17 FUN Things To Do In Tokyo At Night

17 FUN Things To Do In Tokyo At Night

Not sure what to do in Tokyo at night?

As the capital of Japan, Tokyo is a thriving metropolitan city that never sleeps. With an incredible range of things to do, there is never a dull moment at night in Tokyo. 

Here on our Tokyo blog post, we will talk about the 17 best things to do in Tokyo at night and why you should add them to your Tokyo itinerary!

Enjoy!

What To Do In Tokyo At Night: 17 Best Things To Do In Tokyo At Night

1. Visit Sensoji At Night, Tokyo’s Oldest Temple

Sensoji, otherwise known as Asakusa Kannon Temple, is the most famous Buddhist Temple in Tokyo. As the oldest temple in Tokyo, visiting the Sensoji Temple is a must on any Tokyo trip. But is it worth visiting it at night? Totally!

In the daytime, Sensoji is teeming with tourists and locals. Everywhere you go, you are overwhelmed by the noise and crowds, diminishing the sacred grounds of Sensoji.

The famous Nakamise Street with vendors lined up on both sides of the street is a maze of people. The only way you can get through is by repeatedly saying the word “Sumimasen (Excuse Me)” like a broken record.

However, Sensoji at night is a completely different universe. Though the vendors on the Nakamise Street the temple are closed, the temple grounds are opened at all hours. Both the gates that guard the temple and the famous 5-story pagoda are lit up, enchanting the place in a unique way.

The experience of walking through such a sacred place is calm and mediative, and honestly one of my favorite things to do in Tokyo at night alone. Sensoji at night is also one of the best places for photography in Tokyo!

If you are a lover of history and temples, make sure you give the city of Kyoto a visit!

2. Challenge Your Friends At One Of Akihabara’s Top Arcades!

One of my favorite Tokyo night activities is to visit the addicting arcades in Akihabara. Nicknamed the Electric Town of Japan, Akihabara is filled with electronic stores, otaku culture, and arcades as tall as skyscrapers!

If you are a big fan of arcades such as Dave and Buster’s make sure you give the arcades in Tokyo a go. The gaming machines in the Tokyo arcades are much more high-tech and complex than any other ones I have seen. Virtual-reality, jockey simulation, Taiko rhythm game, if there is a game you like, you will find it at the arcades in Akihabara.

Are you are traveling to Tokyo with friends or kids? Take them to the arcades for a fun night of competitive or cooperative gaming. Whichever one you choose, it is a great bonding experience!

If you want to test your luck and win a mega adorable Japanese plushie, there are plenty of crane machines to every arcade. However, like everything in Japan, extreme precision and patience are required to emerge victoriously. 

There are several SEGA arcade megastores in Akihabara. SEGA Building 3 needs to be your first stop in Akihabara.

3. Admire The Neon Lights At Akihabara, Shibuya, or Shinjuku

One of my free things to do in Tokyo at night is just to stroll around and admire the bedazzling neon lights. Part of the quintessential Tokyo experience, the neon lights are iconic symbols of a city that never sleeps.

These vertical catchy advertisements are plastered throughout the city of Tokyo, and many locals have already taken them for granted. For travelers, the neon signs are a top Japanese sightseeing spot on its own.

The 3 best places for seeing the neon lights are Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Akihabara.

In Shibuya, the best place to see neon lights is the area surrounding the “Shibuya Crossing”. In Shinjuku, the red-light district Kabuckicho is filled with these captivating neon signs!

In the Electric Town of Akihabara, you don’t find neon lights, they find you You won’t have any problems finding neon lights in Akihabara!

If you are traveling alone and would like some company, check out this night walking tour in Tokyo!

4. Visit The Hottest Attraction in Tokyo, Robot Restaurant

By: Caroline of CKtravels

There are several Shinjuku night-time activities worthy of your Yen but none more so than the weird and wonderful world of the famous Robot Restaurant.

Located in the entertainment district of Kabukicho just a 5-minute walk from Shinjuku station, this is a cabaret show like no other.

Your experience starts as soon as you arrive and enter the cocktail waiting lounge – the room is filled with so much color and glitter and the lounge music is provided by musicians who look like they’ve just walked off a Daft Punk video.

But nothing really prepares you for the ‘main act’, as you’re ushered into a darkened room and begin to watch a terrific techno cabaret unfold.

A cavalcade of dancers, dinosaurs, robots, ninjas and all manner of eclectic entertainers vie for your tension – neon madness ensues, like an overspill from Bladerunner. After visiting the Robot Restaurant in 2013, the legend Anthony Bourdain announced: “This is the greatest show I have seen in my life”.

The 90-minute show costs 8000 yen per person (you can pre-order a bento box meal at an additional cost). We recommend booking your tickets as far in advance as possible because the shows always sell out!

Find more about the Robot Restaurant tickets here!

5. Dine At The Uniquely-Themed Ninja Akasaka Restaurant

By: Paula of TrulyExpat

When people ask where to eat in Tokyo, I always recommend the ninja restaurant in Akasaka. (They recently opened one in Shinjuku as well)

Why may you ask? Doesn’t the name speak for itself? This fun restaurant is for all ages and don’t let the name fool you, the food here is just as amazing as the experience itself.

When you arrive, you are shown to your table by a ninja. Once you venture through the cave-like mazes and arrive at your ninja cave, then the fun begins.

As your ninja waiter brings each course that is ninja worthy, he also brings with it some light entertainment (this includes magic tricks). Each course is like a little magic show in itself, and each course is more delicious than the next.

You can choose from the set menu or order individual items. Every item is created into a piece of art, and you will be impressed by the precision of each dish. This restaurant is great for all ages, as we have been many times with all types of visitors.

Akasaka is easily accessible by train and is only a short walk from the station. The walk to the station won’t take you long, approximately 10 mins.

Remember to book in advance because the Ninja Akasaka Restaurant is always busy, every night of the week.

If you would like to learn more about the ninjas, check out this unique tour!

6. Late Night Shopping At Shibuya’s Don Quijote

If you are looking for a place to do some late night shopping in Tokyo, look no further. Don Quijote, sometimes referred to as DONKI, is the ultimate department store in Japan.

If you combined Target, Costco, Toys R Us, and a hint of naughtiness, and put them in the same building, you will have yourself a typical Don Quijote store.

Luckily for you, the popular district of Shibuya is the home to the biggest Don Quijote in Japan. A 7-story building with all various kinds of merchandise, visitors can spend hours (maybe even days) walking down the isles and discovering unique Japanese items.

I specifically loved the aisle for costumes. Though I visited in May, a month nowhere near Halloween, there were aisles dedicated to various costumes. Some of them were your typical ones such as a nurse or a ghost costume, but if you venture deeper into the aisle you will find strange costumes of a sumo wrestler, a Taoist (?), a Teletubby (?), and much more.

Honestly, the section is full of fun and laughter, the perfect place to bring your friends for some silly shenanigans. The Don Quijotes all operate 24/7, which means the only thing that is stopping you from shopping all night in Tokyo is… you yourself.

Another great thing about DONKI is its affordable prices. If you need a place to purchase some unique and cheap souvenirs in Tokyo, Don Quijote is the perfect place for you!

If you love shopping, you can’t miss the Shinsaibashi Shopping Street in Osaka!

7. Sing Your Heart Out At Japanese-Style Karaoke

Singing karaoke is one of the popular activities at night for Japanese locals. Why? Unlike the western counterpart were you have to stand in front of a group of strangers and public humiliate yourself, Japanese-style karaoke is much more private. Typically, you either rent out a single-person booth (yes, that’s a thing) or a room for a few to several people. 

Now if you don’t want strangers to be blessed by your amazing voice, you don’t have to!

Each of these private rooms comes with a television, a few microphones, and a songbook, where you will pick out the song you want to sing! It is easy, efficient, and one of the best ways to spend a few hours at night in Tokyo!

Many of these karaoke places also serve snacks and (alcoholic) drinks. It is no surprise why they are so popular. Instead of partying all night at a nightclub in Tokyo, many locals prefer to just sing karaoke with several friends! You will find that the majority of karaoke places are opened 24 hours. If your heart desires, you can spend all night at karaoke! Your voicebox might hate you the next day though. 🙂

Pasela Shinjuku or Rainbow Karaoke Shibuya are two great places for karaoke in Tokyo!

8. Relax In A Traditional Japanese Onsen or Sento (Public Bath)

Exploring Tokyo in the day can be a tiresome task. If you are not sure what to do in Tokyo at night, why not relax in one of Japan’s most iconic geological features? An onsen (natural hot spring).

As a volcanically active country, Japan has numerous onsens scattered throughout the country.

Many of these onsens used to be outdoors, but nowadays you will find many indoor facilities built around them. Though some onsens naturally appear near the ground level, many of these natural hot spring waters actually exist underground.

Drilling machinery was used to extract these natural hot spring water to build some of the best onsens in Tokyo!

For places where the mineral-rich hot spring water cannot be extracted, they have built sento (public baths) that model after the onsens. The facilities inside a sento are almost identical to that of an onsen, sometimes even better.

The only difference is that onsens use natural spring water from underground and sento make their own hot water.

The onsens and sento are gender-separated, as they expect the guests to be completely nude when bathing. This might seem strange from a western point-of-view, but it’s something completely normal in Japan.

Visitors with tattoos are forbidden to bathe in the onsen or sento, as Japanese locals equate tattoos to the Yakuza.

9. Check Out Harajuku’s Top Attraction: The Kawaii Monster Cafe

If I have to summarize the Kawaii Monster Cafe with 3 words, they would be: crazy, weird, and crazy. Oops, did I say crazy twice? It’s almost like I’ve gone crazy, as if I have just visited the Kawaii Monster Cafe!

Kawaii Monster Cafe is very similar to the famous Robot Restaurant, in the way that they both contain a ridiculous show full of sensory overload and absurdity. Many visitors compare the Kawaii Monster Cafe to the movie “Alice in the Wonderland”, but with some added psychedelics and 2-day sleep deprivation.

