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately.
  • Onsen
    There is no Onsen in this town and most inns don’t have Onsens.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your inns with breakfast only or without meals.

 

Takamatsu – Kurashiki🔒

Start: Takamatsu (高松)
Finish: Kurashiki (倉敷)
Mileage:120km
Travel Pace: Relax

On this day you will head from Takamatsu to Kurashiki via Seto Ohashi bridge.

Recommended Itinerary

1

Inn in Takamatsu

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

9:00

The mileage is 120km, so it’s okay to leave around 10 o’clock.
However, Kurashiki where you stay on this day is overwhelmingly spectacular, and it is a place where you will want to take a walk for half a day. If you want to spend more time in Kurashiki, it is recommended to go directly to Kurashiki after leaving Takamatsu.




45 min

Takamatsu has the famous [Ritsurin Garden], which is especially recommended during the cherry blossom season (late March-early April) and autumn leaves (late November-early December). If you are traveling during this time, we recommend that you adjust the time and stop by.

Ritsurin Park is a large garden representing Shikoku

2

Marugame Castle

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

9:45

Marugame Castle with its wonderful stone walls

It is also recommended to stop by [Marugame Castle] before going to Honshu island. Its Ishigaki (stone wall), which is said to be the best in Japan with a height of over 60m, is very powerful.




25 min

3

Seto Ohashi Bridge(Yoshima Parking area)

Parking MAPCODE:

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Seto-Ohashi Bridge, where you can enjoy a drive amidst spectacular scenery

11:10
Next, let’s take the expressway(E30) and head toward Kurashiki through the Seto Ohashi Bridge. [Yoshima PA(parking area)] is recommended for a break. Located almost in the center of the Great Seto Bridge, you can see the bridge up close. There is also an observatory, which is ideal for a break while admiring the beautiful scenery.

Along the Seto Ohashi Bridge, you can enjoy driving in the spectacular view of the Seto Inland Sea and the islands, and enjoy the exhilaration of a road trip.




15 min

4

Mt.Washuzan Observatory

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

Washuzan Observatory overlooking the Seto-Ohashi Bridge

13:00

Once you cross the Seto Ohashi bridge and reach the main island side, it is highly recommended to visit [Mt. Washuzan Observatory]. You can enjoy a spectacular view of the islands of the Setonaikai Sea and the Bridges from the observatory.
It is one of the best observatories in Chugoku & Shikoku regions.

Near the observatory, there is a very nice restaurant that specialized in octopuses. If you want to try, please refer the driving map.

Yasunoya is long-established octopus restaurant




40 min

5

Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter, which retains the beauty of an old Japanese town

15:00

Your last visit on this day is [Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter]. Traditional white-walled buildings, quaint Kurashiki River, willows, and bridges harmonize beautifully, leaving the beauty of a good old Japanese town and making you want to walk for hours. In addition, it is a town full of various attractions such as the Ohara Museum of Art.

The Ohara Museum of Art exhibits many world-renowned paintings.
A stroll through Kurashiki can easily take 2-3 hours.




5 min

6

Inn in Kurashiki

Parking MAPCODE:

Please head to the hotel you reserved.What is MAPCODE?

17:00

You will stay in Kurashiki on this day.
In Kurashiki, hotels are concentrated between Kurashiki Station and the Bikan Historical Quarter, but it is recommended to stay in the Bikan Historical Quarter as much as possible. Enjoy a fantastic night walk in the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter. Also enjoy local gourmet food such as demi-glace sauce and takomeshi.

Night walk in Kurashiki.




Driving Map For the Day🔒

The driving map will show additional 10-20 sightseeing spots and local restaurants for the day!
You can travel freely, choosing only the spots you like!
Check pin color and MAPCODE usage.

Where to stay in Kurashiki

On this day, you will stay in Kurashikia(倉敷) City which is famous for its old townscape.
Many inns are concentrated between Kurashiki station and the “Bikan Historical Quarter” area.

  • Inn Type
    There are a variety of inns like western-style hotels and Japanese Ryokans. Please book at your preferred type of inn.
  • Parking
    Most inns have official parking but in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately.
  • Onsen
    There is no Onsen in this town and no inns have Onsens.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your inns with breakfast only or without meals.

