Since there are lots of enquiries about how I plan , what transportation I use when I'm travel to Osaka & Kyoto and also about the JR Pass. I updated everything here > ▐ OSAKA > KYOTO > TOKYO▐ HOW I PLAN & ALL ABOUT JR PASS so make sure to check this out <3
So for those who always think Osaka & Kyoto might be the place to visit for old-aged group of people?!! I guess YOU'RE WRONG! You're so wrong seriously. The first thing came in my mind was I'm afraid that it wasn't as fun as Tokyo or maybe not as happening as Tokyo but the first time I'm here I was like, OMG!! I never expect this can be so fun.
Tokyo is famous for shopping heaven, fun street, food , cafe ....while Osaka and Kyoto are more relaxing + sightseeing and at the same time there are a very happening area around Osaka (just like Tokyo) just that there are no such themed cafe or much cafe in Kyoto. I went Tokyo few time and I guess I get enough shopping on that & then it's why I decided to explore Osaka & Kyoto more.
So are you ready for my sharing post? Let's get started!
So for those who asked for my opinion, if you have more budget you can always get the JAL or ANA airline because that's the best so far and I tried the flight meal in ANA flight. OMG The soba and salmon just taste exactly like I'm having it at a restaurant. Plus, ANA included your luggage weight , meal, unlimited drink , TV & the best is of course the service provided. It should be around RM1200-1490.
If you get your flight ticket from air asia it properly around RM850-900 cheapest to RM1200-1350 with / without promotion. I booked mine for RM830 per person with my partner and we shared 45 kg of luggage weight. So it's no longer expensive to travel to Japan except the currency of our Ringgit Malaysia really making me speechless. Sometime if you get to book the ticket at air asia for just less than thousand, remember to check after tax , luggage weight and the price with everything included because I found that some of the period ANA and JAL offer cheaper flight ticket than air asia after sum up everything. This is serious one. So make sure you check and do a comparison first before buy it.
So for those who asked me where I stay or any recommendation place to stay in Osaka & Kyoto. Here's the answer!
I stayed once in Sheraton Miyako Hotel @Osaka before and that was during my Panasonic Beauty Trip in Osaka few months ago. Other that that experience , most of the time I will prefer to stay via Airbnb because I get to choose staying in either a whole apartment / a room , get to experience more , get to interact and communicate with the owner via the app. But you must also choose it wisely. I'm using airbnb for 2 years now so I know what I want and how to look at the room and photos.
I think I shared some of my personal experience and tips here http://www.chanwon.com/2015/10/chanwon-travel-in-japan-11-where-i-stay.html and you are welcome to check that out if you free. If you are interested to try airbnb for the first time then here's the RM90 free cash for you to travel! Just Click here to get RM90 to travel. Hope this is useful for you.
So most of the time when I'm staying in Osaka and travel to Kyoto in the morning. Like I mentioned earlier on my previous ▐ OSAKA > KYOTO > TOKYO▐ post, I travel morning to Kyoto then at night I decided to spend my time at the more happening place in Osaka. Then I can have my dinner or night shopping time in Osaka too.
For my first & second accommodation experience in Osaka, I can get a room around RM160-300 (per night) in Osaka. During sakura season around end of march- april it will be slightly expensive so if you travel with your partner or your friend one people will be around RM150-200 per night should be quite reasonable. The third time I travel to Osaka and staying nearby the hot spot of Osaka , for a whole apartment for me it's just RM150 PER NIGHT! Super duper cheap and the room was so clean, tidy and big.
I always search the homestay area nearby the subway station within 3-5 mins of walking distance. Some included pocket wifi free for you but I love to use my own because I need to contact the owner before I enter the room and chat with the owner when I'm in Japan before I found the apartment. If you love to stay nearby the area where you can easily find food & shopping or more happening , you can always key in or search for homestay that nearby Dotonbori, Namba Station, Shinsaibashi & etc.
Just need to make sure that you check it one by one and remember to discuss and see the room with your partner so you guys can decide everything together before the trip. After that read the detail available on the app like how long it takes to walk to the subway, how many mins it takes to reach dotonbori, shinsaibashi or kyoto, how far your homestay to the 7-11 or any nearby facilities for you to enjoy. Then by looking at the information you can easily imagine how far is your homestay and how convenient it is.
Take note also the cleansing fees and extra / additional fees for you to stay at the airbnb. And this is why I prefer to stay at only one place rather than always change the homestay. So if I stay only at my homestay A for a 7 days trip I just need to pay cleansing fees once but if I change 2-3 stay within my 7-9 days trip I might need to pay spend extra on this.
