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2 days in Kyoto - leaving from Osaka (Namba)

Montreal, Canada
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2 days in Kyoto - leaving from Osaka (Namba)

Hi. My husband and I will be coming to Japan for a few days, and will be staying in Osaka (Namba) the entire time. However, we want to visit Kyoto on two separate one-day trips. We've read the other questions\answers on this forum, but are not quite sure if our itinerary is optimal (we want to avoid running all over Kyoto to visit attractions, and try to combine those who are close to one another).

Here is our "must-see" Kyoto attractions:

- Arashiyama bamboo grave

- Kinkakuji

- Kiyomizudera

- Kyoto Imperial Palace (we already booked a guided tour at 2pm with the Imperial Agency)

- Gion

- Fushimi Inari (we've read it is possible to walk a good 2 hours and were planning on taking our time there)

How should we split our two days in Kyoto (we will have to come back to Osaka-Namba to sleep) so we can hit all those attractions and maximize our time (keeping in mind that we have booked an Imperial Palace's visit at 2pm on one of those two days)?

Also, if you can advise the best transportation way from Osaka (Namba) to these attractions, that would be very helpful (we've printed a lot of answers from other topics, but it still is kind of complicated for foreigners...)

Thanks! (We stayed with a friend in Tokyo for a few days last year and fell in love with Japan, so we decided to come back this year and can't wait for our trip, coming up at the end of the month!!)

Tokyo, Japan
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1. Re: 2 days in Kyoto - leaving from Osaka (Namba)

Group 1 Arashiyama, Kinkakuji

Group 2 Kiyomzu, Gion, Fushimi Inari

The imperial palace can be done on either day.

Hankyu for Group 1 http://www.hankyu.co.jp/en/economical.html

Keihan for Group 2 http://www.keihan.co.jp/en/

Montreal, Canada
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2. Re: 2 days in Kyoto - leaving from Osaka (Namba)

This is very helpful! Thank you so much.

Will it be best to use buses, taxis or subways between the attractions? We've heard traffic can be dense in Kyoto at times. (We aren't afraid to walk either!)

Also, should we avoid weekends and try to visit Kyoto on weekdays or that doesn't really matter?

Thanks! Will post an update after our trip in case it is useful to other Tripadvisor users.

Hong Kong, China
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for Hong Kong, Osaka
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3. Re: 2 days in Kyoto - leaving from Osaka (Namba)

Buses are slow for long trips across town so only use them for short hops. For longer trips, use trains and subways if possible, changing to buses at the last possible stop.

Kyoto weekends will be more crowded. Kyoto on weekdays is still crowded but not as bad. Sights like Kinkakuji and Kiyomizu-dera are always popular.

Cary
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4. Re: 2 days in Kyoto - leaving from Osaka (Namba)

Yes, Kyoto is considerably more crowded on the weekends... I agree with Sammy but I'd take it one step further and say go ahead and take a taxi instead of dealing with buses. You can take subway when it is convenient, but you have such a short time in Kyoto, not sure I'd spend any of it on buses!

In regards to Fushimi-Inari, yes, you can walk 2 hours or more, but not sure it makes sense to. After walking about 20 minutes (or maybe less) you will get a good feeling for the place. Would be smart to have another location in mind as a backup in case you decide you don't want to walk there for 2 hours. If you just want to walk, it might be more interesting to walk around Higashi-Yama after Kiyomizu-dera.

Montreal, Canada
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5. Re: 2 days in Kyoto - leaving from Osaka (Namba)

Thanks all for your insightful replies! It gives us a better idea of how to use our (too short!) time in Kyoto.

Should you have suggestions on "must-see" stops we haven't listed, feel free to share as well.

Last question: anything closed on Sundays in Japan?

Hong Kong, China
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for Hong Kong, Osaka
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6. Re: 2 days in Kyoto - leaving from Osaka (Namba)

Most attractions are open. Shops and restaurants are almost always open. The major exception are certain markets such as Tsukiji, Nishki, etc.

>>>Last question: anything closed on Sundays in Japan?

Cary
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7. Re: 2 days in Kyoto - leaving from Osaka (Namba)

What kind of shops are you interested in?

Montreal, Canada
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8. Re: 2 days in Kyoto - leaving from Osaka (Namba)

We do not intend to shop per say, just wondering if some attractions, sightseeing sites or restaurants were closed on Sundays (as it is sometimes the case in other parts of the world).

Cary
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9. Re: 2 days in Kyoto - leaving from Osaka (Namba)

It's probably more common for places to close on either mondays, tuesdays or wednesdays than sundays. Like Sammy said, in general, most places will be open on Sunday. I'm guessing it is the same in Canada as US where places close on Sunday traditional for religious reasons, but you won't have that in Japan (unless maybe you go down to kyushu where some christian settles were, IE Nagasaki). Along those lines, most places will open same time on Saturday and Sunday (instead of opening after noon or 1pm in USA).

Montreal, Canada
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10. Re: 2 days in Kyoto - leaving from Osaka (Namba)

Good to know! Thanks!

(And yes, indeed, in Canada, some stores open later on Sundays, and they even used to be closed for religious reasons when I was younger.)

I guess I verified this out of habit!

Looks like we will have a great trip. Thanks again for your advices.