Though a maniacal experience, the artwork and decoration are very creative and inspirational. In any other part of the world, you wouldn’t see anything similar. Along with the decor, food and drinks are served here, though they are not anything worthy to mention.

Shows happened regularly throughout the day. As long as you are in the Kawaii Monster Cafe when the show happens, you can watch it. You don’t have to pay extra money to watch the show, though the cafe has a cover charge of 500 Yen.

There are events of certain nights, such as the burlesque performance on Thursday. If you are traveling Tokyo with kids, that might not be appropriate. Plan accordingly by referring to their website first!

Harajuku Kawaii Monster Cafe

Enjoy Tokyo Nightlife!

1. Go Bar-Hopping At Golden Gai

By: Sydney from A World in Reach

Golden Gai is one of Tokyo’s most famous nightlife spots and should be on any visitor’s Tokyo bucket list. Located in a corner of Kabukicho, the red-light district of Shinjuku, Golden Gai is a network of alleys full of tiny bars, clubs, and restaurants.

In the 1960s, Golden Gai was known as a prostitution hot spot; since then, the area has transformed into a nightlife hotspot for locals and tourists alike. To get to Golden Gai, take the subway to Shinjuku Station and leave from the east exit. From there, Golden Gai is just about a 10-minute walk away.

Golden Gai is made up of six alleys, each lined with several bars. Most of the bars are extremely small, some only seating a handful of people.

Many of the bars are themed – some of the Golden Gai bars have a unique theme, like a hospital, while others have more typical themes such as jazz or R&B.

Unfortunately, many of the bars only admit locals. It’s pretty easy to tell which bars are for locals only; a bar with a closed door is a good sign that foreigners won’t be allowed in. Many of the bars have cover charges and almost all are cash-only, so bring along plenty of yen for the night.

With its dimly lit lights and unique architecture, Golden Gai is one of the best places for photography in Japan. However, many of the bars do not permit photography – inside or out.

If someone asks you to stop taking photos or there are signs stating that photography is not permitted, make sure to follow the rules.

If you are traveling alone in Tokyo, you might want to consider this bar-hopping tour!

Golden-Gai-Shinjuk-Tokyo At Night

2. Find A Unique Nightlife Experience At Tokyo’s Gay Bars

By: Derek & Mike of Robe Trotting

Wherever I’m traveling, I like to check out the gay bars. Whether I’m alone or with my partner, it’s always neat to see how the gay bars and community are in other countries. I had heard that Japanese gay bars were unique and that’s what I experienced in Tokyo.

In Tokyo, the Shinjuku Ni-chome district is the home of the gay bars.

I was told before my visit there that Tokyo’s gay bars were tiny compared to what I was used to in the United States. This was true once I explored them and I noticed it right away. Most of the bars I stopped into had only 10-15 people. It was an interesting experience to share a drink in such a cozy environment.

Another thing I noticed is that the gay scene in Tokyo is extra-specific and tailored to a niche crowd. The gay culture in Tokyo was also closed off and not very welcoming to foreigners. Still, there were plenty of fun bars to explore that I was recommended as foreigner-friendly.

The two that would suit any tourist were Dragon Men and the club Arty Farty. Both gay bars cater to an international crowd and I was surprised and happy at how diverse they were. I met great people who were locals and travelers from all over Asia and the West.

My night out in Tokyo’s gay district was a lot of fun and the city is a perfect destination for gay travel.

3. Dance The Night Away At One Of The Hottest Tokyo Nightclubs At Roppongi

Anyone in Tokyo knows that if you want to go to the best nightclubs in Tokyo, you either go to the posh neighborhood of Roppongi or the mega-club AGEHA at Koto City.

If you are lucky enough to be in Tokyo when there is an event in AGEHA, try to go by all means. It is the ultimate nightlife experience in Tokyo. If you go, just be prepared to party until sunrise because it is located in the Tokyo Bay area and most trains stop running past midnight.

They do have a shuttle bus that departs every hour or so back to the center, but an hour is a long wait!

If you don’t feel like venturing into the outskirts of Tokyo and prefer to stay inside the center of Tokyo, Roppongi has some of the most top-notch foreigner-friendly Tokyo nightclubs. These nightclubs usually have a good mixture of foreigners and friendly Japanese locals.

Nishiazabu A-Life and 1OAK are two reputable clubs in Roppongi worth checking out! If you are traveling solo in Tokyo and want to go out, this pub crawl of Tokyo is highly recommended!

4. Eat Yakitori And Drink Sake At The Famous Piss Alley

While the name Piss Alley isn’t exactly enticing, the food and drinks served here are. Piss Alley, also known as Memor Lane, Yakitori Alley, or Omoide Yokocho, earned its name during a time when that area was lacking in toilets.

Nowadays, the area is one of the best places in Tokyo for delicious street food and affordable drinks. As the name suggests, the Piss Alley isn’t really a fancy place. Compared to the fancy places in Roppongi, the restaurants and bars in Omoide Yokocho are much more relaxed and casual.

One of the most famous dishes in the Piss Alley is Yakitori, a type of traditional Japanese skewered chicken. Pair that with some Japanese booze and you have a recipe for a great night in Tokyo!

Though the alley is very narrow, it preserves some of the old traditional aspects of Japanese architecture. Even if you don’t intend on eating or drinking at Piss Alley, come take a walk and marvel at the buildings that stood the test of time.

If you are a lover of Japanese street food (honestly, who isn’t), check out this amazing food tour!

See Tokyo Night View!

1. Free Tokyo Skyline View at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

By: Wendy Werneth of The Nomadic Vegan

This government building offers the best free view of the Tokyo skyline at night. The building comprises two different towers, both of which have viewing decks, but only the north tower stays open late, until 11 pm.

You’ll find the viewing deck on the 45th floor. In addition to being free, another advantage of this view over the views at Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree is that you can actually see both those monuments from here.

Since this is a government building, you’ll have to go through security and have your bag searched. On your way out, stop in at the tourist information center on the second floor to get information to help you plan your trip.

You might also want to come back during the day to have lunch at the cafeteria on the 32nd floor. It’s mostly frequented by government workers, but they also have an English menu and even allergen labeling, helpful for those with allergies but also for vegetarian and vegan travelers in Japan.

The easiest way to get here is to take the Oedo Subway Line and get off at Tocho-mae Station, which is actually located in the basement of the building. Or, if arriving at JR Shinjuku Station, take the west exit and walk for about 10 minutes.

2. Tokyo Tower

By: Clemens of Travellers Archive

If anyone counted all the lights that light up Tokyo at night, this person would still be counting. Japan’s capital is truly magical at night and the best way to get a glimpse of this magic is by visiting the Tokyo Tower at night.

The Tokyo Tower is 332.6 meters high and has one viewing platform at 150 meters and a second one at 250 meters. When standing right in front of the tower, you might recognize similarities to another, quite a famous tower.

Yes, you’re right. The Tokyo Tower has been built in 1958 and is basically the Japanese copy of the Eiffeltower in Paris. The main difference? Definitely the bright color of the Tokyo Tower, which is a fundamental part of the city’s skyline.

Also, the Tokyo Tower is the symbol of Tokyo’s reincarnation after the Second World War.

The Tokyo Tower is located at the Shiba park in Tokyo’s district Minato. Simply take the Toei Mita line to Onarimon and follow the ten-minute-walk.

Fun fact: The Tokyo Tower has been the city’s largest tower until the year 2012, when the 634-meter tall Tokyo Skytree opened.

Reserve your Tokyo Tower admission ticket here!

Tokyo-Tower-At-Night

3. Shibuya Sky Observatory

By: Alyse of The Invisible Tourist

As one of Tokyo’s newest attractions, a visit to Shibuya Sky Observatory is one of the more amazing things to do in Tokyo at night.

Towering over the famous Shibuya “Scramble” Crossing at 47 stories high, Shibuya Sky is one of the best viewpoints in Tokyo to gauge the enormity of Japan’s bustling capital from above. It’s currently one of Tokyo’s hidden gems because it’s hiding in plain sight and yet to be discovered by the masses!

Visiting at night is a special experience because you’re able to see the entire city illuminated by its vibrant lights, something that’s missing during the day. As the rooftop offers 360° panoramic views, the soft glow of Tokyo reflecting off the clouds can be seen all the way to the horizon. 

In addition to the open-air rooftop viewing platform, there is also the Sky Gallery, an indoor viewing area on the 46th floor if vertigo gets the best of you. Keep your eyes peeled for popular landmarks such as the Tokyo Tower, SkyTree, and the NTT Docomo Yoyogi Building in Shinjuku piercing the night sky.

Shibuya Sky is located atop the new Shibuya Scramble Square skyscraper at Shibuya Station. Entry costs 2000 JPY plus 100 JPY to store your belongings in a locker whilst you’re on the rooftop. Enjoy your visit to Shibuya Sky!

4. See Tokyo From Above On A Helicopter!

By: Anne of Pretraveller

A great option to see Tokyo at night that you may not have considered is to take an evening helicopter flight over the city!  It is a great option to fly around the city and see all of the major attractions from a very different perspective.

The 15-minute night-time helicopter flight takes a circuit from the Tokyo Disneyland Resort area over Odaiba, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Asakusa before returning to home base.

We had a lovely clear night for this experience and it was great to see the views both close up and far, and to take in the vastness of Greater Tokyo region and its population of around 40 million people.

You will need to book ahead to ensure you get on a flight, we booked this experience through Klook and the process went smoothly.

Note that weather can impact your ability to do this experience so plan to book earlier during your visit to Tokyo so you have backup date options in the event that your flight needs to be rescheduled.

Getting to the Urayasu Helipad is very easy, you can catch the JR Keiyo Line to Maihama Station which is a 20-minute train ride from Tokyo Station.  Maihama Station is also the entry station to the Tokyo Disney Resort area so it is well serviced by public transport.  The helicopter provider provides a free shuttle bus service from and to Maihama Station.

