Kansai 7 Days Itinerary-C

Summary

  • Start
    Kansai Airport, Osaka or Kyoto
  • Finish
    Kansai Airport, Osaka or Kyoto
  • Mileage
    Total 890km
    130km per day
  • Travel Pace
    Normal
  • Onsen Stay
    Max. 2nights
  • Recommended Seasons
    Jan,Feb,Mar,Apr,May,Jun,Jul,Aug,Sep,Oct,Nov,Dec

This itinerary takes 7 days to circle around Osaka, Kyoto, and the Lake Biwa area.
Daily mileage is short and by staying consecutive nights in 1 city only, 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 – Wakayama(Sample)

Start: Kansai Airport, Osaka or Kyoto (大阪 or 京都)
Finish: Wakayama (和歌山)
Mileage:
From Kyoto: 200km
From Osaka: 170km
From Kansai Arirpot: 140km
Travel Pace: Fast

On this day you will head to Wakayama from Osaka or Kyoto via Mt. Koyasan, famous throughout Japan as a sacred Buddhist site.

Recommended Itinerary(Sample)

1

Rental car branch at Kansai Airport, Osaka or Kyoto

Parking MAPCODE:

What is MAPCODE?

10:00

The mileage for the day varies greatly from 140 to 200 km, depending on whether the departure point is Kansai Airport, Osaka, or Kyoto.
Especially in the case of departures from Kyoto or Osaka, the mileage will be longer.
If your departure time is late, please adjust your schedule by taking the expressway or skipping some spots.

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




90 min

2

Niutsuhime Shrine

Parking MAPCODE:

205 632 296*88What is MAPCODE?

Niutsuhime Shrine (Amano Taisha), in Ichinomiya Kii Province, was founded about 1,700 years ago.

11:30

There is not much to see on the way to Mt. Koya, so move quickly on the expressway (E26).

The first destination is [Niutsuhime Shrine] at the foot of Mt. Koya. This shrine is registered as a World Cultural Heritage site, and it has been a long-standing tradition to worship before going to Mt. Koya.




30 min

3

Mt. Koya Danjo Garan

Parking MAPCODE:

205 460 009*34What is MAPCODE?

13:00

After that, you will follow the mountain road to today’s biggest highlight, Mt. Koya. At Mt. Koya, you will visit Daimon, Danjo Garan, Kongobuji Temple, and Okunoin in that order. Among them, Danjo Garan and Okunoin are especially recommended, so even if you don’t have time, please take a look at these two places.

Kongobuji Temple, the head temple of the Koyasan Shingon Sect

If you don’t have time first go to [Danjo Garan], the core of the whole area of Mt. Koya. Mt. Koya is very large, so please refer driving map to check MAPCODE for parking.

Nemoto Daito in the Danjo Garan of Koyasan




10 min

4

Mt. Koya Okunoin

Parking MAPCODE:

205 462 476*36What is MAPCODE?

14:00

Next, on Mt. Koya, head to the Okunoin, where the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi is located. It is the largest sanctuary with a mysterious atmosphere. You need to move your car to the eastern edge and use the nearby parking lot.

Koyasan’s inner sanctuary, where 200,000 tombs have lined a 2-km stretch for 1,100 years
Okuno-in, the center of faith at Koyasan where Kobo Daishi entered the temple.




75 min

5

Inn in Wakayama or Mt.Koyasan

Parking MAPCODE:

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

On this day you will stay in Wakayama city or Mt. Koyasan. The distance from Mt. Koya to Wakayama is 50km, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. See below for detailed differences between the two locations




Driving Map For This 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-Wakayama – Google マイマップ
Osaka/Kyoto-Wakayama

Where to stay in Wakayama or Mt. Koya

On this day, you will stay in either Wakayama city or Mt.Koya. It is 50km and takes about 70min.

