KANSAI ITINERARY: Osaka – Nara – Mie, JAPAN

With its own unmistakable culture, landscape, and mythological history, it’s no surprise that Kansai, Japan’s most popular region, has long been a magnet of tourists. For first-timers in Japan, Osaka and Kyoto would easily be on top of the itinerary, but there’s more to Kansai than these charming cities and if you plan your itinerary well, you can include Nara and Mie in your itinerary.  I have visited Nara before and wrote a detailed guide HERE if you plan to explore it for 1 Day. But as I recently found out, 1 day is not enough for Nara. There’s so much to explore in this prefecture. Will write a separate, more detailed Nara spring itinerary, but in the meantime, let me share to you our  Kansai itinerary.

Recently, we traveled to Osaka – Nara – Mie  for spring, catching cherry blossoms, this trip might look tiresome as it involves transferring from one prefecture to the next, but if you want to maximize your trip to Japan since it’s quite hard to book  vacation leaves these days, it’s well worth it. I used a Kintetsu Rail Pass Plus for 5 Days, which saved me a lot of cash for this trip. Because when traveling in Japan, a large portion of your travel fund will be consumed by transportation cost – like long-distance train rides, so thankfully, there are passes especially created for foreign tourists.


ABOUT KANSAI

 Kansai is blissfully located in Honshu island in Japan, and is composed of 7 prefectures, including Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Mie, Shiga, Wakayama, and Hyogo.


WHAT PASS TO USE IN THIS JAPAN TRIP ITINERARY?


As mentioned above, I used a Kintetsu Rail Pass Plus for 5 Days. Unknown to many tourists, Kintetsu actually has a rail pass that is sold only to foreign tourists visiting Japan as temporary visitors. This pass will entitle holders to unlimited train rides on Kintetsu Lines and Iga-Tetsudo Lines, depending on the pass purchased. The Kintetsu Rail Pass is available in 4 varieties, offering a selection of durations and travel destinations.  The Kintetsu Rail Pass cover Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Mie, and Nagoya.

KINTETSU RAILL PASS PLUS
Here’s the 4 types of Kintetsu Rail Pass:

1.Kintetsu Rail Pass 1 Day

Destinations: Osaka, Nara, Kyoto

What’s covered:

Kintetsu Line – Osaka-Namba and Kintetsu-Nara, between Kyoto and Tsutsui,  between Nagata and Ikoma, and between Toriimae and Ikomasanjo

Nara Kotsu Bus  – Nara Park, Nishinokyo and Horyuji Temple areas

Special benefits offered by approximately 40 facilities

Price:

¥1,500 – ₱ 712 -($13,SGD 18,MYR 56) (adult)

¥750 – ₱356 ($7,SGD 9,MYR  28) (child)

Validity: Valid for date of use only

RESERVE HERE


KINTETSU TRAIN

2. Kintetsu Rail Pass 2 Day

Destinations: Osaka, Nara, Kyoto

What’s covered:

Kintetsu Line – All of Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto Prefectures

Nara Kotsu Bus – Nara Park, Nishinokyo, Horyuji Temple, Asuka, Muro, Yamanobe-no-Michi areas

Special benefits offered by approximately  40 facilities

Price:

¥ 2,500 –  ₱ 1,186 ($22,SGD 31, MYR 95)  (adult)

¥ 1,250 – ₱ 593 ($11,SGD 15, MYR 47) (child)

Validity: Valid for 2 consecutive days from the first date of use

RESERVE HERE


KINTETSU TRAIN - SHIMAKAZE

3.Kintetsu Rail Pass

Destinations: Osaka, Nara, Kyoto, Mie, Nagoya

What’s covered:

Kintetsu Line – entire line

Iga Tetsudo Line

Special benefits offered by approximately 70 facilities

Price:

¥ 3,600 –  ₱ 1,709 ($32,SGD 44, MYR 136)  (adult)

¥ 1,800 –  ₱ 854 ($16,SGD 22, MYR 68) (child)

Purchase price in Japan:

¥ 3,800 –  ₱ 1,804 ($35,SGD 47, MYR 143)  (adult)