Where To Stay In Tokyo, Japan

Best Hostel in Tokyo- UNPLAN Shinjuku

UNPLAN Shinjuku is located in the Shinjuku neighborhood, one of the best places to stay in Tokyo for nightlife. Many incredible places such as the Golden Gai and the Kabukicho neighborhood are located within walking distance.

The hostel features capsule-style beds, cozy common areas, and a smartphone for every guest to help navigate the city! 

Click here for more details!

Best Cheap Hotel in Tokyo- Onsen Ryoken Yuen Shinjuku

Though not as well-located as other options (15 -minute walk from Shinjuku Station), Onsen Ryokan Yuen Shinjuku makes up for it with its stunning amenities. The hotel features gender-separated rooftop hot springs for guests that want to relax at night. They also offer traditional Ryokan rooms!

Click here for more details!

Best Luxury Hotel in Tokyo- Shibuya Stream Excel Hotel Tokyu

King of the luxury hotels in Tokyo, the Shibuya Stream Excel Hotel is the place you want to be if you want an unforgettable experience. Elegantly designed with trendy vibes, this high-end hotel is your home away from home. Come here and experience all the rave about Japanese hospitality!

Click here for more details!

Like this post? Don’t forget to save it on Pinterest! 🙂

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This is the end of our guide for things to do at night in Tokyo! We hope this has at least given you a rough idea of the available night activities in Tokyo! 

Any questions? Leave a comment!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

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9 BEST Hostels In Osaka, Japan For Every Type of Traveler!

9 BEST Hostels In Osaka, Japan For Every Type of Traveler!

Are you looking for the best hostels in Osaka?

Selecting the perfect hostel is no easy task. There are so many things to consider: sociability, cleanliness, security, the list goes on and on.

With so many stunning hostels in Osaka, how do you pick your perfect accommodation?

We are here to help. As hostel enthusiasts ourselves, we have used our experience to outline the 9 best hostels based on different desirability.

Enjoy!

Want a Quick Tip On The Best Hostels in Osaka, Japan?

1. Hostel Mitsuwaya Osaka – Best Overall Hostel In Osaka

2. J-Hoppers Osaka Guesthouse – Best Party Hostel In Osaka

3. Ark Hostel – Best Backpacker/ Youth Hostel In Osaka

4. Khaosan World Tennoji – Best Cheap Hostel In Osaka

5. Cabin & Capsule Hotel J-Ship Osaka Namba – Best Capsule Hostel In Osaka

6. IMANO OSAKA SHINSAIBASHI – Best Hostel For Digital Nomads In Osaka

7. nine hours Shin Osaka Station – Best Hostel Near Shin Osaka Station

8. Drop Inn Osaka – Best Hostel Near Osaka Station

9. Osaka Hana Hostel – Honorable Mention Hostel In Osaka

Hostel

description

price

BEST OVERALL HOSTEL IN OSAKA

Hostel Mitsuwaya Osaka

FEATURES: Affordable, Beautiful Common Area For Socializing, Meticulously Clean, Friendly Staff

BEST PARTY HOSTEL IN OSAKA

J-Hoppers Osaka Guesthouse

FEATURES: Weekly Events, Convenient Location, Friendly Vibes, Easy to Make Friends 

BEST BACKPACKER/ YOUTH HOSTEL IN OSAKA

ARK Hostel

FEATURES: Good Location Next To Train Station, Knowledgable Staff, Spacious and Comfortable Beds, Great Atmosphere

BEST CHEAP HOSTEL IN OSAKA

Khaosan World Tennoji

FEATURES: Cheap, Located Next To Train Station, Heated Footbath, Cool Japanese Lounge, Great Value-For-Money

BEST CAPSULE HOSTEL IN OSAKA

Cabin & Capsule Hotel J-Ship Osaka Namba

FEATURES: Very Private Capsule Beds, Indoor Public Bath, Good And Clean Facilities

BEST HOSTEL FOR DIGITAL NOMADS IN OSAKA

IMANO OSAKA SHINSAIBASHI

FEATURES: Amazing WiFi, Great Cafe Attached, Central Location, Delicious Breakfast

BEST HOSTEL NEAR SHIN OSAKA STATION

nine hours Shin Osaka Station

FEATURES: Great Location near Shin Osaka Station, Good Privacy From Capsule Beds, Nice Amenities, Quiet

BEST HOSTEL NEAR OSAKA STATION

Drop Inn Osaka

FEATURES: Convenient Location, Quiet, Spacious And Comfortable Beds, Simple Breakfast Included, Great Common Lounge

HONORABLE MENTION HOSTEL IN OSAKA

Osaka Hana Hostel

FEATURES: Reputable Hostel, Friendly Staff, Homey Ambience, Centrally Located, Sake Bar Attached

DESCRIPTION

BEST OVERALL HOSTEL IN OSAKA

Hostel Mitsuwaya Osaka

FEATURES: Affordable, Beautiful Common Area For Socializing, Meticulously Clean, Friendly Staff

BEST PARTY HOSTEL IN OSAKA

J-Hoppers Osaka Guesthouse

FEATURES: Good Location Next To Train Station, Knowledgable Staff, Spacious and Comfortable Beds, Great Atmosphere

BEST BACKPACKER/ YOUTH HOSTEL IN OSAKA

ARK HOSTEL

FEATURES: Good Location Next To Train Station, Knowledgable Staff, Spacious and Comfortable Beds, Great Atmosphere

BEST CHEAP HOSTEL IN OSAKA

Khaosan World Tennoji

FEATURES: Cheap, Located Next To Train Station, Heated Footbath, Cool Japanese Lounge, Great Value-For-Money

BEST CAPSULE HOSTEL IN OSAKA

Cabin & Capsule Hotel J-Ship Osaka Namba

FEATURES: Very Private Capsule Beds, Indoor Public Bath, Good And Clean Facilities

BEST HOSTEL FOR DIGITAL NOMADS IN OSAKA

IMANO OSAKA SHINSAIBASHI

FEATURES: Amazing WiFi, Great Cafe Attached, Central Location, Delicious Breakfast

BEST HOSTEL NEAR SHIN OSAKA STATION

nine hours Shin Osaka Station

FEATURES: Great Location near Shin Osaka Station, Good Privacy From Capsule Beds, Nice Amenities, Quiet

BEST HOSTEL NEAR OSAKA STATION

Drop Inn Osaka

FEATURES: Convenient Location, Quiet, Spacious And Comfortable Beds, Simple Breakfast Included, Great Common Lounge

HONORABLE MENTION HOSTEL IN OSAKA

Osaka Hana Hostel

FEATURES: Reputable Hostel, Friendly Staff, Homey Ambience, Centrally Located, Sake Bar Attached

1. Hostel Mitsuwaya Osaka

Best Overall Hostel In Osaka

The winner of the overall best hostel in Osaka is Hostel Mitsuwaya Osaka. This hostel has pretty much everything a traveler might be looking for when staying in a hostel: Comfort, cleanliness, security, friendly atmosphere, and helpful staff.

The wooden minimalistic decor creates a cozy atmosphere, especially in the common lounge area. It is much easier to meet someone when the ambiance is so relaxed. The staff goes out of their way to get to know you as a person and gives you guidance on exploring Osaka.

When you are not resting in your private capsule-style bed, you can get some sun on their beautiful rooftop.

This is the hostel that you will remember ten years after your stay. You will make friends that you will have your entire life. You will share stories and laughter like you have never done before.

It is no wonder why Mitsuwaya Osaka is considered one of the best hostels in Osaka.

Price: $$

Rating: 9.3 

2. J-Hoppers Osaka Guesthouse

Best Party Hostel In Osaka

Party hostels in Osaka aren’t the same as party hostels as other places such as Bali, Budapest, or Cancun. You won’t find crazy party hostels where music is blasting, booze everywhere, and people puking in the toilet. Party hostels in Osaka are more like social hostels where guests are keener to go out and enjoy Osaka’s nightlife.

J-Hoppers Osaka Guesthouse is considerably the most social and party hostel in Osaka. Their famous Izakaya (Japanese bar) party is hosted weekly by the friendly hostel staff. It engages the guests and helps foster a social environment to meet other travelers and locals!

Besides the weekly events and the social vibes, the hostel itself is very clean and comfortable. The hostel is located close to the Fukushima station, giving you easy access to the reliable public transportation of Osaka. 

The area around the hostel is filled with bars, restaurants, and convenience stores. However, it never gets too noisy so you can unquestionably get some rest if you desire!

Price: $$

Rating: 8.9

3. Ark Hostel

Best Backpacker/ Youth Hostel In Osaka

If you are a backpacker traveling solo in Japan, then you must consider staying at a youth hostel in Osaka. Youth hostels are a great place to meet other solo travelers and make new friends!

Technically speaking, all hostels have the ability to help you make new friends, but a backpacker hostel helps facilitate that. ARK hostel is a perfect example of that.

ARK hostel features weekly activities where participants can meet other travelers. The cozy common lounge area helps facilitate social interactions between guests. The rooftop is the perfect place to relax, have a beer, and chat with other guests after a long day. Everything in this hostel is about having an environment and opportunities to socialize.

However, unlike party hostels, a backpacker hostel allows you to chill if you want. Each bed has its own curtain so if you can just shut everything out and relax after a tiresome day.

Make sure you read this if it’s your first time in a backpacker hostel!

Price: $$

Rating: 8.7

4. Khaosan World Tennoji

Best Cheap Hostel In Osaka

Traveling in Japan is not cheap, a short Japan trip can easily set you back a few thousand dollars. Though accommodations in Osaka tend to be expensive, there are some cheap hostels in Osaka.

My favorite cheap hostel in Osaka is Khaosan World Tennoji. Located next to the Tennoji Station, the Khaosan World is far enough to give you the peace and quiet, but close enough to the main attractions of Osaka.