 

Kurashiki – Osaka🔒

Start: Kurashiki (倉敷)
Finish: Osaka (大阪京都)
Mileage:
To Kyoto: 260km
To Osaka: 235km
To Kansai Airport: 260km
Travel Pace: Fast
On this day you will back from Kurashiki to Osaka, Kyoto or Kansai airport.

Recommended Itinerary

1

Inn in Kurashiki

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

9:00
Driving mileage is very long, more than 230km so it is recommended to leave by about 8 o’clock or at the latest around 9 o’clock. Please also take the expressway along the way to save time.
The following itinerary is for reference only. Please plan your schedule according to your car return location and your schedule.




40 min

2

Korakuen Garden & Okayama Castle

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

Okayama Castle as seen from Okayama Korakuen Garden, is one of the three most famous gardens in Japan

9:40

After leaving Kurashiki, head to [Korakuen Garden & Okayama Castle]. Korakuen Garden is one of the three most famous gardens in Japan along with [Kenrokuen garden] in Kanazawa and [Kairakuen garden] in Mito. You can see Okayama Castle from the splendid Japanese garden.

The flowers of Korakuen Garden are beautiful, especially during the cherry blossoms (late March-early April) and autumn leaves (mid-November-early December) are recommended.

Korakuen Garden in autumn foliage (mid-November-early December)

[Okayama Castle] has a black appearance and is also called a Karasu (crow) castle, and is sometimes contrasted with Himeji Castle (Shirasagi Castle), which has a white appearance. You will go to Himeji Castle after Okazaki Castle, so it may be interesting to compare the appearance of both.

Okayama Castle, also known as Karasu Castle




60 min

3

Tamachan

Parking MAPCODE:

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Kakioko is really tasty! Must try!

12:30
We would definitely recommend “Kakioko” for lunch on this day! Kakioko is Okonomiyaki(savory Japanese pancake dish) that has oysters in it. Tamachan is the most famous Kakioko restaurant but you will have to wait long queue. If you visit on the weekend or on holiday, please refer driving map and consider other restaurants.




60

4

Himeji Castle

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

Himeji Castle is also called Shirasagi-jo (White Egret Castle) because of its pure white outer walls. Also known as a cherry blossom viewing spot.

14:45
Next, take the expressway (E2) to [Himeji Castle]. The castle was registered as first World Heritage in Japan and, is the biggest highlight of the day. The cherry blossoms at Himeji Castle have also been selected as one of the “100 Best Cherry Blossom Spots in Japan” and are visited by a large number of people from late March to early April.

If time permits, we also recommend the Kokoen Garden located on the west side of Himeji Castle. Kokoen is a Japanese garden with a view of Himeji Castle. It is often used as a location for Japanese historical drama.

Kokoen Garden next to Himeji Castle




70 min

5

Mt.Rokko(Garden Terrace)

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

The Rokko Garden Terrace is one of the three major night view spots in Japan, along with Nagasaki and Hakodate. Rokko Garden Terrace.

18:00

Your last stop on this day is [Mt. Rokko (Garden Terrace)] on Mt. Rokko in Kobe. Use the expressway (E2) for this section as well.

This is famous as one of Japan’s three major night views, and the vast night view from Kobe to Osaka along Osaka Bay is beautiful.




5

Rental car branch at Kansai Airport, Osaka or Kyoto

Parking MAPCODE:

Please refer driving mapWhat is MAPCODE?

The distance and time from the observatory to the goal are as follows.
Umeda (Osaka) Station: 40km / 70 minutes
Shin-Osaka Station: 40km / 70 minutes
Kyoto Station: 80km / 80 minutes
Kansai International Airport: 80km / 90 minutes

①Returning a car in Osaka or Kyoto
When you return to Osaka or Kyoto, refuel and then return the car to the car rental branch. Use the MAPCODE on the driving map for the nearest rental car stores and gas stations near Osaka Station or Kyoto.
Traffic jams often occur in Osaka and Kyoto because they are both large cities. Be sure to return your car with plenty of time to spare.