¥ 1,900 –  ₱ 902 ($17,SGD 23, MYR 71) (child)

Validity: Valid for 5 consecutive days from the first date of use

RESERVE HERE


KANSAI TRIP

4.Kintetsu Rail Pass Plus

Destinations: Osaka, Nara, Kyoto, Mie, Nagoya

What’s covered:

Kintetsu Line – entire line

Iga Tetsudo Line, Nara Kotsu Bus, Mie Kotsu Bus, Toba City Kamome Bus

Special benefits offered by approximately 70 facilities

Price:

¥ 4,800 –  ₱ 2,278 ($43,SGD 59, MYR 181)  (adult)

¥ 2,400 –  ₱ 1,139 ($21,SGD 29, MYR 90) (child)

Purchase price in Japan:

¥ 5,000 –  ₱ 2,373 ($45,SGD 62, MYR 189)  (adult)

¥ 2,500 –  ₱ 1,186 ($23,SGD 31, MYR 94)  (child)

Validity: Valid for 5 consecutive days from the first date of use

 

IMPORTANT: If you will be riding a Kintetsu Limited Express, you still need to purchase a Limited Express ticket. All seats are reserved, so seating is guaranteed.

RESERVE HERE


WHERE TO PURCHASE KINTETSU PASS?


KINTETSU DEPARTMENT STORE
1.You can purchase at Kintetsu website.

2.You can purchase it at travel agencies and booking sites. RESERVE HERE

3.You can purchase at major Kintetsu station, Kansai International Airport, Chubu Centrair International Airport, or other authorised location. But take note that if you purchase in Japan, the price is slightly higher.


KANSAI TOP TOURIST ATTRACTIONS


KANSAI ITINERARY – DAY 1:OSAKA ATTRACTIONS


Hotel Location: Osaka (Sheraton Miyako Hotel Osaka)

Osaka Castle

To start off your Kansai adventure, you can explore the major spots in Osaka such as Osaka Castle. This gorgeous, age-old castle is draped by stone walls and moats, plus, the cherry blossoms during spring season along the river add more drama to it. The crowd here can be quite overwhelming, but you still can find some spots without photobombers if you’re patient enough to wait.

KANSAI ITINERARY - OSAKA CASTLE

The Osaka Castle was built in the late 16th century by Hideyoshi Toyotomi to become the new center of Japan under his rule, but only a year after the completion of the castle, he died. It was passed on to his son Toyotomi Hideyori who was only 5 years old at that time. Later on, Osaka Castle fell to the Tokugawa clan and was completely destroyed. But the new heir Tokugawa Hidetada ordered to rebuild the castle in 1620.  Unfortunately, lightning burned the castle main tower and the castle was once again devastated.  Its main tower made of steel-framed reinforced concrete structure was rebuilt again in 1931. In 1995, Osaka Government approved a restoration project of Osaka Castle, which was completed 2 years later, and its main tower was rightfully recognized as a Registered Tangible Cultural Property.

 Osaka Castle

Open Hours: Daily 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM except December 28 to January 1

Entrance Fee: ¥600 – ₱277 ($5, SGD 7, MYR 22)

Access: About 15-minute walk from Tanimachi 4-chome Subway Station Exit 9.

Train Fare: ¥230 – ₱106 ($2, SGD 3, MYR 8). (Kintetsu Rail Pass/Plus not applicable)

Travel time: 11-20 minutes depending on point of origin

Nearby Attractions: Nishinomaru Garden


KANSAI ITINERARY – DAY 2: NARA ATTRACTIONS


Hotel Location: Osaka (Sheraton Miyako Hotel Osaka)

Nara Park

Located at the foot of Mt. Wakakusa, Nara Park is one of oldest parks in Japan founded sometime in 1880. The Park is home to a thousands of free-roaming deer, which is the symbol of Nara City and classified as a Natural Treasure. The deer in Nara were once considered sacred and protected, they are believed to be messengers of the gods in Shinto religion.  Based on folklore, this started when Takemikazuchi-no-mikoto, one of the four gods of Kasuga Shrine, arrived on Mt.Mikasa, he was riding a white deer. Nara Park beckons tourists who come here to get up close with the deer and feed them.  Please do not feed them with paper or anything other than the deer crackers that you can purchase from vendors around the park for JPY 150.

nara deer park - kansai itinerary

If you wish to see the main attractions in Nara, this is a good place to start as the Nara National Museum, Todaiji Temple, Kasuga Taisha, and Kofukuji are all within walking distance.