Next other than the place, you need to send a msg to the airbnb owner and ask for any enquiries. Remember to see how long it takes for the owner to reply you. I prefer owner that reply fast and efficient. Also, check the comment and feedback from the previous customer who stay at the same place. 90% of their feedback and review are useful! So please check and don't nervous ya. Remember the photo they show on the photo (most of it) taken by a wide lens camera so in real it's much smaller except you have good experience like me you can easily notice and imagine how big it is. But no worries because most of the Osaka homestay is much bigger & cheaper than Tokyo (from my experience).
To sum everything up, if the place you stay is nearby subway, convenience store , hot spot , not too noise, fast respond owner, good reviews, good host , photo show you the true picture of the place & around RM250-350 per night for average it's quite a good deal for you to share your room with your 2-3 travel partner. It mean it's only around RM120-160 per person / one night! If not a peak period like the time I travel at the end of summer that it's just RM150 PER night means around RM80 per person only. But most of the time I set it as RM150 budget per person. So If you have 3 travel partners (150x3 = 450), then you can look for the room around RM330-400 per night for 3 person and divided it yourself.
So it's all the basic idea of having a budget calculation for your room so you have extra money to enjoy the food and shop in Japan! HAHAHAHA
There are so many food around Osaka and it's mostly RM40 -60 average per meal. (980 Yen - 1600 Yen) Such as ramen, rice, some sushi is just 100 yen per plate but if you are going to tourist spot for sushi then it might be 250-300 yen per plate. So depend on your budget for me I spend RM150-200 per day for food. Morning breakfast you can get a rice ball that cost less than RM10 in 7-11 or even you can get some fresh bread as your breakfast with a fruit juice too.
If you are going to have your lunch around Kyoto especially those Japanese cuisine nearby the famous visiting places / tourist spot then it might cost you RM80-130 per meal since Japanese traditional cuisine cost this price in Japan. It's really normal. Last time when our currency of RM still strong everything still affordable but now it's almost 4.1 (up & down between 4.03-4.079 for 100 yen) so I really feel so sad but to spend wisely on food.
So I guess it's all for the food part. Most of the food menu places outside the restaurant so depend your budget you can always pick the one you prefer. You can set a budget for yourself on food like RM180 per day. Then by looking with the budget amount, divided it into breakfast > lunch > dinner. Most of the time if travel with a group of people you can really spend within your budget because you can try more food and eat more by sharing it with your friends too.
So here's a useful tips for you to set your budget and save money for your coming Osaka & Kyoto trip based on my 3 trips to Osaka / Kyoto. Alone or with your partner / a group of 3-5 people.
[Average Calculation for Flight ticket + stay + food + transportation:]
Flight & 7-9 days homestay RM1900 + RM550 Transportation + RM1400 Food = RM3850So it's total RM3850. If you put a budget of RM4900-5000 for the whole 7-9 days trip then it will be RM 1050 left for you to shop or buy snacks / souvenir.
RM4500-4900 will allow you to have fun for a 7-9 days trip in Osaka & Kyoto. Included flight tickets, stays , transportation and extra pocket money for you. If you are the one who like to shopping or buy more then please bring extra $$ to feed your shopping passion :p
Just added with all the average amount I stated above. Around RM1800-2000 for both flight ticket & your stay in Osaka / Kyoto. RM500-600 for transportation fees within Osaka & Kyoto area. The rest is for food and shopping. Adjust your budget based on your pocket money available / money you want to save or prepare for this trip. But overall RM5000 round up can let you to have fun for 7-9 days trip in both OSAKA & Kyoto!!
Hope this can be helpful for you! Took me some time to sum everything up but this is basically based on my experience and during the time I travel with a plus one, we always spend like the amount I stated except my recent visit I use beyond this due to I bought too much of winter clothes, fashion items and i just want to spend in Japan more. lol Of course, I bring more when I know I really want to shop more or shop like crazy!
So now you can save your money and travel to Osaka & Kyoto for 7-9 days with less than RM5000! What are you waiting for!!
Sorry it takes me some time to complete this because I need to draw out a big summary on my first and second trip to the same place & combine everything in one on this post just for you! For this itinerary I might be written in diff style from others because I know everyone of us has different preference on place to visit or to go. So I decided to written it one by one in a number form like #1 , #2 &.... then you decide which you want to go and write it down , check the weather and arrange it depend on your preference.