Osaka and Kyoto offers a wide variety of culinary delights! For dinner, try Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki and other local food.

②Returning a car at Kansai Airport
When heading to Kansai airport, the distance from Osaka station is about 75 km, about 1.5 hour by expressway(5&4). Make sure you arrive at the car rental company branch 2 hours before your flight.

Additionally, there are no gas stations on the Kansai International Airport island. If you do not have enough time before your flight, we strongly recommend that you head to the airport and settle the missing gasoline bill at a rental car branch instead of trying to force yourself to refuel.

Rental car branch at Kansai airport
Osaka’s famous takoyaki
Tsutenkaku at Shinsekai area in Osaka
Dotonbori river near Nanba station in Osaka




Driving Map For the Day🔒

The driving map will show additional 10-20 sightseeing spots and local restaurants for the day!
You can travel freely, choosing only the spots you like!
Check pin color and MAPCODE usage.

Where to stay in Osaka or Kyoto

If you are planning to stay in Osaka or Kyoto, we recommend the following places.

Osaka

There is 2 recommended area in Osaka to stay in.
1. Around Osaka Umeda Station
Many people misunderstand, but Osaka and Umeda are the same places. It is 20min to USJ and10min to “Shin-Osaka Station” for Shinkansen train.
2. Around Nanba Station
It is located within walking distance of the famous “Dotonbori” and “Tsutenkaku” areas and is recommended for travelers who want to go sightseeing in Osaka.

  • Inn Type
    There are about 1,600 inns in Osaka. Please book at your preferred type of inn.
  • Parking
    Some inns have official parking but in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately.
    It is inconvenient to travel in Osaka by car.
  • Onsen
    Most of inns don’t have Onsens.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    There are 60,000 restaurants in Osaka. As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your inns with breakfast only or without meals.
Kyoto

There is 2 recommended area in Kyoto to stay in.
1. Around Kyoto Station
There are many buses to all areas in Kyoto and convenient.
2. Higashiyama area
The most famous area in Kyoto because of good access to “Kiyomizu Temple” and Gion area.

  • Inn Type
    There are about 1,600 inns in Kyoto. Please book at your preferred type of inn.
  • Parking
    Some inns have official parking but in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately.
    It is inconvenient to travel in Kyoto by car.
  • Onsen
    A few inns provide Onsens.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    There are 9,000 restaurants in Kyoto. As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your inns with breakfast only or without meals.

Process

  1. Book hotels or rental cars from the links below.
  2. Submit the “Map Request Form” at the bottom after bookings.
  3. We will send you day-by-day Driving Maps with MAPCODE of the itinerary you choose!
    Enjoy your trip without the hassle of finding parking!

 

Rental Car Booking

Please rent a car with below “Rentalcars.com” link.

  • The abundant number of rental cars
  • Price comparisons with several major car rental companies
  • Free cancellation
*Please change the location and date by yourself
Pick-up & Drop-off Location Guide

There are 6 places for pick-up and return cars in Kansai area.

  • Airport
    There are 2 main airports. The domestic Airport “Itami” is close to Osaka and Kansai Airport is 50km away.
    • Kansai Airport
      50km to the center of Osaka.
      45 minutes from Osaka station by train, and 50 minutes by car.
    • Itami Airport
      15km to the center of Osaka.
      30 minutes from Osaka station by train, and 20 minutes by car. Please note that the official name of Itami Airport is “Itami International Airport”, but it is for domestic flights only.
  • Main stations in Osaka
    There are 3 recommended stations for Pick-up and Drop-off. Due to the complexity of the road and heavy traffic, we recommend Shin-Osaka for those who are concerned.
    • Shin Osaka Station
      Recommended for travelers who will take Shinkansen. Only 5min to Osaka station. Easy to pick-up and drop-off.
    • Shinjuku Station
      Sometimes called Umeda Station or Osaka-Umeda Station, but consider them all to be the same station.
      Conveniently located 15 minutes to USJ without transfers.
    • Namba Station
      Convenient for Minami downtown area includes Dotonbori, Kuromon Market, Glico Man and many department stores.
  • Kyoto station
    • You also can Pick-up or Drop-off cars in Kyoto. Most car rental shops are located southern side of Kyoto Station.
Important reminder for renting a car
  • GPS(Car Navigation System)
    MAPCODE from Drive Japan navigates you precisely to the parking lot. GPS from major car rental companies(Nippon, ORIX, Nissan, Times) are always MAPCODE compatible. However, if you are renting a car from another company, we recommend that you check with the rental company after making a reservation, just to be sure.
  • One-way Rental
    You can rent at Airport and return to Osaka or Kyoto, and vice versa. Usually, the one-way charge is about JPY5,000-9,000.
  • Child Seat
    In Japan, the use of a child safety seat or baby seat is mandatory for children under 5 years old.
    Be sure to request one from “Extras”.
  • Snow Tire
    Kansai rarely gets much snow, even in winter, and snow tires are not necessary.