Nara Park

Open Hours:Daily 24 hours

Entrance Fee: FREE

Access: 5-minute walk from Kintetsu Nara Station

Kintetsu Train Fare: (Local train) ¥560 – ₱258 ($5, SGD 7, MYR 21), (FREE with Kintetsu Rail Pass/Plus)

Travel time: Approximately 40 minutes from hotel

 

 Todaiji Temple

 

KANSAI ITINERARY - TODAIJI TEMPLE

 After exploring Nara Deer Park and getting up close with the playful deer,  if you’re going to pick one temple to enter in Nara, make it Todaiji Temple, one of the most venerated and the star of all temples in this old city.  The temple has a small lake fringed by trees, a perfect place to sit and relax if you’re tired from all the walking in Nara.  Also, during spring, the surroundings of the main hall is draped by cherry blossoms. While most of the surrounding attractions in Todaiji Temples are free, if you want to see one of the world’s largest bronze statue of the Buddha, known in Japanese as Daibutsu, you have to pay to enter the Daibutsuden (Great Buddha Hall), one of the largest wooden building in the world where it is enshrined. The sitting Buddha is 15 meters high and is guarded by two Bodhisattvas.  Before entering the temple, don’t miss the two-fierce looking Nio guardians standing by the gigantic Nandaimon gate.

 

Todai-ji Temple

Open Hours:

7:30 AM to 5:30 PM – April to September

8:00 AM to 4:30 PM – November to February

7:30 AM to 5:00 PM – October

8:00 AM to 5:00 PM – March

Entrance Fee: ¥600 – ₱277 ($5, SGD 7, MYR 22)

Access: About 10-minute walk from Nara Park

Yoshino

Yoshino, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is undeniably jaw-dropping, especially during spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.  Really, I have no words for it. In a span of 1 week, I visited it 3 times in an attempt to see its splendor because it was always raining in the afternoon, but despite its mood, it never failed to charm me.  After my 3rd attempt, the sky finally cleared and showed me its true beauty. Indeed, it is a place where humans and nature come together. I’m so touched by my visit here, seeing the splendor of nature, the temples scattered here, and how the Japanese took care of it and appreciate its sacred beauty.  It’s a must visit place when visiting Nara in spring and autumn, but be warned that since this is a mountain range, a hike is inevitable.  There’s a ropeway that visitors can ride, and a bus too, but it can only take you to the middle of the mountain range where you still need to walk to reach the temples or hike to some viewing decks to truly see the cherry blossoms blanketing the massif.  During my visit, I’ve seen families, elderly couples, solo travelers, and group of friends whether young or old, pause or stop to breathe and simply watch it’s the scenic views here.  It’s a place that welcomes everyone. I met old couples who don’t even take pictures, they just sit there and admire its beauty. I’ve often times walked in some paths alone, with the wind blowing in my face, and the towering trees and bamboos watching over me.  It’s as if I’m taking a pilgrimage myself, and I am  really grateful for the experience. It’s one of those comforting moments that I will always remember.

 

KANSAI TRIP - YOSHINO

Kii Mountain Range is actually a sacred site, a place believed to be the home of the gods.  It houses 3 sacred sites of Yoshino/Omine, Koyasan, Kumano Sanzan, and the pilgrimage routes connecting them.  The popular Yoshino is said to be the birthplace of the Shugendo religion, a unique ancient religion.  In the olden days, the Japanese respected nature and treated them as gods.  Shujenja pushes themselves into the ruggedness of nature, they pray, walk, train and refine their minds and hearts while trying to be in one with nature and Yoshino is the perfect training ground for them.

Today, Yoshino is not just a pilgrimage site, but a famed viewing spot for cherry blossoms in Nara, Japan.  The massif is dappled with over 30,000 cherry blossom trees and  it is believed that the first cherry blossoms was planted here over 1,300 years ago.