The traditional Japanese decor of the hostel makes the experience so much more authentic. Rather than feeling like a cold accommodation, it feels like you have stepped into a time machine and enter an old traditional Japanese house. The free heated footbath in this cheap Osaka hostel is the perfect way to wind down after sightseeing in Osaka.

Did I mention the free breakfast in the morning?

For the affordable price you are paying, Khaosan World Tennoji hostel cannot be more perfect.

Price: $

Rating: 8.7

5. Cabin & Capsule Hotel J-Ship Osaka Namba

Best Capsule Hostel In Osaka

If you are looking to experience the trendy capsule-style hostels that have become so popular in the world, don’t overlook Cabin & Capsule Hotel J-Ship. They are the perfect accommodation in Osaka for travelers that prefer a little bit more privacy and space.

Once you enter your pod and shut down the curtains, it’s like you have entered your own little spaceship. Your own light switch, your own plugs, your own fan, and your own space! The facilities are super clean and the decor is very modern.

One of the most outstanding features of Cabin & Capsule Hotel J-Ship Osaka Namba is the public bathhouse. For anyone unfamiliar with them, they are similar to onsens (natural hot springs) but instead of natural water coming from the ground, its water from the building.

Think of it like a series of hot tubs!

The public bath is the perfect place to relax after spending a day exploring Osaka.

If you aren’t convinced yet, Cabin & Capsule Hotel J-Ship is located in one of the best places to stay in Osaka. Namba is a transportation hub and the neighborhood is filled with restaurants and grocery stores.

Price: $

Rating: 9.1

6. IMANO OSAKA SHINSAIBASHI

Best Hostel For Digital Nomads In Osaka

If you are a digital nomad or need to rely on fast WiFi to work while you are traveling, then IMANO Osaka Shinsaibashi is perfect for you. Featuring comfortable dormitory rooms and spacious private rooms, IMANO surely has something for your needs.

The hostel’s cafe/bar is the perfect place to work during the day. When the night comes, you can explore the surrounding area of the hostel, Shinsaibashi. Shinsaibashi is filled with trendy bars, amazing Osaka nightlife, and it is close to the famous Dotonbori.

Work hard in the day, party hard at night! 🙂

IMANO is the ideal hostel for digital nomads in Osaka.

Price: $-$$

Rating: 9.0

7. nine hours Shin Osaka Station

Best Hostel Near Shin Osaka Station

One of the biggest advantages of staying near the Shin Osaka is the accessibility to the bullet trains (shinkansen) of Japan. This modern technology allows travelers to cover a large distance in a short time of time, making seemingly impossible thing s such as taking a day trip to Hiroshima from Osaka doable.

However, the Shin Osaka station is far away from the main attractions of Osaka, so there are sacrifices to be made if you choose to stay in a hostel near Shin Osaka.

Nine hours Shin Osaka station is one of the most recognized capsule-style hostel chains in Japan. They are known to be meticulously clean, great for travelers on a business trip, and perfect for guests that enjoy privacy and tranquility.

One thing to be aware of when staying at nine hours Shin Osaka Station is that you need to “check out” every morning and check back in after 1 PM. This is to help the staff with cleaning the rooms and capsules! 

Price: $$-$$$

Rating: 8.9

8. Drop Inn Hostel

Best Hostel Near Osaka Station

If you want to stay in a hostel near Osaka Station so you can take a day trip to Nara, spend a day in Kyoto, or just for general accessibility of the Kansai region, then consider Drop Inn Hostel. Conveniently located less than a 10-minute walk away from the biggest and busiest station in western Japan, Drop Inn Hostel is in an area filled with great restaurants and shops.

Besides the convenient neighborhood, the hostel itself is stellar. A cozy common area that can be sociable with the right crowd, private and spacious beds, and a simple but delicious breakfast, Drop Inn Hostel has everything a traveler would need.

I highly recommend Drop Inn Hostel for anyone that needs to stay close to Osaka Station but wants a comfortable and social hostel.

Price: $$

Rating: 8.8

9. Osaka Hana Hostel

Honorable Mention Hostel In Osaka

The honorable mention hostel is a hostel that can be a hit or miss. When I stayed there, it was a miss. As a solo traveler in Japan, I wanted to meet other fellow travelers. However, there were no solo travelers but only families when I was there.

Their cozy lounge is the perfect place to have a cup of tea and chat with other fellow travelers, if there are any. On the ground floor of the hostel is a sake bar that has the potential to create an amazing social atmosphere. The cleanliness, staff, security, and amenities of the hostel are fantastic.

Another big plus of staying at the Osaka Hana hostel is the location. Located in the Shinsaibashi neighborhood, you are in the middle of the best sights of Osaka. If you can’t meet any travelers in the hostel, at least you can entertain yourself with the surrounding neighborhood.

Price: $$

Rating: 8.9 

Picking the perfect hostel in Osaka is no easy task. I hope this post has at least given you insights into which hostel suits you best!

Any question? Leave a comment!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

7 Best 5 Star Hotels in Osaka: Travel Luxuriously In Japan!

7 Best 5 Star Hotels in Osaka: Travel Luxuriously In Japan!

Are you looking for a 5-star hotel in Osaka?

With so many internationally-recognized brands, it is difficult to choose the perfect accommodation for your luxurious Osaka trip.

That is why we have created a short and simple post on the best five-star hotels in Osaka.

Enjoy!

Want A Quick Tip On The BEST Luxury Hotel In Osaka?

Conrad Osaka is probably the most luxurious hotel in Osaka. If you don’t have much time to choose an accommodation in Osaka, you cannot go wrong with Conrad Osaka.

Featuring stylish modern decor, huge spacious rooms, and other top-notch facilities, a stay at Conrad Osaka is a dream come true. After a day exploring in Osaka, come home to a relaxing heated indoor pool or the spa and wellness facilities. Guests that like to stay fit while traveling can use their fully-equipped gym.

For dining options, the hotel features a wide range of cuisines, from European to American or Asian. Each of their dishes is prepared with preciseness and will surely send your taste buds in heaven.

Though not located in the main tourist areas of Osaka, the train station is only a 5-minute walk away. That way you can rest in peace and still be close enough to the action!

Price: $$$$$+

Rating: 9.4

Click here for more details!

TOP 5 Star Hotels in Osaka, Japan

Swissotel Nankai Osaka is one of the most affordable luxury hotels in Osaka. Besides the gorgeous decor, the high-end hotel features a state-of-the-art fitness center, a swimming pool, and a relaxing sauna. Their Tavola restaurant resides on the 36th floor and offers stunning views of Osaka at night.

Not a big fan of their restaurant? The location of this luxury hotel in Namba presents guests with plenty of dining and sightseeing options nearby. If you are traveling via the Kansai International Airport, the Nankai Line is in front of your door!

Price: $

Rating: 8.8

Click here for more details!

If you are looking for a mid-range luxury hotel with an amazing view, then consider Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel. This international-recognized hotel sits near the top of Abeno Harukas, the tallest building at 300 meters above the ground.

The rooms are featured with huge windows to take advantage of the stunning views from above. Wake up every morning and say “Good Morning Osaka” and it won’t be strange because all of Osaka will be in front of your eyes.

The buffet breakfast offered at their international dining services is some of the best food you can find in Osaka.

The location cannot be more perfect as it is right next to Tennoji Station, a hub for connecting to all parts of Osaka and perfect for taking a day trip to Nara. The lower floors of Abeno Harukas contain a department store and many shopping options. However, that does mean it can get crowded.

Price: $$$

Rating: 9.3

Check the price here!

Imperial Hotel is one of the most relaxing Osaka luxury hotels. Located away from the crowd and next to the Okawa River, the Imperial Hotel is the perfect place to stay if you want a quiet vacation. Okawa River is also one of the prime spots to watch cherry blossoms in Tokyo!

Though a beautiful area to stay, the Imperial Hotel is located far from the popular tourist attractions in Osaka. Therefore, this affordable luxury hotel is more suited for business trips and families.

If you can afford the long commutes (30 minutes on the train to Dotonbori), then you will find this Osaka 5-star hotel an amazing place to stay.

Their interior decor is sophisticated, the views from the spacious rooms are breath-taking, and the service is some of the best in Osaka.

The accommodation contains three restaurants serving various types of cuisine: French, Japanese, and Chinese.

Price: $-$$

Rating: 9.1

Click here for more information!

Any list of the best Osaka 5 star hotels would not be complete without the reputable Ritz-Carlton Osaka hotel.

Known for its classic-European style decor, staying at the Ritz-Carlton Osaka is a unique experience on its own. Though some guests might prefer a more modern look, the timeless design of the Ritz-Carlton is mysterious and classy. Guests have to dress smart casual at all times.

The hotel features 5 dining options, with one of them a famous Michelin-starred French restaurant. Guests staying at the Club rooms also have access to the luxurious and jaw-dropping Club Lounge, where views of the city will mesmerize you.

For those that wish to dine outside of the hotel, the area around Ritz-Carlton is filled with amazing restaurants. The Osaka train station is within a few-minute walk, giving you easy access to the whole city. For those planning on doing a day trip to Hiroshima, the Shin Osaka shinkansen (bullet train) station is only a 3-minute train ride away.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel is located in one of the best areas to stay in Osaka.

If you want a classic 5-star Ritz-Carlton experience, you cannot miss this luxury hotel in Osaka. However, this is probably the most expensive hotel in all of Osaka.

Price: $$$$$+

Rating: 9.2

Check the recent price here!

A 5-minute walk from the Osaka train station is another one of Osaka’s best five-star hotels: InterContinental Hotel Osaka. An internationally-recognized hospitality company, this 5-star hotel in Osaka offers an elegant and luxurious experience at a mid/high-range price.

However, the cost is well-justified. When you are not out exploring the city, relax in their indoor swimming pool or have a massage. Start your day off with a delicious breakfast at their elegant restaurant.

