Osaka (for Kyoto), Japan

For centuries, Osaka was Japan's cultural and commercial gateway to Asia - the point of entry both for trade goods and, most importantly, cultural influences that shaped Japanese society. From tea to Zen, from art to science and philosophy, Osaka was Japan's contact with the great East Asian cultures that flourished in China and Korea. The city reached its zenith in the late 16th century, when the great feudal lord Toyotomi Hideyoshi made Osaka his capital. Toyotomi was master of Japan, and an immense administrative and commercial center rapidly developed around Osaka Castle. After Toyotomi's death, the nation's seat of power shifted from Osaka to a sleepy little fishing village called Edo - modern Tokyo. While overshadowed by Tokyo, Osaka remains Japan's second largest city and a vital commercial center.

Modern Osaka is home to monuments from Japan's past including Toyotomi's immense castle and the Sumiyoshi Shrine. The city is also your gateway to Kyoto, Japan's ancient imperial capital and the nation's cultural and spiritual center.

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Points of Interest

  • Kiyomizu Temple
  • Kinkakuji: Golden Pavilion
  • Nijo Castle
  • Todai-Ji Temple
  • Osaka Castle
  • Fushimi-Inari Shrine
  • Ryoanji Temple
  • Shorenin

More about Osaka (for Kyoto), Japan Points of Interest

  • Kiyomizu Temple

    Founded in 778, the temple is one of the most celebrated in Japan and renowned for its great veranda, supported by hundreds of pillars, which sticks out over the hillside, looking over Kyoto.

  • Kinkakuji: Golden Pavilion

    Set in a magnificent strolling garden, the pavilion extends over a reflecting pond and the top two floors are completely covered in gleaming gold leaf.

  • Nijo Castle

    Built by Tokugawa's first shogun, the majestic 410-year-old castle is the site of two lavish palaces.

  • Todai-Ji Temple

    Dating back to 745, records show that more than 2,600,000 people helped build the world's largest wooden building and the world's largest bronze Buddha that rests inside the Great Hall.

  • Osaka Castle

    One of Japan's most famous castles, the grounds cover 400 acres and contain 5 structures. The Castle's garden is famous for its 600 cherry trees and the site of an annual cheer blossom festival.

  • Fushimi-Inari Shrine

    One of Kyoto's oldest and most revered Shinto shrines, it holds all of Japan's 40,000 shrines dedicated to Inari, the god of rice, sake and prosperity.

  • Ryoanji Temple

    Originally built as an aristocrat's villa and converted into a Zen temple in 1450, the temple is noted for its beautiful Zen rock garden, exquisite grounds, and teahouses.

  • Shorenin

    Also known as the Awata Palace, Kyoto's 800-year-old Buddhist temple offers a contemplative escape from the everyday. Enjoy a leisurely stroll around its gardens or admire the many charming sights tucked inside.

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Highlights of Osaka

4.5 hours | Osaka (for Kyoto) | O S A - 2 0 0
  • Osaka Castle

Discover two of Osaka's historical treasures. Visit Osaka Castle, set on 400 acres housing eight structures. Take in panoramic vistas from the castle's observation deck and peruse the onsite museum. Then, admire Sumiyoshi Shrine. Founded in the 3rd century, it's one of the oldest shrines in Japan and boasts a unique architectural style.

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Moderate Activity

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$79.95

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Kyoto On Your Own

8 hours | Osaka (for Kyoto) | O S A - 1 8 5

This full day on your own in Kyoto is the perfect choice for the independent-minded traveler! In an incredible opportunity to explore the sights of Kyoto on your own schedule, spend five hours seeing the city's historic temples and shrines, sampling its fantastic cuisine and even fitting in a little shopping!

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Shopping Opportunities, Moderate Activity

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$89.95

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Nara & Osaka Castle

9 hours | Osaka (for Kyoto) | O S A - 1 2 5
  • Todai-Ji Temple
  • Osaka Castle

Two of Japan's legendary cities, Nara and Osaka, unfold on a full-day motorcoach tour showcasing the best historic and scenic sites. See Todaiji Temple and Kasuga Taisha Shrine in Nara, then move on to Osaka's golden castle, followed by a visit to the bustling Dotonbori commercial district. Lunch is included.

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Moderate Activity, Includes meal

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$139.95

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Kyoto: Golden Pavilion, Ryoan-ji Temple & Bamboo Forest

9 hours | Osaka (for Kyoto) | O S A - 1 1 0
  • Kinkakuji: Golden Pavilion
  • Ryoanji Temple

Visit the celebrated temples and gardens of Japan's old imperial capital. The sights range from the enigmatic Zen rock garden at Ryoan-ji - to the 14th-century Kinkaku-ji - the Temple of the Golden Pavilion. Stroll past a bamboo grove to the Okochi Sanso.