①Wakayama City

Wakayama city faces Wakayama Bay, and some hotels have ocean view rooms where you can enjoy the sunset. Most inns are concentrated westside of Wakayama station.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 4-star western-style hotels.
  • Parking
    Most inns have official parking but in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately.
  • Onsen
    There are several inns with hot springs. It is up to you to decide whether to stay at an inn with hot springs or not.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    There are many restaurants near Wakayama Station that are open until late, so it’s okay to have an accommodation plan without meals. For inns far from Wakayama Station, we recommend an accommodation plan with meals.

② Mt. Koyasan
Koyasan, a sacred Buddhist site. There are lots of Shukubo-style inn(a form of lodging mainly in Buddhist temples) here. You can have unique experiences such as morning affairs, sutra copying, and an Okunoin night tour.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are Shukubo.
  • Parking
    Most inns will offer free parking.
  • Onsen
    Only one inn “Fukuchiin” has Onsen facilities.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    You can enjoy healthy vegetarian meals prepared for monks for dinner and breakfast.
Shojinryori(vegetarian meals prepared for monks) provided in Syukubo

 

Wakayama-Nara🔒

Start: Wakayama (和歌山)
Finish: Nara (奈良)
Mileage:170km
Travel Pace: Fast

On this day you will head from Wakayama to Nara City.

Recommended Itinerary

1

Inn in Wakayama

Parking MAPCODE:

What is MAPCODE?

9:00

This day’s mileage is long at 170km, and there are many highlights, so please leave your accommodation as early as possible.




75min

2

Mt. Koya Danjo Garan

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

10:15

Nemoto Daito in the Danjo Garan of Koyasan

The first destination on this day is [Mt. Koya]. At Mt. Koya, you will visit Daimon, Danjo Garan, Kongobuji Temple, and Okunoin in that order. Among them, Danjo Garan and Okunoin are especially recommended, so even if you don’t have time, please take a look at these two places.




10min

3

Mt. Koya Okunoin

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

11:30

Koyasan’s inner sanctuary, where 200,000 tombs have lined a 2-km stretch for 1,100 years

Next onto Mt. Koya! Head to the Okunoin, where the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi is located. It is the largest sanctuary with a mysterious atmosphere. You need to move your car to the eastern edge and use the nearby parking lot.

Okuno-in, the center of faith at Koyasan where Kobo Daishi entered the temple.




110min

4

Horyuji Temple

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

Horyu-ji Temple, the oldest group of wooden buildings in the world

14:30

Next, you will head to [Horyuji Temple], which was built by Prince Shotoku and Empress Suiko in 607. The oldest surviving wooden buildings in the world are so famous that they are listed as World Heritage Sites.




35min

5

Todaiji Temple & Nara Park

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

Nara Park, Nara’s largest tourist area

16:00

Next, you will head to [Todaiji Temple & Nara Park], which is the largest area for sightseeing in Nara. Free-range deer welcome you at [Nara Park]. Nara Park is a vast park with a total area of about 6.6 million square meters, which makes you feel like you are in the ancient city of Nara.

[Todaiji Temple] is a Buddhist temple built in the 8th century. The Great Buddha, which can be said to be the symbol of Nara, is about 18m high including the pedestal and has a masterpiece presence. The Great Buddha Hall is one of the largest wooden buildings in the world.

The Great Buddha of Todaiji Temple (Nara) is still huge!

If time permits, please go to [Kasuga Taisha Shrine]. This is the head office of Kasuga Shrine, which has 3,000 shrines nationwide, and the main shrine with vermilion pillars is impressive.

Kasuga Taisha, a World Heritage Site with 1,300 years of history, in magnificent vermilion

In addition, there are Kofukuji Temple, Nara National Museum, Isuien, etc. in the vicinity, which are full of attractions.

Nara National Museum




10min

6

Inn in Nara

Parking MAPCODE:

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

18:00

Nara, where you stay on this day, is a well-known ancient city. Experience the ancient culture and enjoy the romance.




You can enjoy the nature of each season around Nara. For example, if you are traveling from late March to mid-April, we recommend visiting Mt. Yoshino, which is famous for its cherry blossoms.