The InterContinental Hotel Osaka is the perfect hotel if you are looking for luxury but don’t want to pay too much. Its convenient location allows to you get around Osaka easily as well.

Price: $$$

Rating: 9.2

Click here for more info!

St. Regis Osaka is one of the most conveniently located five star hotels in Osaka. Located a 15-minute walk away from Dotonburi and a few minutes from the train station, sightseeing in Osaka cannot be easier. The area where St. Regis is located is filled with shopping streets and restaurants, but I hardly doubt you will be eating there. 

St. Regis Osaka boasts an onsite French and Italian restaurant, as well as a bar and lounge for guests to hang out. When you are not too busy enjoying some of the best food in Osaka, feel free to stroll through the rooftop Japanese garden. The zen garden offers stunning views of Osaka and is the perfect place to chill out after a long day.

Each room is accompanied by your own private butler, which will help you with planning your stay in Osaka. From securing tickets to arranging transportation, your wish is your butler’s command.

Though it has a well-equipped fitness room, St. Regis lacks a swimming pool or a spa and sauna. However, it does make up for it in its chic decor and sleek interior design.

Price: $$$-$$$$

Rating: 9.0

Click here for more information!

Want More Luxury Hotels in Osaka?

Did not find a five star hotel in Osaka that you like? Worry not. There are a few more 5 star hotels in Osaka, Japan. 

Those are our personal favorites but here are the additional Osaka five star hotels you might fancy!

With so many Osaka five star hotels, picking the perfect one is no easy task. We hope our 5 star luxury hotels in Osaka guide has helped you out! 

Any question? Leave a comment!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

Osaka-Castle-2
The PERFECT 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: The Best of Japan

The PERFECT 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary: The Best of Japan

Are you planning a Tokyo trip?

Tokyo is one of the most expensive cities in the world. It would be silly to visit Tokyo without a detailed plan.

We have created the most detailed 5-day Tokyo itinerary for anyone looking for a step-by-step plan to explore this wonderful city. Not only will this maximize your time, but it will also save you money.

Without further ado, here is our Tokyo blog post!

Is 5 Days In Tokyo Enough?

Is 5 days in Tokyo enough?

If you are planning an action-packed Japan itinerary, that is one of the questions you must have.

The short answer is… YES!

Five days in Tokyo is more than enough to see the main attractions in Tokyo. The public transportation is incredibly reliable (especially if you have the JR Pass), the trains are always on time, and the best things to do in Tokyo are concentrated in the center.

In fact, our Tokyo 5 day itinerary will take you to some off-the-beaten-path activities in Tokyo, as well as a day trip to Hakone, one of the best onsen (natural hot springs) towns in Japan.

Though there are various Tokyo itineraries, I recommend not spending more than 5 days in Tokyo.

Our Tokyo Itinerary Map: What To Do In Tokyo For 5 Days

Above is an interactive map our 5 days Tokyo itinerary will follow. It outlines every attraction in chronological order from Day 1 all the way to Day 5. If you have a question about what to do in Tokyo in 5 days, you will most likely find the answer above.

To see the individual attractions, there is a toggle on the upper-left corner. Click on it and you will see all the details of our Tokyo sample itinerary.

I have grouped the attractions in Tokyo by the area so you don’t have to travel extensively on any of the five days. This way you can maximize your time in the dense capital of Japan. 

Is This Your First Time In Japan?

If this is your first time in Japan, there are a lot of things that are going to shock you, worry you, weird you out, or a combination of all 3. If you are coming from the Western Hemisphere, chances are you will see a lot of things that you have never seen before.

That is okay. That is what traveling is for.

I ask you to keep an open mind on your Japan vacation, as you will encounter some quirky attractions our 5 days itinerary in Tokyo. Remember this is a suggested Tokyo itinerary, you are free to not follow any of our recommendations.

Last but not least, Japan’s cultural values are very different from the western counterparts. There are many things that are considered disrespectful in Japanese culture. As tourists, we should be aware of these cultural differences and make sure we respect them.

Also, the convenience stores of Japan such as 7-11, Lawsons, and Family Mart are great places for a quick breakfast!

Find out more about the cultural differences here.

Tokyo In 5 Days: The PERFECT 5-Day Tokyo Itinerary

Day 1: Meiji Jingu Shrine, Yoyogi Park, Harajuku, Kawaii Monster Cafe, Shibuya

Morning

Our 5-day Tokyo itinerary starts off at one of the most iconic shrines in Japan, the Meiji Jingu Shrine. A shrine dedicated to the first Emperor of Modern Japan, this historic architecture is the perfect introduction to Japanese culture and history.

Though there are many ways to get to the Meiji Shrine, the easiest is to take the JR Yamanote Line to Harajuku Station. From Harajuku Station, walk through the peaceful Yoyogi park to reach Meiji Shrine.

The start of the Shinto shrine is marked by a large wooden torii gate, which is used to indicate the entrance to sacred grounds. 

As you approach the shrine and its main buildings, you should participate in a ritual called Chozu (cleansing yourself) before entering. It is a quick but specific self-administered procedure that involves using water dippers to wash your hands!

Once you enter Meiji Jingu Shrine, walk around and explore the historic buildings. The Shrine itself is free to enter but the inner garden and Meiji Jingu Museum cost 500 yen and 1000 yen, respectively.

When you are done exploring Meiji Shrine, wander around Yoyogi Park. Yoyogi Park is one of the biggest parks in the metropolitan city of Tokyo, similar to the Central Park of New York City.

If you are in Tokyo during cherry blossom season (usually around late March to early April), Yoyogi Park is a decent spot for cherry blossom viewing. Meguro River is much better for seeing sakura (cherry blossom) in Tokyo.

Afternoon

After you are done exploring Yoyogi Park, head back to Harajuku. It is time to explore Harajuku and it’s “kawaii” culture. As you walk down the populated streets of Harajuku, especially Takeshita Street, you will notice the unique fashion and cosplay culture. Harajuku is considered the center of youth culture and fashion.

If you haven’t eaten lunch yet, I suggest you grab lunch in Harajuku. A few blocks away from Takeshita Street is Omotesando Street, a street filled with restaurants and shops. 

 Inside the trendy neighborhood of Harajuku is one cafe that will sum it all up: Kawaii Monster Cafe. From the name itself, you can tell that this is no ordinary cafe.

It is difficult to explain what the Kawaii Monster Cafe is… think of the film “Alice in the Wonderland”, then add crazy colorful interior decoration, girls with quirky costumes, and a lot of psychedelics. If you are an Instagrammer, Kawaii Monster Cafe is one of the most Instagram-worthy places in Tokyo. 

Harajuku Kawaii Monster Cafe

I am not going to spoil any more details about the Kawaii Monster Cafe as it is an unworldly experience that must be experienced in person. No words can come close to the trip I had. They do serve food and drinks but the aesthetics of them are definitely better than the taste. I recommend eating before coming and just getting a drink or a dessert!

There are also several performances per day so make sure you don’t miss those when you visit Kawaii Monster Cafe.

Evening

Once you are done losing your mind at the Kawaii Monster Cafe, you will make your way to Shibuya and Shibuya Crossing, arguable the most famous attraction in Tokyo.

Shibuya Crossing is famous for the number of pedestrians that cross the street at the same time! Made of  7 crossroads where the light turns red simultaneously, you will see pedestrians pour onto the street like a Black Friday Sale in the United States.

Shibuya Crossing has been featured in numerous films such as “Lost In Translation” and “The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift”. 

To get to Shibuya Crossing, take the train to Shibuya Station, one of the busiest train stations in the world. Once you exit the station you will either see waves of people crossing or walls of people waiting to cross. Either way, you can’t miss it.

Before you take on the scramble, make a short stop at Hachiko Memorial Statue. With so many people in Tokyo, it is sometimes difficult to meet your friends. That is where the Hachiko Statue comes in. The statue is the most popular meeting point in all of Tokyo.

The Akita dog earned his statue by waiting for his owner every day after his daily commute from work. One day the owner suffered a fatal cerebral hemorrhage and never showed up. This did not deter Hachiko though, as he continued to wait every day at the same location for the next 9 years.

Though it is cool to experience the Sibuya “Scramble” itself, it is completely mesmerizing to watch it from above. The best place to view Shibuya Crossing is the Starbucks in Shibuya Tsutaya. Its giant windows provide unobstructed views of the famed Shibuya Crossing.

After checking out the Shibuya Crossing, spend some time exploring Shibuya. As one of the most touristy areas of Tokyo, Shibuya is filled with neon lights, skyscrapers, and various treasures waiting to be discovered. One of my favorite places in Shibuya is the Don Quijote Shibuya store.

Don Quijote is a multi-story department store featuring anything you could possibly think of. From clothing to food, if you can imagine it, they will have it in Don Quijote. Luckily for you, the Don Quijote in Shibuya is the biggest in the entire world.

You can spend hours browsing at the latest Japanese merchandise. If you want to buy some souvenirs from Japan, Don Quijote is the best place for it. You DO NOT want to miss the costume section of the store.

When you are satisfied with shopping at Don Quijote, head over to my favorite sushi restaurant in Tokyo, Uobei. An affordable conveyor-belt sushi place, Uobei will be the reason you will need to hit the gym when you come back from your Japan holiday. Not only is it cheap, but the quality and variety are also top-notch.

Uobei is a place that attracts both locals and tourists! That is how you know it is good. 

Uobei automated sushi restaurant, Shibuya, Tokyo

After stuffing yourself at Uobei, you are more than welcome to continue exploring Shibuya or go back to Don Quijote for some extraordinary shopping experience. The first day of our Tokyo 5 days itinerary ends here. Rest up and get ready for more action tomorrow!

Day 2: Toyosu Fish Market (Replacement of Tsukiji Fish Market), TeamLab Borderless, Ramen Street, Senso-ji, Akihabara

Morning

No Tokyo itinerary would be complete without a visit to the famous Tsukiji Fish Market and its famous tuna auction. However, as of 2018, the tuna auction of Tsukiji Fish Market has been moved to Toyosu Market in Odaiba. All that remains are the restaurants and vendors on the Tsukiji Outer Market.