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Strenuous Activity, Includes meal

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$159.95

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Easy Kyoto

7.5 hours | Osaka (for Kyoto) | O S A - 2 6 0
  • Kinkakuji: Golden Pavilion

Designed for passengers who prefer to see the sights with little or no walking involved. A leisurely, narrated drive through Osaka includes a stop to photograph the Golden Pavilion, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See some of Kyoto's famous shrines and temples, and shop at the Kyoto Handicraft Center.

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Shopping Opportunities, Easy Activity, Includes meal

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$159.95

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Kyoto: Fushimi-inari Taisha & Temples

9.5 hours | Osaka (for Kyoto) | O S A - 1 0 5
  • Kiyomizu Temple
  • Fushimi-Inari Shrine
  • Ryoanji Temple

Spend the day walking among some of the most revered temples and shrines in Kyoto. Experience the reverence of the Fushimi Inari Shrine, one of Kyoto's oldest and celebrated shrines. Revel in the tranquil sanctuary of the Ryoanji Temple. And drink in the mystical powers of the Kiyomizu Temple.

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Strenuous Activity, Includes meal

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$164.95

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日本語ガイド付き:金閣寺、二条城と平安神宮

9.5 hours | Osaka (for Kyoto) | O S A - 1 0 4
  • Kinkakuji: Golden Pavilion
  • Nijo Castle

Spend a day visiting some of Kyoto's most iconic and beautiful attractions. A few of the highlights include Nijo Castle, built for Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu; and exterior view of the Golden Pavilion. Visit the Heian Shrine; shopping at the Kyoto Handicraft Center. A western style lunch will be served at a local hotel.

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Shopping Opportunities, Moderate Activity, Includes meal

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$169.00

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Mt. Koya and Kongobuji Temple

9.5 hours | Osaka (for Kyoto) | O S A - 1 6 0

The secluded woods of Mount Koya, a mountain range in the south of Osaka, are home to a wide variety of monastic complexes. Experience the tranquil traditions of Japanese religious life as you explore a trio of the area's most celebrated temples. A traditional lunch completes this lovely day.

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Moderate Activity, Includes meal

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$169.95

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Kyoto: Golden Pavilion & Kiyomizu Temple & Nijo Castle

9.5 hours | Osaka (for Kyoto) | O S A - 1 1 5
  • Kinkakuji: Golden Pavilion
  • Kiyomizu Temple
  • Nijo Castle

The wonders of Kyoto are on display on this comprehensive tour that takes you to the top sites. Marvel at the golden splendor of Kinkakuji Temple and historic grounds of Nijo Castle, built in 1603. Stroll the lively Nishiki Market and enjoy the serenity of Kiyomizu Temple. Lunch is included.

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Moderate Activity, Includes meal

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$174.95

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Best of Kyoto

9.5 hours | Osaka (for Kyoto) | O S A - 1 0 0
  • Kinkakuji: Golden Pavilion
  • Nijo Castle

Marvel at some of Kyoto's most iconic attractions. Tour Nijo Castle and learn how its construction helped protect a shogun. Admire the glittering splendor of the Golden Pavilion. And visit the Heian Shrine, whose 82-foot-tall tori gates are one of the largest tori gates in Japan. Lunch and shopping add to the day's excitement.

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Shopping Opportunities, Moderate Activity, Includes meal

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$179.95

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Sky Walk & Shabu-Shabu Dinner

4 hours | Osaka (for Kyoto) | O S A - 8 6 0

Satisfy your thirst for excitement and your taste buds with an excursion that takes you high over the city with a visit to the "Floating Garden Observatory" at the top of stunning Umeda Sky Building. Then, come back down to earth for a memorable "shabu-shabu" meal at a local restaurant.

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Moderate Activity, Includes meal

From

$179.95

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Kyoto & Nara

10.5 hours | Osaka (for Kyoto) | O S A - 1 2 0
  • Kinkakuji: Golden Pavilion
  • Kiyomizu Temple
  • Todai-Ji Temple

Spend a day exploring historic and breathtaking temples and shrines. Start your day with a visit to the renowned Todai-Ji Temple. Then, marvel at the Golden Pavilion where the upper two stories are covered in pure gold leaf. Enjoy lunch before seeing the Kiyomizu.

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Shopping Opportunities, Strenuous Activity, Includes meal

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$189.95

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