Also, remember to look at the weather every day and place it based on the weather of the day. If it's raining try to go to indoor place so you could enjoy more, if sunny day then can visit to more places and enjoy the wonderful time with your travel partners.
No need to squeeze or rushing like crazy when you travel to Japan because you know..you are trying to enjoy not to stress but remember to wakeup earlier don't waste your time in the morning because the sky might turn dark earlier during specific season in Japan.
This is how I normally plan or draw my ugly itinerary. HAHAHAHA
Planning for my Sakura sight-seeing trip in April to Osaka & Kyoto
My ultimate super ugly hand written itinerary for my friends lol
So I'm going to sum everything up in this post for you. Just read every word carefully and mark down the place you would love to visit or to go on a paper. Next, download google map then try to figure it out on the first day you reach Japan. It's super easy then each morning, enter the name of the place you wrote down on the paper like " Fushimi-Inari " Then you will get the summary of transportation on the app like this:-
Then you should know what to do next. If you confuse with the route just go to the information counter inside the subway, point it out to the officer and speak using your mouth, hand gesture or whatever body language (btw, they can understand simple english too) and you should have no problem to reach the place.
BE BRAVE, EXPLORE MORE AND TALK MORE WITH YOUR MOUTH. Nothing to be shy or afraid unless you wish to stand at the subway and doing nth lol. Nobody going to eat you so don't worry for this! They are really helpful and friendly.
So I guess that's all and now...let's get started with the must go places or must visit places in Osaka & Kyoto.
This is one of the landmark in Osaka and one of my favourite spot to visit especially during Sakura & Autumn season. Remember my Sakura x Chanwon shoot? I shoot it here at Osaka Castle. If you want to enter the building which is the museum that you might need to purchase the entry pass / ticket. Not expensive too but I decided to just walk around and take photo with the sakura.
This is the Osaka Castle museum (Photo credits to my friends, Cheelek)
There are lots of beautiful spot here and you can also bring some bento rice or rice ball with you + a cup of coffee. Then enjoy the early morning scenery here with your breakfast. It's so relaxing and the best place to kickstart your day.
Sakura Rain on the floor. So pretty right??!
If it's your first time to see sakura in Osaka, except for the Osaka Castle, here's another good spot for you + some food booth beside the park. Suppose to enjoy the Sakura here but due to raining day we just walk around here for 30 mins until it turn really heavy rain we decided to move on and go to another place. So remember to check your weather before you leave your house ya.
A long river between all the beautiful sakura tree.
Too bad it's raining :'(
This is one of the hot spot in Osaka and it's so happening. When you are here in Dotonbori , it's easy to walk around here and found this super huge 'glica' running man. Remember to walk along the Dōtonbori street and from Dōtonboribashi you can easily walk to Nipponbashi and Namba station. So when you are here in Dotonbori you can spend a whole night or evening- night time shopping and walk from Dotonbori > Nipponbashi > Namba.
This is an icon of Osaka within Japan (a runner crossing a finishing line) So if you are here, remember to take a photo with this big runner led board ok?
As I mentioned on #3 earlier, it's located at the same area and nearby Namba there are tons of restaurant, famous takoyaki & seafood shop, my favourite Shop WEGO , H&M , Forever21 all around this area. So if you plan for a visit to Kyoto in the early morning, you could be in Kyoto until 6-7pm and after that back to Osaka. Then, spend the rest of your day here in Namba! Remember to look for Don Quijote (Donqi) that selling all kind of product and thing I always shared on my insta or blog.
How to go to Namba Station??
By Subway Midosuji Line
As I mentioned on #4 there are two huge and high building of Donqi in Osaka. Actually there are lots of this store in Osaka. You can google map it and see which nearby your homestay or area you are going to. I mentioned it quite frequent in my blog because this is a place where I shop and buy most of the Japanese cosmetic / beauty products that featured in most of the website. Plus, it's TAX FREE!
If you think Osaka not a shopping heaven like Tokyo then you are wrong because there are an indoor street there can consider a shopping heaven for all of us. Yes, no joke and best if you could plan this at the last few days / a day before the end of your trip. Why?? Because I'm afraid you might over spend your pocket money here :p So for most of the time when I will plan a full / one day itinerary here at the end of my trip. Also, if it's raining day then you could switch your itinerary with this because this is an indoor shopping street!!