 Yoshino

KANSAI ITINERARY - YOSHINO

Open Hours: Most shops here closes at 5:00 PM

Entrance Fee: FREE

Access:

Via Regular train

  1. Take the Kintetsu-Nara Line towards Yamatosaidaiji Station.
  2. Transfer to Kashihara Line towards Kashiharajingumae Station
  3. Take the Kintetsu-Yoshino Line towards Yoshino Station.
  4. Alight at Yoshino Station.
  5. Hike the trail or ride the Yoshino Ropeway to Naka Sembon, the middle of the mountain where the most famous temples and shops are located.

Via Limited Express Train

  1. Take the Kintetsu Nara Line towadrs Yamatosaidaiji Station.
  2. Transfer to Kintetsu Limited Express Train towards Kashiharajingumae Station.
  3. Take the Kintetsu Limited Express Train to Yoshino.
  4. Get off at Yoshino Station.
  5. Hike the trail or ride the Yoshino Ropeway to Naka Sembon, the middle of the mountain where the most famous temples and shops are located.

 

YOSHINO MOUNTAIN

Kintetsu Train Fare:

(Regular Train) ¥850 – ₱392 ($8, SGD 10, MYR 31), (FREE with Kintetsu Rail Pass/Plus)

(Limited Express Train) ¥1,100 – ₱508 ($10, SGD 13, MYR 40) (Add ¥900 with Kintetsu Rail Plus/Plus)

 Travel Time: 

(Regular Train) Approximately 1 hour and 35 minutes.

(Limited Express Train) Approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes.

 


KANSAI ITINERARY – DAY 3: MIE


 

Hotel Location: Shima (Miyako Resort Shima Bayside Terraces)

Meoto Iwa (Married Couple Rocks)

This place is known for its scenic  two rocks, dubbed as “Married Couple Rock” off the shore of Futami in Mie,Japan and best viewed during sunset when the sun rises between them.  The famed rocks standing near Futami Okitami Shrine are joined by rope made of rice straw, called shimenawa in local language, are actually believed to sacred and is replaced many times in a year during a special ceremony.  In Shinto religion, the rocks embodies the marriage of the creator of Izanagim, Izanami, and kami. Some temples here are peppered with frog statues that are believed to be lucky charms to bring home things.

MEOTO IWA

For our trip to Meoto Iwa, I was glad to experience riding the Limited Express Shimakaze, this is the number 1 limited express train in Japan that most passengers want to experience.  Imagine it cost ¥1 million to make eact set.  Interestingly, there is a massage on seat. They also have an onboard service so passengers can have bento and tea time.  This is why the Limited Express Shimakaze fare costs ¥2,640 – ₱1,220 ($24, SGD 31, MYR 97) compared to the regular (Limited Express Train) for ¥970 – ₱448 ($4, SGD 11, MYR 35).  For more information, CLICK HERE

 

Open Hours: Daily 24 hours

Entrance Fee: FREE

Access:

1.From Osaka-Uehommachi Station take the Kintetsu Limited Express or the  Kintetsu Limited Express SHIMAKAZE Train towards Toba.

2.From Toba Station, take the CAN bus (Ise-Futami-Toba Circular Bus). Fare is ¥400 – ₱184 ($4,SGD 5, MYR 14)

3.Alight at Meotoiwa higashi-guchi stop.

4.Walk towards Meoto Iwa Rocks.

KINTETSU ITINERARY - ISE-SHIMA

Kintetsu Train Fare:

(Limited Express Train) ¥1,610 – ₱448 ($4, SGD 11, MYR 35)

(Limited Express SHIMAKAZE) ¥2,640 – ₱1,220 ($24, SGD 31, MYR 97)

 


KANSAI ITINERARY – DAY 4: MIE


Hotel Location: Osaka

Yokoyama Observatory

 This place in Ise, located in Mie Prefecture offers a scenic view of the cerulean Ago Bay peppered with several islands. The parking lot here is also peppered with cherry blossoms, and I heard that they also celebrate the Yokoyama Cherry Blossom Festival here.

