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Day Tour... Kobe, Osaka or Kyoto?

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Southern California
posts: 18
reviews: 2
Day Tour... Kobe, Osaka or Kyoto?

We're disembarking in Kobe Cruise Terminal @ 8:00 am on March 31, 2014. Our flight leaves Osaka (KIX) @ 8:00pm the same day. Any suggestions on the best use of our day? We would like to see cherry blossoms. We are a group of 16 people with luggages and will consider a private tour if available. Thanks...

14 replies to this topic
London, United...
posts: 1,933
reviews: 432
1. Re: Day Tour... Kobe, Osaka or Kyoto?

For such a big group, probably it's easier to stay in Kobe. Osaka and Kyoto can be doable but with luggage, it is not so enjoyable.

Southern California
posts: 18
reviews: 2
2. Re: Day Tour... Kobe, Osaka or Kyoto?

Thanks for the response. I read that there's not a lot to see in Kobe. If we take the ferry to KIX airpor and check in our luggage or rent lockers at the train station, is it doable to do some sightseeing in Osaka or Kyoto?

Tokyo, Japan
posts: 13,952
reviews: 89
3. Re: Day Tour... Kobe, Osaka or Kyoto?

Kyoto is not really a day-out location, as it has a lot to see and it takes at least 1 hour + to get to from Kobe. It might be bit of a strategic error that you've decided to depart so soon.

I suppose you might take the JR Shinkaisoku Rapid train to Kyoto, keep the luggage at Kyoto Station, then briefly visit (without going to the top) Fushimi Inari (JR Nara Line), then Kiyomizu Temple (Keihan Line), and walk along the Ninenzaka/Sannenzaka slope to Kodaiji, Ishibe Koji Alley, into Gion's Hanami Koji and Shrikawa River area. You might still have time to visit Nishiki Market a bit north of Shijo Street.

Check the train details using Hyperdia search engine as well as Google Map. The main station of Kobe is Sannomiya (of Hyogo Prefecture).

If it's your first time in Japan, Kobe has quite a lot to see; Osaka is about 30 min+ from Kobe but you have the luggage issue. Kansai Airport is about an hour away from Osaka City in the south.

Edited: 9:09 pm, October 24, 2013
Tokyo, Japan
posts: 13,952
reviews: 89
4. Re: Day Tour... Kobe, Osaka or Kyoto?

Hyperdia: http://www.hyperdia.com/en/

JNTO Kyoto Walk Map (see Higashiyama Area): jnto.go.jp/eng/location/rtg/pdf/pg-503.pdf

Japan-Guide: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3959.html

Kyoto official tourism: http://www.kyoto.travel/

Haruka (Kyoto-KIX) scehdule: westjr.co.jp/global/…timetable_haruka.pdf

Kanazawa, Japan
posts: 3,923
reviews: 3
5. Re: Day Tour... Kobe, Osaka or Kyoto?

Id think getting a bus and guide would suit your needs and eliminate luggage hassle. Pick up at dock drop at airport. Please send me a private message if you'd like recommendations.

Southern California
posts: 18
reviews: 2
6. Re: Day Tour... Kobe, Osaka or Kyoto?

We really prefer Kyoto... it looks like this is doable. The itinerary you outlined and the links will help us a lot in our planning. Thank you so much.

Cairns, Australia
posts: 1
7. Re: Day Tour... Kobe, Osaka or Kyoto?

Hi Fish2

We would be interested in your opinion about what to see and getting a guide for the day.

We arrive in Kobe by sea on the Sun Princess on the 21st of April 2014 and have all day before flying out from KIX at 8pm. We only have carry-on luggage.

Thank you for your advice


Kanazawa, Japan
posts: 3,923
reviews: 3
8. Re: Day Tour... Kobe, Osaka or Kyoto?

You have a private message.

Cologne, Germany
posts: 17
reviews: 236
9. Re: Day Tour... Kobe, Osaka or Kyoto?

I will be in kobe for two days in october with a cruise ship. I would love to see kyoto and nara. can anyone recommend how to visit, is there a local sightseeing company offering trips?

Tokyo, Japan
posts: 13,952
reviews: 89
10. Re: Day Tour... Kobe, Osaka or Kyoto?

For Nara from Kobe:

1. Take the Port Liner new transport system or taxi to Kobe's main station, Sannomiya.

2. From Hanshin Railway's Sannomiya Station underground, take the Hanshin-Kintetsu direct Rapid train.

3. You'll reach Nara City's main station, Kintetsu Nara in about 90 minutes, direct through Osaka, without ever changing. About half of the trains go to Osaka's Umeda though, so if you take that train you'd be required to change to Osaka Namba and Kintetsu Nara bound train at Amagasaki.

4. Buying tickets isn't that complicated but ask people esp railway staffs around you if you need help. Technically, you can adjust the fares after arrival at Kintetsu Nara station.

5. If you can get a guidebook or browse Japan-Guide site, all the necessary information is there. Check also Nara City's official tourist information page and JNTO. All in English, of course.

For Kyoto from Kobe:

1. Get to JR Sannomiya Station in Kobe.

2. Take the JR Shinkaisoku Rapid direct to JR Kyoto Station.

3. Visit the specific sites in Kyoto, using a combination of metro/train and bus/taxi

4. Ask people around if you can't handle buying tickets, although it's not so complicated.

5. For specific places to see, browse the official Kyoto City tourism site as well as Japan-Guide site and JNTO. All the information you need as a tourist are already there in English.

6. You can take the Kintetsu train from Kyoto Station if you want to visit Nara City. It will take about 30 minutes on Ltd Exp (needs Ltd Exp ticket at 500 yen; about 50 min on Exp).

7. Both Kyoto and Nara are heavily visited by individual travelers with zero knowledge of Japanese language. Child's play really, if you just browse through basic information beforehand.

PS Cologne is a great place. I remeber very fondly of having the local beer in front of the fantastic cathedral. If a Japanese guy with zero knowledge of German could handle visits around Germany, I assume it won't be difficult at all for you to visit anywhere in Japan, provided that you do a bit of research.

Edited: 4:51 pm, February 26, 2014
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