It took around 3 hours for window shopping or if you go in the shop one by one it might takes around 6-8 hours to walk from the entrance until the end of Shinsaibashi. There are lots of famous beauty/ cosmetic shop selling Japanese drugstore makeup product too. All rated from top 1 - top 20 list for you to grab.
You can spot everyone was carrying their own recycle bag or bring their own hand carry luggage here too. From sunglasses to clothes , shoes , fashionable brands and items ALL AVAILABLE HERE! One thing you need to worry is.....when you don't have enough money to spend! AHAHAHAH
Famous GU. Selling affordable and reasonable items for both male and female. Something like uniqlo but much cheaper. It's actually the same company with Uniqlo :)
Also some famous Japanese fashionable brands...
Next, famous PABLO!!!
Some of my favourite shop like WEGO, Amanda available at Shinsaibashi too. Also, remember to visit Luke's Lobster and eat the crab / lobster roll. OMG THIS IS REALLY YUMMY!!!
Personally I love its crab roll and some of my friend prefer the lobster US roll. Try both of them!!!
Ichiran Ramen is one of the top rating ramen in Japan because they customise your own favourite choice of ramen. You can pick your ramen based on your preference. A brand new experience of having ramen in Japan. For me I prefer heavy taste soup with softer ramen so what I need it just choose and circle it on the paper and they do the rest for me.
There are few Ichiran ramen within the namba area but most of it was full of people. So for people like me really tired to queue up I decided to come to the one located at ‘千日前’ one. Not much people waiting here and I just line up for 5 mins then it's my turn!
Spotted Ichiran Ramen on the left!
This area is nearby Shinsaibashi too. So after a long day of shopping you can use your google map to direct you here. Very easy and it's only few mins of walking distance.
If you love new and fun thing like me or want to have a memorable time with your friends/ family / loved one you could make a visit to this instant ramen museum and customise your own version of instant ramen that cost only 300yen each. Then at night you can eat it as supper or bring back to Malaysia and show your friends how awesome it is.
DIY / Draw your own
Choose and pick yourself.
Create your own ramen!
Read more on:
If you have extra budget and love fresh sashimi, sushi and seafood remember to pay a visit to Kuromon Market from morning 9am - 6pm. Take note of the opening hour before you visit here ya. There are tons of yummy sashimi and seafood here. Walk around here and decide which you want to try.
Address: 2 Chome-4-1 Nipponbashi, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 542-0073, Japan
Just google map 'Kuromon Market' and it will direct you to the correct place!
Goole map is the best thing ever!!
Love Ferris wheel and shopping at the same time? Then remember to drop by at HEP because this is a major shopping mall and entertainment center in Umeda commercial district of Kita-ku, Osaka, Japan. There is a shopping mall consisting of a HEP Five and HEP Navio. Plus, if you read my previous post about the permanent Gudetama Cafe then you should heard of this already. It's located at the same building, 7th floor.
Photo credits to google image
HEP FIVE: Higashi-Umeda Station & 5 mins walking distance
Rarely to see themed cafe in Osaka & Kyoto but here is the first permanent gudetama store in Japan. If you love this lazy egg then you should pay a visit here and get crazy with the food and amount of gudetama in this cafe.
Read more on:
Since you are in Umeda then why not take a visit to the Umeda Sky Building? It's located nearby HEP Five area and this could be a best place for you to enjoy the whole night view in Osaka. It consists of two 40-story towers that connect at their two uppermost stories, with bridges and an escalator crossing the wide atrium-like space in the center.
I didn't take a proper photo during my visit here but I could show you some of the photo take took by my friend during the daytime here and some of the photo taken by myself during my visit to this building at night. At night you basically just stand on the top and look at the night view of Osaka.
If your budget allows then plan a whole day itinerary to have fun and play all the ride in Universal Studio Japan. I can't believe my first Universal Studio isn't happen in sg but in JAPAN!! The harry potter ride was super duper fun and all my friends love here. It's so fun and could make your trip more memorable and fun. I visited here for the first time during this April 2016 sakura season and last month I came to the same place but during this trip it's slightly diff because USJ has included some Halloween activities at night for all of us.
I blogged about it last time so now I'm going to show you more photo I took during my second visit in USJ.
Halloween Meal in Harry Potter world
Halloween special : Zombie night!
During my second visit I successful play the Harry Potter & spiderman ride without buying any express pass. I guess it's because not a peak season and I waited 35 mins for the Harry Potter ride and 50 mins for the spider-man ride. Once I reach USJ, I just skipped everything and straight went into the Harry Potter world and after taking the ride, I just slowly enjoy the rest and it's why it only took me 35 mins to play the ride. Smart tips for you!!
