Osaka Travel Journal

Earlier last year, we went to Japan to have a winter vacay. I was in Japan for one whole week trying to get the best of  Osakaand Tokyo so I can throw away all my lifetime savings in one time, lol!

Just an overview, Osaka is the second largest metro in Japan, next to Tokyo. It is located somewhere south in Kansai Region with Kansai International Airport as the main point of entry. If it’s your first time in Japan, I would suggest you go to Osaka, there are a lot of things to see and do in Osaka, and it’s also more affordable than staying in Tokyo.

Day 1

Our first day was basically spent walking around the city. Initially and as shown in the itinerary below, we were supposed to go to Osaka Castle. But because of jet lag, it didn’t happen. But it was okay, I still enjoyed roaming around Dotonbori area, Dotonbori is such a gem.

DAY 1
9:05 AM Departure from Cebu to Kansai
2:30 PM Arrival at Kansai Airport
3:30 PM Arrival at Namba / Check in at Osaka Anko Guest House
4:00 PM Visit Osaka Castle
7:00 PM Dinner at Dotonbori River
9:00 PM Back to the  Guest House

Day 2  Kyoto Day Tour

We kicked off our day with a day tour to the city once was the capital of Japan, Kyoto. Thanks to Klook, the tour went smoothly and hassle- free.

DAY 2
7:00 AM Breakfast
8:00 AM Meet Up for the Day Tour (c/o Klook)
9:00 AM Depart to Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
10:30 AM Bamboo Forest Tour
11:30 AM Lunch and Kyoto Sighseeing
1:30 PM Departure to Nara
3:30 PM Arrival at Nara Park
Visit Todaiji Temple
Feed the Nara deers
5:30 PM Departure back to Namba
6:00 PM Dinner and Shopping at Dotonbori
8:00 PM Back to the guest house

Day 3 Universal Studios

This was the milking place of our budget. Universal Studios took more than half of our Osaka vacation budget with the entrance fee + express pass. The express pass certainly did not disappoint, but it was more than our money’s worth. We did enjoyed the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey though, as well as the Spiderman show.

DAY 3
8:00 AM Breakfast
9:00 AM Departure to Universal Studios
10:00 AM Arrival at Universal Studios
5:00 PM Head back to the guest house
7:00 PM Dinner

DAY 4

And because we are lazy travelers, we were not able to wake up early, we missed our plane going to Tokyo at 6am we had to spend a huge chunk of money to ride the bullet train, the Shinkansen, to get to Tokyo. What a way to spend our hard earned savings, right?

The Shinkansen however is an experience itself and I didn’t regret wasting my 4 hours (roughly) just watching from the window of my train while drinking their house wine while on transit.

DAY 4
8:00 AM Breakfast
9:00 AM Check out and Departure to Shinkansen Station
10:00 AM Arrival at the Train Station to Tokyo

BUDGET HACKS

In a nutshell, we spent Php 25,000 per pax for our Osaka – Kyoto 4 day trip. In our case, Php 50,000 for both me and my husband. Food is a bit expensive. To save more, here are my tips:

In choosing an accommodation:  If you want your own room, not a dorm, book a tatami room, it’s a lot cheaper compared to rooms with regular beds.

Location. Also book a room near Dotonbori, you can find everything in this place – train station, restaurants, shopping for souvenirs, everything.

What to skip: Skip Universal Studios if you are not fond of amusement parks, it robs you a lot than you expect. Personally, I love the vibrant feels of themed parks, but I don’t do rides that make my head spin. So really, what’s it worth to spend your fortune if you don’t ride those roller coasters?

Express Pass. But if you really want to visit a themed park, purchase the express pass ahead of time (you can do it through Klook). You can save a lot more than purchasing them at the park.

Budget Meals. Eat at McDonalds or Subway, even Family Mart can be expensive. You can find a lot of these at Dotonbori area.

Noodles and soup come in huge serving if you travel in two, share one noodle instead.

Shopping. Also it’s cheaper shopping in Dotonbori than in Harajuku in Tokyo, you might want to buy your pasalubong here.

The second part of this trip was spent in Tokyo. Check out my blog next week on my Tokyo itinerary and get a glimpse of some winter wonderland awesomeness which was my first snow experience in my 34 years!

You may also check my Facebook account for moooore photos.

♥, JL Arnaiz

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