Top 5 Attractions in Osaka & Kyoto

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Top 5 Attractions in Osaka & Kyoto

If this is your first time travelling to Japan, getting around Osaka & Kyoto may seem a little challenging due to the complicated train routes. Lucky for you we’re here to help 😉

If you’re planning to visit Osaka & Kyoto, the fastest, cheapest, and most efficient way to travel between these two cities is by the JR West Rail Pass. Having that said, we can’t be more hyped-up about the latest addition of Keihan Railway and Kyoto City Subway to the Kansai Area Pass route!

Kansai Area Pass Train Route

Kansai Area Pass train route
Kansai Area Pass Train Route

Get the most out of your visit to Osaka and Kyoto with a complimentary 1-day pass for Kyoto City Subway and a 1-day pass for the Keihan Railway (Kyoto Sightseeing Pass) with each purchase of a Kansai Area Pass.

With the Kyoto City Subway ticket, you can ride on all subway lines in central Kyoto for a day. For travels within Osaka and Kyoto, the Keihan Railway Pass is a life-saver with convenient connections to JR, the Osaka City Subway, the Kyoto Municipal Subway and other lines!

Here are our picks for the top 5 sightseeing spots worth-visiting with the Kansai Area Pass.

1. Gion

Gion - Osaka & Kyoto
Photo courtesy of Sorasak

Just catching sight of Yasaka Pagoda at a distance from the streets of Gion is a postcard-perfect scene of traditional Kyoto. That’s why it’s also been dubbed the “Most Photogenic Landmark in Kyoto”. The Yasaka Pagoda is located in a historic district which is an amazing place to walk around and explore. You’ll be able to experience the Japanese culture among traditional old houses in the area.

2. Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle - Osaka & Kyoto
Photo courtesy Dean Cook

Osaka Castle is a striking historical attraction. It’s smack in the middle of the modern urban cityscape of high-rise buildings. It attracts more than 2.5 million visitors every year!

The castle is surrounded by gates, stone walls, and even moats! The Nishinomaru Garden is a lawn garden near the castle with 600 cherry trees, a tea house, and amazing views of the castle from below.

Osaka Castle park is one of Osaka’s most popular hanami (the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the beauty of flowers) spots during the cherry blossom season.

3. Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Photo courtesy Mai Hoang

With the Keihan Pass, you can get much closer to Kiyomizu-dera Temple, one of Kyoto’s must-see attractions. It’s only a 20-minute walk from Kiyomizu-Gojo Station along the Keihan Railway Line.

The temple has a wooden stage which is what it’s most famous for. It offers a panoramic view of Kyoto! Drink the sacred water filled with good karma at the Otowa no Taki waterfall and wish for a loving relationship at the Jishu Shrine.

4. Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine

Photo courtesy Adrien Bruneau

The Fushimi Inari Shrine is an important and iconic Shinto shrine in Kyoto. It is famous for its thousands of torii gates which trails lead into the sacred forest of Mount Inari.

The shrine is dedicated to Inari, the Shinto God of rice. There are also many fox statues around the shrine grounds as foxes are said to be Inari’s messengers.

If you have always wondered about the meaning of the writing on each torii gate, the left side refers to the name of the sponsor and the right side is the date it was donated. The nearest station to the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine attraction is Inari station. It is also covered by the Keihan Railway Line.

5. Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Photo courtesy Pablo Fierro

You’ve probably seen pictures of the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove when researching on where to go in Japan. It’s definitely one of the most photographed place in Kyoto. However, no photos can capture the feeling of standing and walking among the thick bamboo groves.

Take the train from Kyoto station and alight at Saga-Arashiyama station. From there, walk about 10 minutes and follow the signs to the picturesque bamboo forest.

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6. Universal Studios Japan (BONUS!)

Universal Studios Japan Osaka & Kyoto
Photo courtesy

Your trip to Osaka and Kyoto isn’t complete if you don’t visit Universal Studios Japan! Hop aboard the train from Osaka station and alight at Universal-City station to explore the park which is full of exciting adventures!

Universal Studios Admission Ticket prices:
Adult – RM 299
Child – RM 210

Universal Studios Express Pass 4 Attractions – RM 615
Universal Studios Express Pass 7 Attractions – RM 933

Would you believe if we told you that you can travel to all these attractions from only RM 82? You can now choose between consecutive 1, 2, 3, or 4 day passes to suit your travel itinerary. Here’s a comparison table of the Kansai Area Pass to help you decide:

Purchasing in JapanRM 93RM 186RM 224RM 263
Purchasing on Travel RecommendsRM 82RM 165RM 203RM 242
How much you SAVERM 11RM 21RM 21RM 21

Why Choose the JR West Pass?

1. 14 types of UNLIMITED Rail Passes to choose from!

2. Wide coverage on popular attractions 👍

3. This pass can be used for the Hello Kitty Shinkansen 🎀

4. FREE bicycle rental service “Ekirin-kun” 🚲

5. Save up to RM 300 with the BIGGEST YEAR END SALE promo!

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