Hotel Booking

You can book any hotels for this itinerary from the links below, however we will suggest a recommended mid range
hotel or inn that has:
・Parking
・A convenient location
・A rate of about JPY8,000-15,000/person/night

Start Date

/ stay in Takamatsu
Recommended Inn

Dormy Inn Takamatsuchuokoenmae Natural Hot Springs

The inns are concentrated south side of Takamatsu station.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 4-star western-style hotels.
  • Parking
    Some inns have official parking but in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately.
  • Onsen
    There is no Onsen in this town and most inns don’t have Onsens.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your inns with breakfast only or without meals.
/ stay in Kurashiki
Recommended Inn

Kurashiki Royal Art Hotel

On this day, you will stay in Kurashikia(倉敷) City which is famous for its old townscape.
Many inns are concentrated between Kurashiki station and the “Bikan Historical Quarter” area.

  • Inn Type
    There are a variety of inns like western-style hotels and Japanese Ryokans. Please book at your preferred type of inn.
  • Parking
    Most inns have official parking but in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately.
  • Onsen
    There is no Onsen in this town and no inns have Onsens.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your inns with breakfast only or without meals.
/ stay in Osaka
Recommended Inn

Hotel androoms Shin-Osaka

On this day, you will back to Osaka(大阪) city. If you are planning to stay in Osaka, we recommend the following places.
Additionally, Kyoto is located only 50km away and takes 1 hour. If you want, you can return your car at Kyoto and stay there.

Osaka

There is 2 recommended area in Osaka to stay in.
1. Around Osaka Umeda Station
Many people misunderstand, but Osaka and Umeda are the same places. It is 20min to USJ and10min to “Shin-Osaka Station” for Shinkansen train.
2. Around Nanba Station
It is located within walking distance of the famous “Dotonbori” and “Tsutenkaku” areas and is recommended for travelers who want to go sightseeing in Osaka.

  • Inn Type
    There are about 1,600 inns in Osaka. Please book at your preferred type of inn.
  • Parking
    Some inns have official parking but in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately.
    It is inconvenient to travel in Osaka by car.
  • Onsen
    Most inns don’t have Onsens.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    There are 60,000 restaurants in Osaka. As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your inns with breakfast only or without meals.

Kyoto

There is 2 recommended area in Kyoto to stay in.
1. Around Kyoto Station
There are many buses to all areas in Kyoto and convenient.
2. Higashiyama area
It is the most famous area in Kyoto because of good access to “Kiyomizu Temple” and Gion area.

  • Inn Type
    There are about 1,600 inns in Kyoto. Please book at your preferred type of inn.
  • Parking
    Some inns have official parking but in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately.
    It is inconvenient to travel in Kyoto by car.
  • Onsen
    A few inns provide Onsens.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    There are 9,000 restaurants in Kyoto. As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your inns with breakfast only or without meals.

Map Request Form

Please send us the form once you book hotels or a rental car, and we will send you day-by-day Driving Maps.







Thank you very much! We will send you driving maps with MAPCODE within 4 working days.
Drive Japan team hopes you will experience a fantastic road trip and make unforgettable memory!

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