11 days in Osaka, Nara & Kyoto Itinerary

11 days in Osaka, Nara & Kyoto Itinerary

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Route & dates

11 days in Osaka, Nara & Kyoto Itinerary

Start: Kuala Lumpur
Fly:  10​h 15​min
1
Osaka
— 2 nights
Drive:  30​min
2
Nara
— 1 night
Drive:  45​min
3
Kyoto
— 7 nights
train + Fly:  11​h
End: Kuala Lumpur

2
nights
Osaka

Osaka ©
Proud of their hometown's distinct culture and dialect, many natives of Osaka describe their city as "Japan's anti-capital." An antidote to Tokyo's hectic energy, Osaka marches to the beat of its own drum, serving as the country's longtime commercial and industrial hub.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Wed): admire the sheer force of Gyoja no Taki.

For ratings, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Osaka vacation planner.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Osaka is an approximately 10.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Osaka is 1 hour. Traveling from Kuala Lumpur in May, expect Osaka to be slightly colder, temps between 29°C and 18°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Nara.

Things to do in Osaka

Parks Nature

Side Trips

Kobe, Gyoja no Taki
Find places to stay May 8 — 10:
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Mt. Rokko ©
Mt. Rokko
Mt. Maya
Mt. Maya

1
night
Nara

Nara ©
The country's first established capital, Nara houses some of the most storied buildings and natural attractions in Japan, with eight World Heritage Sites in total.
On the 10th (Fri), pause for some photo ops at Todai-ji Temple, take an in-depth tour of Nara National Museum, walk around Nara Park, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Nigatsu-do Temple, then get engrossed in the history at Kofuku-ji Temple National Treasure Hall, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Toshodaiji Temple.

For where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Nara route maker website .

Nara is just a short distance from Osaka. Traveling from Osaka in May, plan for a bit warmer nights in Nara, with lows around 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 11th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Kyoto.

Things to do in Nara

Historic Sites Parks Museums

Side Trip

Kurozuka Kofun Museum
Find places to stay May 10 — 11:
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Nara Park ©
Nara Park
Todai-ji Temple ©
Todai-ji Temple
Toshodaiji Temple ©
Toshodaiji Temple

7
nights
Kyoto

Kyoto ©
The national capital for over a thousand years, Kyoto retains much of the charm of old Japan, boasting numerous temples and shrines that seem completely untouched by the modern world.
Escape the urban bustle at Omimaiko Beach and Kamogawa River. Kyoto Railway Museum and Mt. Kurama are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Venture out of the city with trips to Miho Museum (in Koka), Kanabiki Waterfall (in Miyazu) and Fukuchiyama (Fukuchiyama City Flood Control Memorial & Fukuchiyama City Zoo). There's lots more to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kinkaku-ji, look for all kinds of wild species at Yase Momiji no Komichi, take a memorable drive along Metasequoia Namiki, and don't miss a visit to Heian Shrine.

For other places to visit, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Kyoto attractions planning tool .

Drive from Nara to Kyoto in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of train and subway. Expect a bit cooler evenings in Kyoto when traveling from Nara in May, with lows around 17°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Kyoto

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Fukuchiyama, Takashima, Kanabiki Waterfall, Omimaiko Beach, Miho Museum
Find places to stay May 11 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Omimaiko Beach ©
Omimaiko Beach
Kinkaku-ji ©
Kinkaku-ji
Heian Shrine ©
Heian Shrine

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