Kansai 3 Days Itinerary-A

Summary

  • Start
    Kansai Airport, Osaka or Kyoto
  • Finish
    Kansai Airport, Osaka or Kyoto
  • Mileage
    Total 370km
    130km per day
  • Travel Pace
    Normal
  • Onsen Stay
    Max. 1 night
  • Recommended Seasons
    Jan,Feb,Mar,Apr,May,Jun,Jul,Aug,Sep,Oct,Nov,Dec

This itinerary takes 3 days to circle around Osaka and Kyoto area.

Due to standard daily mileage, you can travel at a pace that is not too rushed.

If you want to stay in Osaka city or Kyoto city after the road trip, you can return the car not to the airport but to shops in Osaka or Kyoto. Due to traffic jams and lack of parking, walking and the train are more convenient for sightseeing in Osaka.

 

Osaka-Kyoto(Sample)

Start: Osaka (大阪)
Finish: Kyoto (京都)
Mileage:
From Osaka: 90km
From Kansai Arirpot: 135km
Travel Pace: Relax

On this day you will head to Kyoto from Osaka.

Recommended Itinerary(Sample)

1

Rental car branch at Kansai Airport or Osaka

Parking MAPCODE:

What is MAPCODE?

9:30

The mileage for the day varies greatly from 90 to 135km, depending on whether the departure point is Kansai Airport, or Osaka.
If you want to visit many spots in Kyoto, it is recommended to depart by 9 o’clock at the latest and skip the outlets we recommended as the first stop of the day. If your departure time is late, please adjust your schedule by skipping some spots.

Rental car branches in Kansai Airport. You also can depart from Osaka or Kyoto




45 min

2

Mitsui Outlet Park Osaka Kadoma

Parking MAPCODE:

1 535 308What is MAPCODE?

10:00

Your first destination for the day is [Mitsui Outlet Park Osaka Kadoma]. Huge factory outlet which open in 2023. Enjoy shopping, dining, and more at this huge facility.

Mitsui Outlet Park (Osaka Kodama opens in 2023. Above picture is different.)




30min

3

Expo ’70 Commemorative Park

Parking MAPCODE:

1 800 816What is MAPCODE?

12:30

Expo ’70 Commemorative Park which is the site of the Japan World Exposition held in 1970.

Next, you will head to [Expo ’70 Commemorative Park]. This is the site of the Japan World Exposition held in 1970 and is a futuristic urban space with pavilions built using the cutting-edge technology of the time.

It is also well know for “Tower of the Sun(太陽の塔)” made by Taro Okamoto.




20min

4

Byodoin Temple&Green Tea Street

Parking MAPCODE:

7 202 300What is MAPCODE?

14:00

Byodoin Temple is a famous temple with beautiful ponds, gardens and buildings housing cultural relics.

The last stop of the day is [Byodoin Temple and Green Tea Street]. This is a famous temple with beautiful ponds, gardens, and buildings housing cultural relics. There are also tours of the interior. After visiting Byodoin Temple, take a walk down nearby Green Tea Street, which has some tea shops. How about buying Uji tea, which is famous in Japan, as a souvenir?

Uji Green Tea Street is a charming haven near Byodoin Temple, boasting centuries-old tea shops and traditional matcha treats. It is the perfect place to immerse yourself in Japan’s tea culture.
You can enjoy variety of sweets and food using Matcha green tea.




40min

5

Inn in Kyoto

Parking MAPCODE:

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

16:40

On this day, you will stay overnight in Kyoto, the ancient city. Please relax and enjoy your stay in Kyoto.

If you still have time, you can stroll Kyoto city! Especially, below area are not recommended to visit by car and better to visit by bus and trains.

Gion Hanamikoji Street
Maiko geisha walking on a street of Gion
At Pontocho(先斗町), you can enjoy dinner with Kawadoko terrace along the Shijo river.




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.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=1dXsO3BR9dZ-dA0rFj0ko8QPP65yeTpk&usp=sharing

Where to stay in Kyoto

On this day, you will stay in Kyoto(京都) City. There are thousands of inns in Kyoto and most tourists try to stay near Kyoto station because of the bus terminals. But for road trippers, we recommend inns on the outskirts of the city to avoid crowds.