YOKOHAMA OBSERVATORY

 

Travel Tip: If you haven’t heard of Ise before like me, Ise is a rather small town known for Japan’s most sacred Shinto Shrines believed to have been established in the 3rd century.  The most visited shrines here includes the Geku and Naiku, the Inner and Outer Shrines respectively.   Interestingly,  all the temples of Ise Jingu (Grand Shrines of Ise) are recreated every 20 years in accordance with Shinto traditions. From the Kintetsu Ise-shi Station, it’s a 10-minute walk to the Outer Shrine.

 

Yokoyama Observatory

Open Hours: 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Entrance Fee: FREE

Access:

  1. From Kashikojima, take the local train to Ugata Station.
  2. Grab a taxi to the observatory (10 minutes drive)

 

Kintetsu Train Fare: ¥230 – ₱106 ($2, SGD 3, MYR 9) (FREE with Kintetsu Rail Pass/Plus)

Travel time: Approximately 5 minutes

 

Nabano no Sato

NABANO NO SATO - MIE

Open Hours: 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM (until 10:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday during winter illumination)

Entrance Fee:

¥1600 – ₱723 ($15, SGD 19, MYR 60) – spring and autumn

¥1400 – ₱664 ($12, SGD 17, MYR 52) – for Kintetsu Rail Pass/Plus holder

 

¥1000 – ₱ 452 ($9,SGD 12, MYR 37) – summer

¥800 – ₱ 379 ($7,SGD 10, MYR 30) –  for Kintetsu Rail Pass/Plus holder

 

¥2300 – ₱1,091 ($20, SGD 28, MYR 87)  – winter illumination

¥1800 – ₱854.53 ($16, SGD 22, MYR 68)  for Kintetsu Rail Pass/Plus holder

*The Begonia Garden is charged separately.  ¥1,000 for adults, but you can apply the ¥1,000 gift certificate that comes with your entry ticket.  For Kintetsu Rail Pass Holder, entrance to Begonia Garden is FREE.

 

Access:

1.From Ugata Station take the Kintetsu Limited Express Train and head to Kuwana Station.

2.Transfer to local train.  Alight at Kintetsu-Nagashima Station.

3.Walk for about 1 minute to Kintetsunagashima Ekimae Bus Stop. Take the direct bus to Nabano no Sato, fare is ¥220 – ₱101 ($2, SGD 3, MYR 8) and transit time is about 10 minutes.

NABANO NO SATO

Kintetsu Train + Bus Fare:

Limited Express Train: ¥1,320 – ₱609 ($12, SGD 16, MYR 49)

(Additional payment is required for the Limited Express train with Kintetsu Rail Pass/Plus)

Mie Kotsu Bus: ¥220 – ₱101 ($2, SGD 3, MYR 8), (FREE for Kintetsu Pass holder)

BEGONIA GARDEN - NABANO NO SATO

Nabano no Sato in Nagashima, Kuwana City is best known for its Winter Illumination, Tulips Field and Begonia Garden.  The park is literally overflowing with flowers, their colors so trippy like they just came out of a Crayola box! Hailed as one of Japan’s most extravagant light display, Nabano no Sato made me teary-eyed.  This place is oozing with over 8 million LED lights illuminating in the flower park. Attractions here include the surreal light tunnel that is made to look like fall foliage, the animated light show, the observation deck and the tulip field

 


KANSAI ITINERARY (OSAKA-NARA-MIE)


KANSAI ITINERARY - KINTETSU
Here’s a suggested Kansai itinerary with sample budget if you want to maximize the Kintetsu Rail Pass Plus for 5 days.  I’ve indicated the regular fare for each train ride using regular train or limited express train so that you can compare and calculate how much you’ll save with the Kintetsu Rail Pass.

