5 things to do in Osaka & Kyoto

Published December 3rd, 2015

When travelling to Japan, most people immediately think of Tokyo as the main destination and forget about Osaka and Kyoto. From Universal Studios to shrines, temples and bright city lights, there’s a heap to see and do.

Student Flights consultant Steph Dunn highlights five must do’s when visiting Osaka and Kyoto...

Check out the giant crab to the left! Image: Steph Dunn

1. Explore Dotonburi - Osaka

A busy street running along the Dotonburi canal, full of food stands, shops and restaurants, you could easily get lost in all the bright lights and crazy signs (crazy giant crab). Be sure to venture off into all the side alleys to find an endless supply of ramen and sake, a perfect combo!

So one of things to do in Arashiyama is have your photo taken on the train tracks. Image: Steph Dunn

2. Visit Arashiyama - Kyoto

The home of the picturesque bamboo groves is definitely worth a visit but be warned, there will be ALOT of tourists here, so make sure you arrive early to avoid the crowds. It’s only a short train ride out of Kyoto and you’ve got the choice of over 7 temples, a monkey park, bamboo groves and more.

A day in Hiroshima. Image: Steph Dunn

3. Take a day trip to Hiroshima

Hiroshima is a beautiful and clean city, usually filled with cute little Japanese school kids exploring the Peace Park. However a walk through the museum will give you a deeper insight into the history of World War Two, it’s a different experience, but one well worth your time. Hiroshima is about a two hour journey from either Osaka or Kyoto on the bullet train.

Delicious green tea icecream! Image: Steph Dunn

4. Eat weird food

There are more vending machines in Japan than there are bogans in Bali (slight exaggeration, but you get the point) and you can get most things like fizzy milk, canned bread, hot food and fresh fruit just to name a few! If you're less daring and want to play it safe, make sure you at least try some green tea ice cream.

Don't be late for the Bullet Train! Image: Steph Dunn

5. Catch a Bullet Train

If you’re heading onto or coming from Tokyo, the bullet train is the way to go. It’s covered under a Japan Rail Pass and you get to go on a freakin’ awesome train that goes over 300kmph, so why wouldn’t you?!

Steph Dunn

The best parts of travelling for me are experiencing a new culture, trying the local food and getting lost in an unfamiliar place. From city skylines to open fields I love exploring and getting those picture perfect shots.