Yoshinoyama, the most famous cherry blossom viewing spot in Japan (early April-late April)

In addition, we recommend the azaleas of Katsuragi Kogen from early May to mid-May, and the autumn foliage of Tanzan Shrine from mid-November to early December.

Tanzan Shrine(Autumn leave Mid Nov-Beg Dec)
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 Nara

On this day, you will stay in Nara (奈良) city which is an old capital of Japan with a long history.
The inns are concentrated between Nara Station and Todaiji Temple. As many tourist attractions are located on the east side of the city, so it is convenient to stay there.

  • 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
    As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your inns with breakfast only or without meals.

 

Nara – Hikone🔒

Start: Nara (奈良)
Finish: Hikone (彦根)
Mileage:120km
Travel Pace: Rerax

On this day you are heading from Nara to Hikone.

Recommended Itinerary

1

Inn in Nara

Parking MAPCODE:

What is MAPCODE?

9:00

The mileage on the day is short, about 120km. However, if you haven’t visited Todaiji Temple and Nara Park yet, it’s better to leave the hotel around 9 a.m.




10 min

2

Todaiji Temple & Nara Park

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

Nara Park, Nara’s largest tourist area

9:10

If you haven’t visited yet, your first destination on this day is [Todaiji Temple & Nara Park], which is the largest area for sightseeing in Nara. Free-range deer welcome you at [Nara Park]. Nara Park is a vast park with a total area of about 6.6 million square meters, which makes you feel like you are in the ancient city of Nara.

[Todaiji Temple] is a Buddhist temple built in the 8th century. The Great Buddha, which can be said to be the symbol of Nara, is about 18m high, including the pedestal, and has a masterpiece presence. The Great Buddha Hall is one of the largest wooden buildings in the world.

The Great Buddha of Todaiji Temple (Nara) is still huge!

If time permits, please go to [Kasuga Taisha Shrine]. This is the head office of Kasuga Shrine, which has 3,000 shrines nationwide, and the main shrine with vermilion pillars is impressive.

Kasuga Taisha, a World Heritage Site with 1,300 years of history, in magnificent vermilion

In addition, there are Kofukuji Temple, Nara National Museum, Isuien, etc. in the vicinity, which are full of attractions.

Nara National Museum




50min

3

Byodoin Temple&Green Tea Street

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

13:00

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

Next, you will head to [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 boasting centuries-old tea shops and traditional matcha treats. A great place to immerse yourself in Japan’s tea culture.




60min

4

Omi Hachiman

Parking MAPCODE:

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Hachiman moat with wonderful cherry blossoms and autumn leaves (cherry blossoms: early to mid April, autumn leaves: mid November to early December)

15:30

Next, please drive to [Omihachiman]Hachimanbori is a tourist destination that is also known as a location for historical drama, and the season of cherry blossoms and autumn leaves is especially recommended. The cityscape, which retains the remnants of the old days, is lined with townhouses and warehouses and looks as if time has stopped for centuries. We recommend that you take a leisurely stroll here.

If you get tired, take a short break at a Japanese sweets shop called [La Collina Omihachiman]. You can replenish sweets in a calm atmosphere. You can also eat lunch on the 2nd floor.

La Collina Omihachiman picturesque new spot. nice for lunch and buy local sweets

La Collina Omihachiman



40 min

5

Inn in Hikone

Parking MAPCODE:

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

17:30

It is known that there are many historical sightseeing spots around Hikone Castle, where you will stay on this day. After checking in at the hotel, it may be fun to explore these spots around Hikone Castle.




If you are traveling in the spring cherry blossom season (late March to mid-April), we strongly recommend going to Daigoji Temple.

Daigoji Temple with cherry blossoms
Driving Map For This 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 Hikone

The inns are concentrated between Hikone castle and the 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
    Most of the inns don’t have onsens.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    There are many restaurants around the hotel for dinner, so please make reservations according to your preference.

 

Hikone – Kyoto🔒

Start: Hikone (彦根)
Finish: Kyoto (京都)
Mileage:120km
Travel Pace: Relax

On this day you are heading from Hikone to Kyoto.