 

DAY 1 OSAKAREGULAR TRAIN/BUS FARELIMITED EXPRESS/BUS FAREKINTETSU PASS
Arrival at Kansai Airport Terminal 1
Kintetsu Limousine Bus to Osaka-Uehommachi¥1,550 (₱716)(N/A) ¥1,550 (₱716)¥1,550 (₱716)
Hotel  check-in
Walk to Osaka-Uehommachi Station
Take subway (Tanimachi Line) to Dainichi¥180 (₱83)N/A

¥180 (₱83)

¥180 (₱83)
Get off at Tanimachi 4-chome Subway Station Exit 9
Walk to Osaka Castle
Osaka Castle
Admission: ¥600 (₱277)
Walk to Tanimachi 4-chome Subway Station
ETD for Dotonbori¥180 (₱83)N/A

¥180 (₱83)

¥180 (₱83)
Take subway Tanimachi Line to Yaominami
Alight at Tanimachiyuchome Station
Transfer to Sen-nichimae Line to Nodahanshin
Alight at Namba Station
Walk to Dotonbori
Dotonbori
Dinner
Expenses: ¥1,000 (₱462)
From Osaka-Namba Station, take Kintetsu-Nara Line to Yamato-Saidaji¥150 (₱69)N/A

¥150 (₱69)

FREE
Alight at Osaka-Uehommachi Station
Back to hotel
Day 1 Expenses¥1,600 (₱739)¥2,060 (₱951)¥2,060 (₱951)¥1,910 (₱882)
 
 
DAY 2NARA
09:05 AMOsaka-Uehommachi Station to Kintetsu Nara Station¥560 (₱258)N/A

¥560 (₱258)

FREE
09:40 AMETA Kintetsu Nara Station
Walk to Nara Deer Park.
Admission: FREE
12:00 PMLunch at Edogawa Naramachi

¥4,200 (₱1,939)

01:00 PMTodaiji Temple
Admission: ¥600 (₱277)
02:00 PMETD for Yoshino¥850 (₱392)¥ 1,750(₱834)FREE + ¥900 (₱418) for Limited Express Train ticket
1.From Kintetsu Nara Station take Nara Line to Yamato-Saidaiji Station
02:05 PM2.Get off at Yamato-Saidaiji Station.
02:11 PM3.Transfer to Kintetsu Limited Express train or Kintetsu-Kasihara Line to Kashiharajingu-mae.
02:35 PM4.Alight at Kashiharajingu-mae Station.
02:47 PM5.Transfer to Kintetsu Limited Express or Kintetsu-Yoshino Line towards Yoshino.
03:26 PM6. Get off at Yoshino Station, the last stop.
7. Hike the trail or take the Yoshinoyama Ropeway to Naka Sembon (middle area).
Ropeway: ¥450 (₱208)
03:40 PMExplore Yoshino Mountain and temples.
06:34 PMETD for Osaka¥970 (₱448)¥1,480 (₱683)FREE + ¥510 (₱235) for Limited Express train ticket
Take the Kintetsu Limited Express Train (at platform 6) or the Kintetsu-Yoshino Line to Osaka-Abenobashi.
07:54 PMAlight at Osaka-Abenobashi Station.

 

08:00 PM

 

Dinner at Kintetsu Department Store
Expenses: ¥1000 (₱462)
Take the bus from Abenobashi Station to Uehonmachi¥100 (₱46)N/A

¥100 (₱46)

¥100 (₱46)
09:00 PMBack to hotel. Lights off.
DAY 2 Expenses¥3,780 (₱1,746)¥2,480 (₱1,152)¥3,890 (₱1,505)FREE + ¥1,610 (₱767) for Limited Express train ticket
DAY 3MIE
10:43AMETD Toba
From Osaka Uehommachi Station, take the Limited Express SHIMAKAZE towards Toba¥2,040(₱942)¥4,680 (₱2,231)Add ¥2,640 (₱1,219) for Limited Express train ticket
12:31 PMAlight at Toba Station
Walk to Toba Center Bus Stop.
Take Kamome Bus to Motoura Port.¥1,000 (₱462) One Day Ticket Unlimited Bus Rides on Kamome BusN/A