If you want to see the famed tuna auctions where tunas worth up to 1.8 million USD are sold, then you must be willing to make sacrifices. The tuna auction runs from 5:30 AM to 6:30 AM (bye bye sleep) at Toyosu Fish Market.

If you are adamant about seeing the tuna auction, I highly suggest you pick a place to stay near Odaiba because the trains won’t be running at that time. There is an application you must also fill out!

By submitting the application, you have the chance to be selected to view the tuna auction from the lower observation deck, which is the best view you can get as a visitor. If you don’t wish to fill out the application, there is an upper observation deck but it will be crowded and the view is not as good. It is completely free to attend!

If you can’t be bothered to see this early tuna auction, then head over to the Toyosu market at around 8 AM. Grab some food in the complex, wander around the fish market, and check out the green rooftop with views of Mount Fuji (on a good day).

Sorry Charley!

Though one of the best fish markets in Tokyo, we won’t stay for too long because the next destination is a personal favorite: TeamLab Borderless Museum. Aim to leave Toyosu Market at around 9:30 AM so you can arrive at TeamLab Borderless at 10 AM!

This isn’t your typical museum with countless sculptures, paintings, and reading. TeamLab Borderless is an art museum that will push your borders (hence the name borderless) when it comes to appreciating art and exploring the world with your body.

With a total of 10,000 square meter space, 520 computers and 470 projectors come together to create a completely new world. The digital artworks flow freely in the room, intermingling with one another as well as the viewers.

The future of art is here at TeamLab Borderless.

The admission fee to TeamLab Borderless is a hefty 3200 Yen (at the time of writing) but it is worth the price! You can easily spend 3 hours at TeamLab Borderless.

Click here to reserve your ticket in advance!

Afternoon

After you are done exploring TeamLab Borderless in Odaiba, its time for the best part of the day: Lunch!

I know just the perfect dish that will rejuvenate your body and send your taste buds to heaven – a steamy bowl of ramen.

For lunch, we will head over to one of my favorite ramen places in Tokyo – Tokyo Ramen Street. Located underneath the labyrinth that is Tokyo Station, Tokyo Ramen Street features 8 outstanding ramen restaurants in close vicinity. No wonder why it is considered the best place to have ramen in Tokyo!

Japan’s train stations are often loaded with some of the best food the country offers. With plenty of foot traffic, these restaurants get more customers than restaurants in other locations.

My favorite ramen restaurant in Tokyo Ramen Street is Rokurinsha.  There will be a line but it is worth the wait! Their tonkotsu ramen is so addicting it should be banned!

Now that your tummy is happy, let’s tick off another item on our 5 days itinerary in Tokyo. Japan is dominated by two types of religion: Shintoism and Buddhism. We have already seen the Shinto part of Tokyo at Meiji Jingu Shrine, now let’s see the Buddhist part of Tokyo.

The most famous Buddhist temple in Tokyo is Sensoji, otherwise known as the Asakusa Kannon Temple. As the oldest and most impressive temple in Tokyo, a visit to Sensoji is a must on any Tokyo trip.

Sensoji is located in Asakusa, which is easily accessible from Tokyo Ramen Street. Just take the JR Yamanote time and switch off to the Asakusa Line and you will be there in no more than 30 minutes.

The layout of the temple is quite unique. Visitors approaching the temple must first enter through the outer gate, known as the Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate).

Directly after the thunder gate is one of the most iconic shopping streets in Tokyo known as the Nakamise. Spanning over 200 meters long, visitors will find souvenirs, kimono rentals, and lots of Japanese snacks. It is also one of the oldest streets in Tokyo!

At the end of the Nakamise street is the temple’s second gate, the Hozomon. The gate houses two Nio statues, two muscular and wrathful guardians of Budhha.

After passing through the Hozomon, you will finally enter the Sensoji. Immediately you will see the famous five-story pagoda and the magnificent main hall directly in front.

Take some time and wander around the marvelous architecture. Unlike the Meiji Shrine where you have to cleanse yourself with water, you don’t have to do that here.

On both sides of the place are shops where you can buy omamori amulets and omikuji fortunes. The omamori amulets provide luck and protection whereas the omikuji predicts your future. If you do happen to pick a bad fortune, you can hang them up at the temple and have monks bless them to get rid of the bad fortunes.

Though the main hall of Sensoji closes at 5 PM, the temple grounds are opened all day. In fact, I highly recommend visiting Sensoji again at night. The lack of crowds accentuates the beauty of this sacred place. The gates, main hall, and the pagoda light up to create an unworldly ambiance.

Night

When you are done visiting Sensoji, it is time to hit up the electric town of Tokyo: Akihabara.

Akihabara is known for several things: the otaku culture, beautiful neon signs, mega electronic stores, addicting arcades, and a high concentration of manga and anime shops. Similar to the youth culture in Harajuku, a lot of things you see in Akihabara might be unfamiliar to you.

If you are an arcade-lover, I personally recommend you to check out the multi-story arcades. The arcades in Akihabara have several floors and each floor has hundreds of gaming machines.

If you are a fan of Dave and Busters in the United States, the arcades in Japan will surpass your expectations. Train simulator, shooting games, crane machines, you can spend all day in these arcades trying out the huge variety of games.

My personal favorites are the rhythm game called Taiko and the strange “Flip The Table” game. 

If you want a real taste of otaku culture and Japan’s quirkiness, one of the popular things to do in Akihabara is to visit a maid cafe.

Out of all the things to do in Japan, visiting a maid cafe is definitely on the top of the list for weird things to do. Though it is a maid cafe, no one really goes there for the drinks or the food. Guests are usually there for the experience.

The waitresses are dressed in a maid outfit with knee socks and sometimes cat ears, similar to a “kawaii” girl from an anime. When a maid comes with your food or drink, it is accompanied by a singing performance or a little dance that you have to mimic embarrassingly. Everything is cute and adorable in a maid cafe.

There were times where I definitely felt uncomfortable in a maid cafe but it is truly an eye-widening experience of the epidemic that is the dating culture in Japan. Numerous guests come in these maid cafes to seek company and intimacy as dating is becoming increasingly difficult due to work and expectations of a relationship. Though a little bit controversial, it is worth going to one in my opinion.

If you do go to a maid cafe, make sure you go to a reputable one. I recommend Maidreamin Akihabara.

If none of these activities seen particularly interesting to you, Akihabara is a beautiful neighborhood to wander around at night.

You must be tired after exploring the colorful streets of Akihabara. If you wish to continue exploring Tokyo after dinner, you are more than welcome to. If you want to go back to your hotel to rest, it is totally understandable.

However, if you still have a little bit of energy and want to relax and see a different side of Japan, then you must head to Kotobukiyu Sento, or the Kotobukiyu public bath.

I am fairly certain that you have heard of the famous onsens (natural hot springs) in Japan. However, due to the different locations, not every city has its own natural hot springs. Unfortunately, Tokyo does not have many natural hot springs in the center. However, it does have a few public baths (sentos).

Sentos are the perfect way to relax after a long exhausting day. Separated by genders, visitors get fully naked before jumping into the hot steamy baths. If you have friends that you weren’t so close to before, you will be best friends after a trip to the sentos.

Day 3: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, Robot Restaurant, Shinjuku, Golden Gai

Morning

Day 3 of our 5 days in Tokyo itinerary will be spent exploring Shinjuku and the surrounding area.

In the morning, we will head over to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. On the surface, the building looks like its for business offices and it is. However, near the top of the building is a FREE observatory where visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of Tokyo from 202 meters above-ground. On a clear day, you can easily see Mount Fuji in the distance.

If you are traveling Tokyo on a budget, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is a must-see place.

Though it is not the highest observatory in Tokyo (highest is at Tokyo Skytree), the view above is enough to take your breath away. Obviously, the best part is the free admission!

After the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, we will head over to the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, one of the biggest and most popular parks in Tokyo.

The Shinjuku Gyoen National is the perfect haven in a bustling city. Locals and tourists come here to escape from the stress of daily life. Shinjuku Gyoen features three types of garden: Japanese landscape garden, English garden, and French landscape garden. Shinjuku Gyoen is also one of the top places to watch the cherry blossom in Tokyo!

I particularly liked the Japanese traditional garden as it contains beautiful ponds and wooden bridges!

Afternoon

When you are done visiting Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, head over to Shinjuku Station. The Shinjuku railway station is the busiest railway station in the entire world, serving over 2 million passengers daily!

Warning: If you enter Shinjuku Station there is almost 100 percent chance you will get lost. I don’t know a single person that has not gotten lost in the Shinjuku station. It is like a maze (but a fun one) in there!

Shinjuku is a very popular area for tourists and locals alike. Featuring many shops, restaurants, and traditional alleys, you can spend half a day exploring the Shinjuku area. There is no better spot for sightseeing in Tokyo than Shinjuku!

It is easy to lose track of time when you are lost in the sea of skyscrapers and people. Just don’t miss the next attraction!

If there is one thing Tokyo is famous for, it is the following place we are going to visit, the Robot Restaurant. From the name, you are probably thinking about a cute little restaurant where robots serve your food. WRONG!

Robot Restaurant is a show that involves crazy neon lights, strange costumes, robots, dragons, ninja, and many other mind-blowing things. It is a 1.5-hour show where viewers will undoubtedly ask themselves “What the f*ck am I watching?”

At first, the whole facade seems extra and too much to comprehend. But after a whole lot of sensory overload and losing some of your hearing and brain cells, you will actually begin to enjoy it. The oddity becomes the norm and though it feels strange to sing and dance along with ninjas and Power Puff girls, there is a sense of elation to it.

Were you drugged? Who knows. Do I recommend it? Of course! 🙂

Though there are shows several times a day, I recommend going to the 4:00 PM show. Tickets can be purchased at the door but it is much cheaper to reserve them ahead of time. It is also recommended to arrive 30 minutes ahead of performance time!