  • Inn Type
    There are a variety of inns like 3-5 star Japanese Ryokan and western hotels. Please book at your preferred type of inn.
  • Parking
    Most inns located city center don’t have official parking. Some inns on the outskirts of the city offer free parking.
  • Onsen
    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. But if you stay 4-5 star Japanese Rokan, it is recommended to book a plan including dinner.

 

Kyoto – Kobe/Arima🔒

Start: Kyoto (京都)
Finish: Kobe/Arima (神戸/有馬)
Mileage:120km
Travel Pace: Normal

On this day, you will head from Kyoto to Kobe/Arima.

Recommended Itinerary

1

Inn in Kyoto

Parking MAPCODE:

What is MAPCODE?

9:00

The mileage on this day is 120km and short. However, traffic congestion is heavy around Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe, so please leave your hotel around 9:00 and use the expressway as much as possible to shorten the travel time.




30min

2

Hozugawa River Cruise

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

9:45

Hozugawa River Cruise, with which you will fully enjoy the nature of Kyoto.

The first attraction of this day is the [Hozugawa River Cruise]. Although it takes about 1 hour and 50 minutes one way from the boarding point in Kameyama to Arashiyama, you will be fully enjoy the nature of Kyoto. After the cruise you will need to return to the starting point by train. Therefore, if you plan to visit many other sightseeing spots on this day, it might be better to skip this cruise.




45min

3

Tower of the Sun & Expo’70 Commemorative Park

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

13:30

Expo ’70 Commemorative Park which is the site of the Japan World Exposition held in 1970.

Next, you will head to [Expo ’70 Commemorative Park]. This is the site of the Japan World Exposition held in 1970, and is a futuristic urban space with pavilions built using the cutting-edge technology of the time.




50min

4

Mt.Rokko(Garden Terrace)

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

15:20

Mt.Rokko (Garden Terrace) is one of the best viewing spots in Japan.

Next, you will head to [Mt.Rokko (Garden Terrace)]. This is one of the best night viewing spots in Japan, and you can enjoy a large panoramic view that extends from the Akashi Strait to the Osaka Plain and Kansai International Airport.

The night view of Kobe city from Mt. Rokko one of the top three night views in Japan. 




40min

5

Inn in Kobe/Arima

Parking MAPCODE:

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

17:00

On this day, you will stay in Kobe city, or Arima Onsen which is one of Japan’s leading hot springs. For those who want to enjoy Kobe’s night spots, we recommend Kobe City, and for those who want to enjoy hot springs, we recommend Arima Onsen.

Arima Onsen town




If you are traveling with children, we recommend the Cup Noodle Museum.

Driving Map For the Day🔒

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.

Where to stay in Kobe or Arima Onsen

On this day, you will stay in either Kobe city or Arima Onsen town. It is 25km and takes about 45min.
For road trippers, Arima Onsen is recommended.

①Kobe city
It is recommended if you prefer western-style hotel. And convenient for shopping and visiting “Kobe Meriken Park”. Most inns are concentrated around Motomachi Station(元町駅) and Sannomiya Station(三宮駅).

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 5-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 no inns have Onsens.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    There are more than 5,000 restaurants in Kobe. As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your inns with breakfast only or without meals.

②Arima Onsen town
Arima is one of the “Three Ancient Springs” in Japan and there are many luxury Onsen Ryokans. You can enjoy the famous “Kobe Beef” dinner!

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 4 to 5-star western hotels and Japanese-style Ryokans with Onsen facilities.
  • Parking
    Most inns will offer free parking.
  • Onsen
    Most of the inns provide Onsen. You can enjoy an open-air Onsen with ocean view.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    Most inns provide Kobe beef dinner! Highly recommended to make a reservation with a plan that includes dinner and breakfast.
Must try Kobe beef!

 

Kobe/Arima – Osaka🔒

Start: Kobe/Arima (神戸/有馬)
Finish: Osaka (大阪)
Mileage:120km
Travel Pace: Relax

On this day, you will head from Kobe/Arima to Osaka.

Recommended Itinerary

1

Inn in Kobe/Arima

Parking MAPCODE:

What is MAPCODE?