¥1,000 (₱462) One Day Ticket Unlimited Bus Rides on Kamome Bus

FREE
Get off at Motoura Port.
Lunch – Uramura Oysters at one of the eat-all-you-can stalls.
Expenses: ¥3,000 (₱1,386)
01:30 PMFrom Motoura Port Bus Stop, take the Kamome Bus to Toba Sea Folk Museum Bus Stop or Toba Sea Folk Museum East Bus Stop.Show 1 day ticketShow 1 day ticketFREE
Get off at Toba Sea Folk Museum Bus Stop or Toba Sea Folk Museum East Bus Stop.
Toba Sea Folk Museum
Admission: ¥800 (₱369)
02:30 PMFrom Toba Sea Folk Museum Bus Stop or Toba Sea Folk Museum East Bus Stop take Kamome Bus back to Toba Bus Center.Show 1 day ticketShow 1 day ticket
01:07 PMAt Toba Bus Center, take CAN bus to Meoto Iwa bus stop.¥400 (₱184)N/A

¥400 (₱184)

FREE
Alight at Meoto Iwa bus stop.
Walk to the Meoto Iwa Rocks.
Explore the Married Rocks and temples.
04:58 PMFrom Meotoiwa bus stop, ride the CAN bus to Toba Bus Center¥400 (₱184)N/A

¥400 (₱184)

FREE
Alight at Toba Bus Center.
Walk to Toba Station
05:10 PMFrom Toba Station, take Kintetsu-Shima Line to Kashikojima.¥470 (₱218)¥980(₱467)(FREE + ¥510(₱243) for Limited Express Train
05:39 PMAlight at Kashikojima Station
Take FREE resort shuttle bus
Hotel check-in
07:00 PMDinner at hotel
Expenses: Dinner included in hotel room rate
09:00 PMLights out.
Day 3 Expenses¥3,800 (₱1,765)¥4,310 (₱2,002)¥7,460 (₱3,562) Additional ¥3,150 (₱1,504)
DAY 4MIE
09:30 AMHotel check-out
10:15 AMETD for Yokoyama Observatory
From Kashikojima Station take the Kintetsu-Shima Line to Ise-Nagawa.¥230 (₱106)N/A

¥230 (₱106)

FREE
Alight at Ugata Station.
Yokoyama Observatory
Admission: FREE
12:35 PMFrom Ugata Station take the Kintetsu-Shima Line to Ise-Nakagawa.¥1,740 (₱803)¥3,060 (₱1,459)FREE + ¥ 1,310 (₱624) for Limited Express Train
02:40 PMAlight at Kuwana Station.
03:15 PMTransfer to train to Kintetsu Nagashima.FREE
Alight at Kintetsu Nagashima Station.
03:25 PMTake Bus to Nabano no Sato¥220 (₱101)N/A

¥220 (₱104)

FREE
03: 35 PMNabano no Sato
Admission: ¥2300 (₱1,068)

 

Late lunch at Nabana no Sato

Expenses: ¥1000 (₱462)

 

08:15 PMBus back to Kintetsu Nagashima Station.¥220 (₱101)N/A

¥220 (₱101)

FREE
08:24 PMTake train to Kuwana StationFREE
Transfer to Limited Express Train to Osaka-Tsuruhashi Station¥2,120 (₱979)¥3,730 (₱1,778)FREE + ¥1,610 (₱767) for Limited Express Train
10:51 PMAlight at Tsuruhashi Station
10:56 PMTake JR Osaka Kanjyo Line to Tennoji Station¥120 (₱55)N/A

¥120 (₱55)

¥120 (₱55)
Day 4 Expenses¥3,300 (₱1,532)¥4,650 (₱2,217)¥6,990 (₱3,332)Additional ¥3,040 (₱1,449)
 
TOTAL EXPENSES¥12,480 (₱5,761)¥13,500(₱6,436)

 

¥1,550 (Kintetsu Limousine Bus + ¥4,800 (Kintetsu Rail Pass Plus) Total ¥7,570 (₱3,609)savings!

¥20,400 (₱9,726)Additional ¥9,710 (₱4,629)

 

This expenses for Kintetsu Limousine Bus, and Kintetsu limited express train etc

 

Important: Sample trip expenses mentioned above doesn’t cover hotel, souvenirs and airfare. Rates are updated at the time of writing, but may change without prior notice.