Show in Robot Restaurant, Tokyo

Though Robot Restaurant is advertised as a restaurant, you probably won’t be having a proper meal in there. That is why afterward we will visit the Piss Alley (also called, Memory Lane, Yakitori Alley, or Omoide Yokocho). The charming name was given due to the lack of toilets in that area.

Nowadays, the alley is the perfect place for some drinks and Japanese snacks, namely yakitoris (Japanese skewered chicken). With a total of 81 restaurants in this tiny alley, many of these restaurants can only feature several guests at once.

Many of the restaurants in Memory Alley do not have an English menu, but for the ones that do, expect friendly staff and locals that are not shy to strike up a conversation.

Evening

Spend the rest of the evening wandering around Shinjuku. Make sure you don’t miss the crazy Godzilla head there!

One of my favorite spots in Tokyo at night is Golden Gai in Shinjuku. If you are looking for a chill spot at night to meet some locals and have some sake, Golden Gai is the place you want to go. The area is comprised of 6 narrow alleys where both sides of the alleys are filled with different types of bars.

Though located in the red-light district (Kabukicho) of Tokyo, the area is safe and tourist-friendly. The architecture is quite similar to that of the Piss Alley but instead of focusing on yakitoris, alcohol is the key here.

The only downside of Golden Gai is the lack of any major clubs in the area. If you want to go to a club and enjoy the incredible Tokyo nightlife, a visit to the posh district of Roppongi is a must! 

Walking through the tiny bars in Golden Gai, Shinjuku. Each bar only holds 3-4 people, and the architecture is left over from the 1920s. There are 200 bars in this tiny 6-street neighborhood.

Day 4: Independent Day For Exploring

The last 3 days of our 5-day Tokyo itinerary have been very action-packed. Day 4 is an independent exploration day. We understand that Tokyo is a huge city and not everyone has the same interest. In the three days above, we have covered the attractions that everyone should see when visiting Tokyo.

Today you will visit the things you want to see. You can do anything you want on this day: relax, revisit some of the places you like (or missed), or try some of the amazing restaurants in Tokyo.

If you need some inspiration or recommendations, here are other top attractions in Tokyo! 

Additional Attractions in Tokyo

1. Watch Sumo Wrestling

Japan’s national sport, sumo wrestling, is an experience you can’t miss out on in Tokyo. Though it is difficult to see a sumo wrestling tournament because of its sparsity throughout the year, visitors can get a closer look at a sumo wrestling by attending one of their training. Tickets are affordable and must be booked ahead of time!

Click here for more details!

2. Go-Karting On The Streets Of Tokyo

One of the most unique tourist activities in Tokyo is go-karting in the streets of Tokyo! Somewhere along the line, the government thought it would be a good idea for tourists to drive up the busy streets of Shibuya, Akihabara, and others. You can even drive through the crazy Shibuya Crossing!

And because it is Japan, no go-karting is complete without dressing up. So come put on your onesie costume and Tokyo Drift down Shibuya!

Find more information here!

3. Ghibli Museum

Ghibli Museum is the animation and art museum of the famous Japan animation company called Ghibli Studios. Some of their notable films are “Spirited Away“, “My Neighbor Totoro“, and “Princess Mononoke“.

If you are a fan of these films then a visit to the Ghibli Museum is a must. Here you will learn about the production of the films, view exclusive short movies in their mini theater, and much more!

Click here to learn more!

4. Tokyo Disneyland/ Tokyo Disneysea

For anyone traveling to Tokyo with kids, a visit to Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo Disneysea is inevitable. Everyone should be familiar with Tokyo Disneyland but Tokyo Disneysea might be something new for you.

Considered the best theme park in the world, Disneysea is unlike any other Disney theme park. Besides the incredible lineup of rides, the place has a magical power of teleportation. The environment is so meticulously created that you feel like you are actually transported in time!

Click here for more details!

5. Themed Cafe/Restaurant

Tokyo is filled with interesting theme cafes and restaurants. It would be a shame not to experience something so unique!

My favorite themed restaurant is Ninja Akasaka and The Lockup. Ninja Akasaka is a ninja-themed restaurant where patrons are served by ninjas! The Lockup is a horror-themed restaurant where visitors are seated in cells and drinks are served in test tubes. Periodic performances happen throughout the night!

If horror is not your thing, check out the various animal cafes in the area. Though some of them can be borderline cruel, some are decent. I recommend either a dog cafe or a cat cafe. Try to avoid owl cafes because owls are nocturnal creatures! 

Day 5: Hakone Day Trip From Tokyo

Now that we have visited the best places in Tokyo, it is time to go out of the city. On the fifth day of our 5 day Tokyo itinerary, we will take a day trip from Tokyo.

There are many exciting places to explore near the town of Tokyo, namely Kamakura, Hakone, and Mt. Fuji. If you utilize the shinkansen (bullet trains) of Japan, you can even go further out and spend a day in Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, or even Hiroshima! If you do, I highly recommend you to purchase the JR Pass to save some money!

The day trip we will be taking from Tokyo is Hakone!

As one of the most beautiful onsen towns in Japan, Hakone is a popular destination for weekend travelers from Tokyo. Located about an hour away from Tokyo by train, people come here to escape the hustle and bustle of the capital of Japan.

When you are visiting Hakone, I highly recommend you to take a dip in one of their numerous onsens, enjoy the views from Lake Ashi, check out the holy Hakone Shrine, and most importantly, take the ropeway up to Owakudani and try their black sulfur eggs!

Best Place To Stay in Tokyo To Maximize Your Time 

Though the best things to do in Tokyo can be far apart at times, the transportation system in Tokyo is extremely convenient. However, if you only have 5 days in Tokyo, you might want to consider staying in one of the more central places to maximize your time. For our 5 days Tokyo travel itinerary, it would be convenient to stay near Shinjuku, Shibuya, Tokyo Station, Akihabara, or Asakusa.

Here are specific places we recommend you to stay in: 

Best Hostel In Tokyo – UNPLAN Shinjuku

UNPLAN Shinjuku is one of the best-rated hostels in Tokyo and it is not difficult to see why. Convenient location, great common areas, delicious breakfast, there are more amazing features than I can count with my fingers. One of the best amenities is the personal smartphone they provide to each guest. With the smartphone, guests essentially have free wifi to use when they are exploring the city!

Click here for more details!

Best Cheap Hotel In Tokyo – Onsen Ryokan Yuen Shinjuku

Though Onsen Ryokan Yuen Shinjuku is a little less inaccessible than most places (15-min walk from the train station), this cool hotel in Tokyo makes up for its stunning quality, unique amenities, and affordable prices. The hotel features gender-separated rooftop onsens that offer unparalleled views of Tokyo. Guests can also try their ryokan rooms, traditional Japanese rooms with tatami mats.

Click here for more info!

Best Luxury Hotel In Tokyo – Shibuya Stream Excel Hotel Tokyu

If you are looking for a luxurious experience in Tokyo, then you must stay at Shibuya Stream Excel Hotel. Elegantly designed with trendy vibes, the high-end hotel is the perfect home away from home. The stunning city views, delicious breakfast, and amazing Japanese hospitality will make your Tokyo trip unforgettable! 

Click here for more details!

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This concludes our Tokyo in 5 days itinerary. I hope it has at least given you a rough idea of what to do in Tokyo for 5 days!

Any questions? Leave them in the comments!

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Day Trip To Hiroshima From Osaka or Kyoto: A 1-Day Itinerary

Day Trip To Hiroshima From Osaka or Kyoto: A 1-Day Itinerary

Are you planning on doing a Hiroshima day trip from Osaka or Kyoto? Great, we are here to help.

As the first victim of the catastrophe that happened here in World War II, Hiroshima is a city filled with memories of the terrible things humans can do. A visit to Hiroshima is humbling and eye-widening, and one of the most unique experiences in Japan.

In our guide, we will teach you how to get to Hiroshima, what to do on your day trip, and what type of food to try in Hiroshima!

Is A Day Trip To Hiroshima Enough?

If you are planning a day trip to Hiroshima from Osaka or Kyoto, you must wonder if one day in Hiroshima is enough. Afterall, Hiroshima is a big city and has a tremendous amount of history because of the tragedy that happened here in World War II.

The short answer is.. Yes, 1 day is enough in Hiroshima. The most notable attractions in Hiroshima are unquestionably the Atomic Bomb Dome and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, both of which can be visited in half a day.

For the remaining of the time, we will visit the Miyajima island located off the coast of Hiroshima, where the famous shrine and “floating” torii gate is located.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many things to do in Hiroshima, Japan. However, besides the Atomic Bomb Dome and the museum, many of the attractions in Hiroshima are similar to the ones in other cities such as Tokyo, Kyoto, or Osaka.

Osaka To Hiroshima Day Trip

How To Get From Osaka To Hiroshima

Hiroshima is one of the easiest and most popular day trips from Osaka. If you are spending a long time in Osaka, consider adding Hiroshima to your Osaka itinerary!

Shinkansen Bullet Train From Osaka To Hiroshima

The easiest way to get to Hiroshima from Osaka is with the shinkansen, or bullet train in English.

The bullet train is the easiest and quickest but the most expensive way to get from Osaka to Hiroshima.

There are 4 models of bullet trains to Hiroshima from Osaka: Nozomi, Mizuho, Sakura, and Hikari.

At a little under an hour and a half, the Nozomi and Mizuho bullet trains are the fastest options to get to Hiroshima. However, they are not covered by the JR Rail Pass. 

The Sakura is the third-fastest model of bullet train to get to Hiroshima. At a little over an hour and a half, the Sakura is covered by the JR Rail Pass and the best option to get to Hiroshima.

The Hikari is the slowest shinkansen from Osaka to Hiroshima. Though it is covered by the JR Rail Pass, it takes 2.5 hours to get to Hiroshima from Osaka.