Recommended Itinerary

1

Inn in Hikone

Parking MAPCODE:

What is MAPCODE?

9:00

The mileage for the day is about 120km. But we recommend leaving the hotel around 9 a.m.




85 min

2

Biwako Valley

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

“Biwako Valley” offers a spectacular view of Lake Biwa

10:25

First, move to the west side of Lake Biwa and go to [Biwako Valley]. There is not much to see on the way to Biwako Valley, so please move quickly for about 1 hour and 25 minutes.

It is known for its [Biwako Terrace], a spectacular spot overlooking Lake Biwa, and is full of activities. You can also enjoy the nature of each season, such as cherry blossoms, daffodils, and autumn leaves.




40 min

3

Enryakuji Temple

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

12:30

Next, head to [Enryakuji Temple] through the Mt. Hiei Driveway.

Hieizan Driveway Driving with Lake Biwa below

The Mt. Hiei Driveway has many wonderful viewing spots along the way. Enryakuji Temple has a vast site that covers the entire area of Mt. Hiei and is registered as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. Please worship mainly in the area where the main halls of Enryakuji, such as Konpon Chudo, the Grand Lecture Hall, and Amidado, are gathered.

Enryakuji Temple covers the entire area of Mount Hiei




20 min

4

Onjoji Temple(Miidera)

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

Onjoji Temple (Miidera Temple) with cherry blossoms in full bloom (early April-mid April)

14:30

After descending from Mt. Hiei, go to [Onjoji Temple (Miidera)], the general head temple of the Jimon School of the Tendai Sect. Not only are national treasures and important cultural properties such as the main hall here, but also the cherry blossoms in spring and colored leaves in autumn are full of highlights.




85 min

5

Inn in Kyoto

Parking MAPCODE:

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

17:00

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




If you are traveling during cherry blossom season (early to mid-April), Kaizu Osaki Lakeside Park is the place to go.

Kaizu Osaki with cherry blossoms in full bloom.

Metasequoia Tree Avenue is also recommended if you are traveling during the fall foliage season (late November to early December).

Metasequoia Tree Avenue with the fall foliage

If you want to enjoy the drive itself, Ibukiyama Driveway is recommended. This is one of Japan’s leading tourist roads, with a total length of 17km, which runs all the way up to the 9th station of Mt. Ibuki.

Driving Map For This 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 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 – Kyoto🔒

Start: Kyoto (京都)
Finish: Kyoto (京都)
Mileage:40km
Travel Pace: Fast

On this day, you will stay in Kyoto for the second consecutive night.

Recommended Itinerary

1

Inn in Kyoto

Parking MAPCODE:

What is MAPCODE?

9:00

The distance covered on this day is only about 40km, which is short, but the city is home to many cultural properties that have been registered as World Heritage Sites, so the time for sightseeing will be longer. Therefore, we recommend that you leave the inn early.




15min

2

Fushimi Inari Shrine

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

9:15

1,000 torii gates in Fushimi Inari Shrine

Your first destination for the day is [Fushimi Inari Shrine], which is very popular among foreign tourists. In particular, the 1,000 torii gates (there are actually more than 10,000) are famous as photo spots, and many tourists take pictures here.




20min

3

Kiyomizudera Temple & Sannenzaka ,Ninenzaka street

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

11:00

The main hall of Kiyomizu Temple with the stage of Kiyomizu

Next, you will head to [Kiyomizudera Temple], a World Heritage Site. Your car will be parked at the Kyoto City Kiyomizuzaka sightseeing parking lot. The roads around the parking lot are narrow and there are many tourists, so please drive carefully. Kiyomizudera Temple is famous for its main hall with the stage of Kiyomizu, but there are other places of interest such as the Niomon gate, three-storied pagoda, and Otowa Falls.

Before returning to the parking lot from Kiyomizudera, please take a stroll through [Sannenzaka, Ninenzaka street]. From Kiyomizuzaka leading to Kiyomizudera Temple, turn north on a narrow road to enter Sannenzaka. If you go further down the slope, you will continue to Ninenzaka. The beautiful scenery of old souvenir shops is not only always crowded with tourists, but also designated as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings. Also, this area is the most Kyoto-like area, so many people go sightseeing in kimonos. Of course, you can also rent kimonos.
It is recommended to eat lunch around here on this day.

Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka area is the most Kyoto-like area




40min

4

Kinkakuji Temple

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

14:40

Kinkakuji Temple is also a World Heritage Site

After lunch, you will head to [Kinkakuji Temple], which is also a World Heritage Site. Kinkakuji Temple was built in 1397 and is a must-see for its three-storied pavilion that reflects against the garden pond.




10min

5

Ryoanji Temple

Parking MAPCODE:

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15:50

The rock garden of Ryoanji Temple

Next, you will head to [Ryoanji Temple], which is also a World Heritage Site. The dry landscape garden of Ryoaji Temple is famous for its rock garden and is visited by many tourists.




15min

6

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

17:00

Mysterious atmosphere of the bamboo grove

The final destination of the day is [Arashiyama Bamboo Forest]. This is a small path of about 400 meters from Nonomiya Shrine to Okochi Sanso through the north gate of Tenryuji Temple. This is one of Kyoto’s leading tourist attractions, with well-maintained bamboo groves lining both sides of the path. Enjoy the mysterious atmosphere of the bamboo grove.




40min

7

Inn in Kyoto

Parking MAPCODE:

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

18:40

On this day you will stay in Kyoto for the second consecutive night. Please spend a relaxing time at the inn.




As an ancient city, Kyoto is famous for its many important cultural properties, but the flowers that change with the seasons add even more color. During the spring cherry blossom season (late March to mid-April), cherry blossoms are in full bloom everywhere in the city, and the cherry blossoms at Ninnaji Temple and Daigoji Temple are especially recommended.

Daigoji Temple with cherry blossoms

During the fall foliage season (mid-November to late November), the entire city is dyed in foliage, and the foliage at Tofukuji Temple is particularly spectacular.

Tofukuji Temple with autumn leaves

In addition, Kyoto Kawadoko is held during the summer (May to September) as a tradition of Kyoto. This is a style of dining on a terrace built over the river, where you can savor the traditions of Kyoto.

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 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:

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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)

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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

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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

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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

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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 Wakayama
Recommended Inn

Seaside Kancho Ryokan

On this day, you will stay in either Wakayama city or Mt.Koya. It is 50km and takes about 70min.

①Wakayama City

Wakayama city faces Wakayama Bay, and some hotels have ocean view rooms where you can enjoy the sunset. Most inns are concentrated westside of Wakayama station.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 4-star western-style hotels.
  • Parking
    Most inns have official parking but in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately.
  • Onsen
    There are several inns with hot springs. It is up to you to decide whether to stay at an inn with hot springs or not.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    There are many restaurants near Wakayama Station that are open until late, so it’s okay to have an accommodation plan without meals. For inns far from Wakayama Station, we recommend an accommodation plan with meals.

② Mt. Koyasan

Koyasan, a sacred Buddhist site. There are lots of Shukubo-style inn(a form of lodging mainly in Buddhist temples) here. You can have unique experiences such as morning affairs, sutra copying, and an Okunoin night tour.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are Shukubo.
  • Parking
    Most inns will offer free parking.
  • Onsen
    Only one inn “Fukuchiin” has Onsen facilities.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    You can enjoy healthy vegetarian meals prepared for monks for dinner and breakfast.
/ stay in Nara
Recommended Inn

Nara Hotel

On this day, you will stay in Nara (奈良) city which is an old capital of Japan with a long history.
The inns are concentrated between Nara Station and Todaiji Temple. As many tourist attractions are located on the east side of the city, so it is convenient to stay there.

  • 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
    As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your inns with breakfast only or without meals.
/ stay in Hikone
Recommended Inn

Hikone Castle Resort&Spa

The inns are concentrated between Hikone castle and the 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
    Most of the inns don’t have onsens.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    There are many restaurants around the hotel for dinner, so please make reservations according to your preference.
/ 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 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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