10:00

The mileage on this day is a little short at 120km. However, traffic congestion is heavy around Osaka, and Kobe, so please use the expressway as much as possible to shorten the travel time.




45min

2

Mt.Rokko(Garden Terrace)

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

10:45

Mt.Rokko (Garden Terrace) is one of the best viewing spots in Japan.

The first destination on this day is [Mt. Rokko (Garden Terrace)]. This is one of the best viewing spots in Japan, and you can enjoy a large panoramic view that extends from the Akashi Strait to the Osaka Plain and Kansai International Airport.




40min

3

Kobe Meriken Park

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

12:30

Kobe Meriken Park with many sightseeing spots.

Next, you will head to [Kobe Meriken Park]. This is a reclaimed park between Meriken Wharf and Naka Wharf, and there are facilities such as Kobe Port Tower, Kobe Maritime Museum, a hotel, and an observatory plaza in the park, and many tourists visit.




50min

4

Mitsui Outlet Park Osaka Kadoma

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

14:20

Next, you will head to [Mitsui Outlet Park Osaka Kadoma]. Enjoy shopping, dining, and more at this huge facility.

Mitsui Outlet Park (Osaka Kodama opens in 2023. Above picture is different.)




25min

5

Rental car branch at Kansai Airport, Osaka or Kyoto

Parking MAPCODE:

Please refer driving mapWhat is MAPCODE?

16: 30
This is the end of the drive trip or Inn stay in Osaka.

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 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 50 km, or about 1 hour by express way. Make sure you arrive at the branch of the car rental company two 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.

If you plan to stay overnight in Osaka on this day, we recommend that you book accommodations around Dotonbori. And after check-in, please enjoy walking around Dotonbori, Tsutenkaku Tower, Shinsekai, etc.

Osaka’s famous takoyaki
Dotonbori river near Nanba station in Osaka
Tsutenkaku at Shinsekai area in Osaka




If you are traveling from early April to early May, stop by Osaka Maishima Seaside Park. The “Nemophila Festival” is held where the whole area is dyed blue, and you will be overwhelmed by the beautiful scenery.

If you’re traveling with kids, we recommend Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, one of the world’s largest aquariums, and the Cup Noodle Museum, where you can make homemade ramen noodles.

Kaiyukan, one of the world’s largest aquariums

Driving Map For the Day🔒

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.

Where to stay in 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.

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 Kyoto
Recommended Inn

The Prince Kyoto Takaragaike

On this day, you will stay in Kyoto(京都) City. There are thousands of inns in Kyoto and most tourists try to stay near Kyoto station because of the bus terminals. But for road trippers, we recommend inns on the outskirts of the city to avoid crowds.

  • Inn Type
    There are a variety of inns like 3-5 star Japanese Ryokan and western hotels. Please book at your preferred type of inn.
  • Parking
    Most inns located city center don’t have official parking. Some inns on the outskirts of the city offer free parking.
  • Onsen
    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. But if you stay 4-5 star Japanese Rokan, it is recommended to book a plan including dinner.
/ stay in Kobe or Arima Onsen
Recommended Inn

Hyoe Koyokaku

On this day, you will stay in either Kobe City or Arima Onsen town. They are 25km away and take about 45min.

①Arima Onsen town
Arima is one of the “Three Ancient Springs” in Japan and there are many luxury Onsen Ryokans. You can enjoy the famous “Kobe Beef” dinner!

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 4 to 5-star western hotels and Japanese-style Ryokans with Onsen facilities.
  • Parking
    Most inns will offer free parking.
  • Onsen
    Most of the inns provide Onsen. You can enjoy an open-air Onsen with an ocean view.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    Most inns provide Kobe beef dinner! Highly recommended to make a reservation with a plan that includes dinner and breakfast.

②Kobe city
It is recommended if you prefer Western-style hotel. And convenient for shopping and visiting “Kobe Meriken Park”. Most inns are concentrated around Motomachi Station(元町駅) and Sannomiya Station(三宮駅).

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 5-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 no inns have Onsens.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    There are more than 5,000 restaurants in Kobe. As many restaurants are open till midnight, booking your inns with breakfast only or without meals is recommended.
/ 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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