Read more on my visit to USJ in April this year:
If you love to see and feed deer then this could be one of your to-do thing in Osaka. It's very easy to get in here via Kitetsu line. You could spend half of your day here just to walk around the Nara Temple and what so special about the temple was, in front of the temple you could see the real deer and you could feed them with their food that you can buy it there.
Lots of photographer purposely come here just to capture how cute the deer is but be careful you might be kick or chase by the deer if you are holding the food. So remember to feed them fast. Next if you prefer wild deer then you can walk to Nara park and continue to look for it.
Some of the video I uploaded to my instagram (@chanwon92)
The Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan (海遊館 known as the Kaiyukan) is an aquarium located in the ward of Minato in Osaka, Japan, near Osaka Bay. Although I'm not really a fans of aquarium but I saw some of my friends went here and I guess I just included as this plan so you could add in your itinerary if you love to see more and explore more. Also, the entry ticket is quite reasonable and if you bring your kids , family to Osaka I think this could be one of the 'wow' place for them.
It's a huge landmark for marine-life exhibits!
More info click on: http://www.kaiyukan.com/language/eng
The aquarium is about a five-minute walk from Osakako Station on the Osaka Municipal Subway Chūō Line, and is next to the Tempozan Ferris Wheel.
I went here for more than twice because this is one of my favourite spot to take photo when I'm wearing a nice and beautiful yukata. It's famous with its bamboo grove and one of my favourite spot to take nice yukata photo was inside the Senryuji Temple 天龙寺. If you didn't come here which mean you didn't come to Kyoto before. So remember to bring your tripod stand or props with you so you could take a nice / beautiful photo inside this Bamboo Grove.
Favourite food to eat @Arashiyama
I can't make it here on my first time to Kyoto but during my third trip & Finally I'm here! As stated in the wikipedia, Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) is the head shrine of Inari and since early Japan, Inari was seen as the patron of business, and merchants and manufacturers have traditionally worshipped Inari. Each of the torii at Fushimi Inari Taisha is donated by a Japanese business. First and foremost, though, Inari is the god of rice. This is one of the top popular Shrine in Japan.
So make sure you are here when you are in Kyoto.
Sudden rain during my first visit T.T It's why I have wet and ugly hair but I'm glad that I'm able to make it here during my third visit to Kyoto without regret! Yay!
Walk down from Fushimi Inari Station and a 9 mins walking distance to Fushimi Inari Taisha / Shrine.
This is the place where I shoot my photo in collaboration with travel photography SweetEscape.com. It was one of the beautiful place that I visited in Kyoto. Lots of Japanese Wedding Shoot here and sometime you can easily bumped into couple wearing traditional Japanese kimono for their wedding shoot too. Remember to in the Yasaka Shrine and spot the diff between Yasaka Shrine with others. Also remember to walk around Gion and take as much photo as you can!!
First few cafe in Kyoto! Recommended by the Japan photographer. Also, did a little shoot at the cafe here.
Cafe Bibliotic @Kyoto . Their smoothies is the best smoothies ever!
How to Go?- Gion-Shijo Station & 4 mins walking distance.
I normally will go Arashiyama , Fushimi-Inari & Gion in Kyoto. If you prefer more choice why not plan your day visit to Kiyomizudera Temple 清水寺. Or other famous spot like Kinkakuji & Ginkakuji temple. If you are looking for my opinion I think I will prefer Kiyomizudera more because there are lots of food here and another good spot to wear your Yukata with your friends and take tons of photo here. Super beautiful at night!
Kinkakuji Temple is for the sight-seeing purpose and famous with its golden color temple. It's also known as the Golden Pavilion in english. It's one of the famous temple with its scenic garden view.
Thanks for your patient and finally it's all about my Osaka & Kyoto Itinerary. Would be glad if you could give me a <3 since it took me some time to edit and combine everything in one for all of you. Hope this is helpful and useful for your coming trip to Osaka & Kyoto. Really happy to see the good respond on my travel guide post. More to come and will continue explore the beautiful Japan.
Safe trip and share this link with your friends if you are planning your trip with them. Mark it down the place you want to visit in a paper and discuss with them face to face. That's all about my Osaka & Kyoto to-do / must go places post. Hope you love it and thanks for reading it. Love, xoxo.