Japan's Culinary delights
Japan, the land of the rising sun. Experience the most famous cities, the charming landscape, and the extraordinary culture of the island nation in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Japan is always worth a visit.
A train trip through Japan is the best alternative rental cars or buses. You can travel comfortably, and without difficulty, while also experiencing the country, people, and culture very closely. Enjoy our Japan itinerary from Tokyo to Osaka highlighting the best of Japan.
Price Range: $$$$$
Recommended Days: 10 – 14 Days
Riding Hours: Approx. 7 hrs
Distance: 504 km
Tokyo: Japan’s World Metropolis
Your Japan itinerary starts in Tokyo, the craziest capital of the world. Coming from the West, the lively tangle of crowds, countless neon light advertisements and incomprehensible characters at first seems completely chaotic, almost frightening. But then you realize: it’s very easy to find your way around- and by this time, Tokyo has already captivated you.
There are many places of interest, such as the most famous intersection in the world – Shibuya, the wonderful view from the Sky-Tree, or the Imperial Palace.
For an activity-based meal, head to Zauo where you are handed a fishing rod, bait, and fish for your own dinner, customers could catch anything from sharks to red snapper to mackerel.
Tokyo Station → Hakone-Yumoto Station | Duration: 1:40-1:50 h | Transfers: 0-1
There are two options, take a 1:20h long journey from Tokyo train station to Odawara and transfer to head to Hakone-Yumoto which is only 0:14h. Connections are often. Or another option is to take a direct train from Otemachi station (Tokyo) to Hakone-Yumoto taking a little under 2 hours.
Hakone: Time For Hot Springs
From Tokyo, you take the train to Hakone. The city in the mountains is best known for its thermal baths and breathtaking views of Mount Fuji.
The Hakone Ropeway is the name of the cable car that stops at Ōwakudani, a traditional and relaxing hot spring. The cable car continues up and on to provide great views of green mountains, valleys, and Lake Ashi. This lake is a crater lake with deep blue water and whilst on its shore, the eternally snow-covered peak of Mount Fuji emerges in the distance.
An alternative to a traditional thermal bath is a trip to the Yunessun Spa Resort where you’re able to bathe in coffee, sake, red wine, and ramen broth!
Hakone-Yumoto Station → Kyoto Station | Duration: 3:52 h | Transfers: 1
First take a short 0:15h journey to Odawara (these connections are every half hour), where you can transfer to fast Shinkansen train which brings you to Kyoto in 3 hours. From there you can take a subway to your accommodation in the city.
Kyoto: Experience Japanese Culture First-Hand
Kyoto is an absolute highlight on a trip to Japan. Culturally, Kyoto offers more than almost any other city. The former capital is located on the island Honshu and is known for its diverse temples, beautiful gardens, impressive imperial palaces, traditional wooden ryokan, and Shinto shrines.
Special traditions started here in Kyoto and are still lived today – like the Kaiseki meal, Japanese haute culture. Click here to know more about the importance of it.
Make sure to check out the Nishiki Market which is 700 years old and which serves up street food from over 100 stalls; and when you’re needing a break from the bustling city, visit the Sagano Bamboo Forest.
Kyoto Station → Osaka Station | Duration: 0:28 h | Transfers: 0
There is a direct short train ride that brings you from the heart of Kyoto to the center of Osaka in less than a half hour. There are connections every 20 minutes.
Osaka: Culinary Delights
This large port city is known for its economic hub of the country, the pulsating, dazzling nightlife, and – it is hard to believe – for its countless and varied snack stands.
Osaka is often called the “Nation’s Kitchen”. Here you’ll find culinary delights and Japanese “fast food” for every budget. It’s worth spending a night or two exploring the city. For the non-claustrophobic, there are countless stylish capsule hotels to stay in and of course normal hotels and hostels too.
An important landmark unworthy of missing is the Osaka castle in the center of the city, this may not appear as a traditional-looking castle; however, it’s still extremely impressive.
If you’re lucky enough to be in the city in March, the annual Sumo Spring Grand Tournament is held and is a perfect way to dive deeper into learning more about the age-old sport of sumo wrestling.
Osaka Station → Sannomiya Station (Kobe) | Duration: 0:19 h | Transfers: 0
A quick trip 19-minute trip on the train brings you to Kobe’s main train station, Sannomiya. These connections are every 10 minutes.
Kobe: Best Beef In The World
Kobe is located in the Japanese province of Hyogo and is world-famous for its steaks. Kobe beef is said to be the best steak in the world. Infused with the finest fat deposits in the muscle tissue, Kobe beef just melts on the tongue.
Of course, Kobe has more to offer. The Red Port Tower in the port of the city, the Kawasaki World Museum, Kobe’s western district, Kitano-Cho, are only a few sights worth seeing.
Take a trip to Nunobiki Waterfall with the Miharashi viewing platform and take the cable car to Mount Rokko, the highest mountain in the area.
If you would like to head back to Tokyo, you can take a direct train from Shin-Kobe to Toyko. It takes 2:41h and connections are often. You can take the subway in Kobe from your accommodation to Shin-Kobe station. There are also options to continue your trip and head to other places such as Hiroshima, Nagasaki, or Kumamoto.
*Disclaimer: Due to the fluidity of transportation schedules, the information seen on RailwayHero may not be up to date at the time of readíng. Always double-check with the operator for the latest information.