Finally got my Japan visa and I cant wait to begin my 2010 trips starting off with Japan
I'll be there from Feb 23-28 and will be heading straight to Osaka. I would to ask for recommendations on how I can maximize my 6-day stay while staying on budget. Is it wise to use up all the 6 days in OSaka or also travel to nearby cities - Kyoto, etc. Is taking a guided tour necessary or will we be better off on our own?
Also, if you can give me tips on best places to eat and the weather in Feb. I've read that it's still cold by Feb. Cant wait to start packing my stuff
thanks in advance!
You should definitely go to nearby cities such as Kyoto and Nara. These ancient capitals of Japan having so many world heritage sites must not be missed. You dont need a guide for Kyoto, there is a public bus that stops on almost all the places of interest in Kyoto, same in Nara, and guides or tours in Japan can cost you a lot of money and usually catered for local (Japanese) tourists.
After you've seen Kyoto and Nara, I am afraid temples in Osaka cant compete. But there are still interesting places to see here. You can go to Osaka-jo (castle) or for cheap onsen (hot spring) experience you can try Spa World. But if you want a real Japanese onsen experience with eye catching and delectable onsen meal, you can head out to Arima onsen, pricey onsens but a great feel of traditional Japanese culture. An hour bus ride from Osaka to Arima (mountain).
And dont forget Osaka food. The best in the whole of Japan, i think! Ogonomiyake, Takoyaki, yakisoba and a lot more.
If you have more questions, PM me. Ill be happy to help.
In response to: Msg #100045
I found this forum while researching my upcoming Osaka trip. My husband, 2 boys and I will be there Feb 1-8. We are staying at the Universal Port Hotel from Feb1-4. Very much just enjoying USJ during that time. We are checking into RIHGA Royal in Osaka from Feb 4-8.
Our original plan was just to take in the sights in Osaka. After reading your piece on Kyoto and Nara we had a change of mind about just staying put in Osaka :-) excellent write-up!! You totally convince us aboout Kyoto and Nara!!! Little help about moving aroound with transportation plans if you can help. Kansai Pass?? or no need....
In response to: Msg #150771
Welcome to TravelBlog.
I'd second what Aries and Rinka said. As great as Osaka is, you'd be missing out on so much by not also going to Nara and Kyoto.
You could rent a bike from the train station at Kyoto, and get yourself to the tourist spots with no problems. Nara might also have cycle rental at the train station, but can't remember.
I wouldn't bother with a rail pass. Even though you can also use them on buses, they are better value when you are either taking a lot of trains in one day, or travelling long distance.
Here's the English site for the train timetable I used when I lived in Japan.
[Edited: 2012 Jan 23 00:04 - Jo Trouble:16935 ]
In response to: Msg #150771
I agree with Jo, you dont need a rail pass, unless you are really considering extensive train travel. But you wont get your money's worth if you onlyplan to travel to nearby cities of Kyoto and Nara. Enjoy Japan