As you can see from the above calculations that you’ll save a lot if you use the Kintetsu Rail Pass Plus if you follow the above itinerary.


WHERE TO STAY


You’ll never run out of place to stay in Kansai, it has a wealth of all types of accommodations.  But during my recent visit, here are the hotels we stayed at. They’re all conveniently located near the train or subway stations, and that’s one factor I consider when booking a hotel in Japan.

Sheraton Miyako Hotel Osaka

 

sheraton miyako hotel

Convenient location, hotel is just next to Osaka Uehommachi Statio, shopping area (Don Quijote) and restaurants.  What I like about it is that, there’s a direct Kansai Airport Limousine Bus just beside the hotel.  As for the room, it was pretty spacious and the bed is super comfortable, so I really had a pleasant sleep.  It is equipped with all the facilities you expect to find in a luxe hotel. There’s also an espresso machine. Staff are also helpful and attentive.  The breakfast at the Japanese restaurants was superb too.

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 Tennoji Miyako Hotel

TENOJI MIYAKO HOTEL
 Another hotel with a convenient location. Just beside a subway station and the train station is on the opposite side. It is walking distance to restaurants, Kintetsu Department store and convenience store.  It also has easy access to Kansai Airport as there’s a direct Kansai Airport Limousine Bus nearby.  The room has enough space for me to move around and the bed is pretty comfortable too.

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Miyako Resort Shima Bayside Terraces

SHERATON MIYAKO BAYSIDE TERRACES SHIMA

Hands down to this resort in Mie.  I had a pleasant stay here. The architecture – both the façade and interior of the hotel is really beautiful, as if you’re staying in a secluded resort with numerous on-site facilities to satisfy your every whim. It has a sauna, hot springs outdoor pool and fitness centre.  The breakfast is good too, I especially like their salad and how they crack the egg. My room has a direct, scenic view of the Argo Bay in the balcony, a pleasant place to sip your coffee or tea while admiring nature around you. Room is super spacious too, and price is very reasonable. Bed is super comfortable, so my sleep was pretty comfortable.

MIYAKO BAYSIDE TERRACES FOOD

The Japanese dinner course I had at the hotel was exceptional too, I like the way they prepared and served the meals.   Staff are super attentive and helpful. The hotel is also Instagram-worthy, we checked out some photo spots here.  They have a free shuttle bus to and from the train station, which is pretty convenient.

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WHERE TO EAT


Edogawa Naramachi

EDUGAWA NARAMACHI

One of the best places to eat Una Jyu (gilled eel over rice) and premium yamato beef sukiyaki in Nara. It’s slightly on a pricier side ¥4,200 (₱1,939)  for the premium Yamato beef sukiyaki meal, but the ambience and the delicious food met the price point. The sukiyaki meal already comes Una Jyu and Tempura. For a larger serving set there’s a sashimi included.  The restaurant building is about 150 years old already! The service was great too. So, if you want to try a traditional Japanese lunch when in Nara, this place is highly recommended. The queue can get quite long though during lunch, so better come early or maybe have your lunch after the usual dining time.

Edogawa Naramachi

Location: 43 Shimomikadocho, Nara 630-8365, Nara Prefecture

Contact #: +81 742-20-4400


KANSAI TRAVEL TIPS


KANSAI ITINERARY

Kansai is known for its delicious beef. When in Mie try the Matsuzaka beef, and when in Shiga try the Omi beef. And for Kobe (Hyogo prefecture), Kobe beef is famous.

Tipping is not common in Kansai as well as the rest of Japan.

Avoid making noise or taking calls while onboard the train.

If your hotel is in Osaka-Uehommachi Area, you can take the direct Kintetsu Airport Limousine Bus (Bus Stop 7) at  Kansai Airport.


DISCLOSURE: Our trip to Kansai was made possible by Kintetsu Railway.


 

ALSO READ:

OSAKA ITINERARY

NARA ITINERARY

KYOTO ITINERARY

NAGOYA ITINERARY

JAPAN VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR FILIPINOS


About the Blogger : Gael is a Filipina travel blogger. Her work has appeared in local and international publications.

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