The bullet trains depart from Shin-Osaka Station and arrives in Hiroshima Station.

Without the JR Rail Pass, the shinkansen from Osaka to Hiroshima costs around 10,700 yen one-way. If you want to take a day trip to Hiroshima from Kyoto or Osaka using the bullet train, having the JR Rail Pass will save you lots of money.

Bus From Osaka To Hiroshima

The other option to get from Osaka to Hiroshima is by bus. Though it is cheaper than the shinkansen, the bus takes 5 hours to get from Osaka to Hiroshima. If you are spending 5 hours on a bus, I would no longer consider this as a day trip to Hiroshima, more like a day trip to hell.

However, the good thing about taking the bus to Hiroshima is the cost. The cost of a bus from Osaka to Hiroshima is about 5,000 yen, which is much lower than 10,700 yen for a shinkansen.

If you are a money-saving masochist, there is an option for you. There is an overnight bus that leaves around 11 PM from Osaka and arrives in Hiroshima at around 7 AM the next morning. Personally, I wouldn’t do this because there is a tiresome of exploring Hiroshima ahead of you, but there is always the option.

Check the bus schedule using Kosokubus or WillerExpress

Chuo-Highway-Bus-Keio-E

Kyoto To Hiroshima Day Trip

How To Get From Kyoto To Hiroshima

Though it takes less time to get to Hiroshima from Osaka, it is still very easy to do a day trip from Kyoto.

Shinkansen Bullet Train From Kyoto To Hiroshima

Taking the bullet train from Kyoto to Hiroshima is simple, but might require you to make a transfer.

Unlike the shinkansen from Osaka where they go directly from Osaka to Hiroshima, the ones in Kyoto may not.

If you are taking the Nozomi shinkansen, it will go directly to Hiroshima. The journey is 1 hour and 40 minutes long and the cost is NOT covered by the JR Pass.

If you want to take bullet trains that are covered by the JR Rail Pass, then you have to take the Hikari or Sakura. The Hikari or Sakura shinkansen may run directly to Hiroshima but there are times where you have to make a transfer at Shin-Kobe or Shin-Osaka.

Don’t worry, this will only add 20 minutes or so to your trip, which will last 2 hours in total.

Check the schedule for the bullet train departures of the West JR official website.

Without the JR Pass, the shinkansen from to Hiroshima from Kyoto costs around 11,820 yen.

Bus From Kyoto To Hiroshima

Taking a bus from Kyoto to Hiroshima is also a viable option, if you don’t have a short Japan itinerary. A bus can easily take around 6 hours to get from Kyoto to Hiroshima.

Though it is impossible to do a day trip to Hiroshima if you plan on taking the bus, you can save some money if you plan on staying a few days in Hiroshima.

A bus to Hiroshima from Kyoto costs around 5,000 yen, depending on the season, seats, and occupancy level. 

Check your options at Kosokubus or WillerExpress. Both are reliable companies for highway buses!

Hiroshima 1-Day Itinerary (Including Miyajima Island!)

Morning: Atomic Bomb Dome, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

Whether you are arriving in Hiroshima from Kyoto or Osaka, aim to arrive at Hiroshima no later than 10 AM. It is recommended that you take breakfast before getting on the shinkansen so you don’t starve on the journey to Hiorshima.

However, if you don’t get the chance to, don’t worry. There are plenty of stores open at the Hiroshima station.

Once you arrive at Hiroshima station, the first thing you will be doing is getting your 1 Day Streetcar and Ferry Pass. This pass costs 840 yen but allows you unlimited rides on Hiroshima Electric Railway such as city buses and trams.

You can buy your 1-day pass at the Hiroshima Station Streetcar Information Desk in front of the departure platform.

Once you have the pass, head over Genbaku Dome-Mae Station to see the Atomic Bomb Dome, or the Genbaku Dome. 

Located in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, the Atomic Bomb Dome is a world-recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site.

When the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima at 8:15 AM on August 6th 1945, the explosion created widespread destruction.

Miraculously, one of the buildings escaped death. 160 meters away from the epicenter of the atomic bomb was the Hiroshima Prefectural Indsutrla Promotion Hall. Though most of the inside of the building completely vanished when the atomic bomb exploded 600 meters above ground, a part of it stood firm. 

What used to be the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall is now an exposed steel dome that reminds us of the destruction we are capable of.

After you are done visiting the Atomic Bomb Dome, or the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, head deeper into the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and explore a bit. There are numerous memorials, monuments, and other historic items worth checking out.

The one I really fancied was the Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall. 

After spending a bit of time exploring the park, head towards the best attraction of Hiroshima, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. To be honest, I am not a big fan of museums. I did rather spend my day on a hike or on the beach, but this museum made me so emotional.

It is the only museum that has made me cried to this day.

Inside the museum, you will find artifacts left from the bombing, belongings of the victims, and testimonials of the survivors of the first A-bomb.

There are audio guides available for rent in the museum. Though I personally did not get them (or needed them to feel the full impact), I heard they are great and worth renting!

You will spend about 2 to 2.5 hours in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. The cost of admission is 200 yen.

Afternoon: Eating Okonomiyaki, Miyajima Island

After you are done bawling your eyes out (I mean visiting the museum), head back towards the Hiroshima Station.

It should be around lunchtime so it’s time for the best part of the day: food! Hiroshima is very famous for one of its dish, the okonomiyaki.

It is said that Hiroshima-style okonomiyakis are very different from other parts of Japan. Instead of the ingredients mixed in with the batter, the batter only makes up the bottom of a Hiroshima okonomiyaki. The rest of the ingredients are then layered on the top.

Think of okonomiyakis as savory pancakes. The ingredients are usually shredded cabbage, flour, eggs, and your choice of protein!

Inside Hiroshima station, there are plenty of restaurants where you can get some okonomiyaki and a proper lunch. We simply picked the restaurant with the most locals and sat down. Best decision ever. That meal was properly one of the best meals I had in Japan!

Okonomiyaki in Osaka

After lunch, you will head to Miyajima Island, otherwise known as Itsukushima. If you are not sure how to get from Hiroshima to Miyajima, don’t worry.

To head there you will need to take the JR San-yo line from Hiroshima Station (free with JR Pass) to Miyajimaguchi Station. Then from Miyajimaguci Station, you will take a ferry across to Miyajima (free with 1 day Hiroshima pass).

Known as one of the most scenic spots in Japan, no Hiroshima itinerary is complete without a visit to this treasured island. 

The main attraction in Miyajima is the UNESCO Heritage Site Itsukushima Shrine and its “floating” torii gate. At high tide, the water rises above the base of the torii gate, giving the illusion that the torii gate is floating above the water.

If you want to know when the torii gate will be partially submerged, check out this tide table

(Note: The Itsukushima torii gate is under renovation for at least a year starting on June 2019. Though you can still see it, there is scaffolding around it)

Other than its stunning torii gate, the Shinto shrine has been one of the holiest places for Shintoism. Erected in the 6th century, the architecture of this religious symbol is a passage in time itself. I was definitely stunned by how beautiful and well-preserved the Itsukushima Shrine was!

Miyajima is also the home to many free-roaming deers, similar to the ones you see in the famous Nara Deer Park in Nara.

After you are done exploring the sacred Shinto shrine, feel free to wander around the rest of the island. The whole island is so gorgeous it belongs on the cover of a magazine.

If you want a panoramic view of Miyajima and its surroundings, make sure you head to Mount Misen.

You can take the hiking path from Itsukushima Shrine to Mount Misen Observatory, which will take about an hour in total. On the way, you have the option to stop by the Daishoin Temple, an important Buddhist temple in the region!

The other option to get some sick views is to take the Miyajima Ropeway. Though it only takes you up to the Shishiiwa Observatory, the views up there will still take your breath away. If you aren’t satisfied with the view there, Mount Misen Observatory is only a 30-minute walk away!

(Note: The Miyajima Ropeway stops service at 5 PM)

A Miyajima view Itsukushima Shrine

Night: Back To Kyoto or Osaka From Hiroshima

After you watch the beautiful sunset behind the iconic torii gate, it is time to head back. Though Hiroshima is a great city, there isn’t a lot of things to do at night.

If you still have energy when you get back to Osaka or Kyoto, check out Osaka’s nightlife or some of the cool things to do in Kyoto at night.

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This concludes the Hiroshima day trip itinerary from Kyoto or Osaka! I hope this guide helped you determine the things to do in Hiroshima in one day.

Any question? Leave them in the comments!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

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Guide On Deciding How Many Days To Spend In Kyoto

Guide On Deciding How Many Days To Spend In Kyoto

As we all know, traveling in Japan is expensive. A week trip can easily set you back a few thousand dollars. That is why it is so important to have a perfect Japan itinerary and not overstay in any cities.

Two of the most frequently asked question I get about Kyoto are “How many days in Kyoto?” and “How long should I stay in Kyoto?”

The answer is… It all depends.

How many days to spend in Kyoto depends on what type of traveler you are and what you want to see on your trip.

Are you into temples, shrines, or are you more of an outdoorsy person? Do you enjoy the crazy nightlife? These are questions you will need to ask if you want to decide how long to stay in Kyoto.

How To Decide How Many Days in Kyoto To Stay

Though Kyoto is not a huge city, there is an abundance of amazing attractions in Kyoto. From the numerous UNESCO Heritage Sites to beautiful bamboo forests, deciding how many days to spend in Kyoto ultimately comes down to how much you want to see.

If you really want an in-depth understanding of Kyoto and its culture, you can spend up to weeks here, exploring the hundreds of treasures scattered around the city.

Well, I am not going to recommend you to stay a week. Kyoto (or Japan in general) is too expensive and diminishing returns are inevitable when you stay for too long. In simpler words, it won’t be worth your money and time to stay for an extended period of time.

For the general traveler, I recommend spending a minimum of 2 days in Kyoto. The ideal number of days to stay in Kyoto is 3 days.

Unlike deciding how long to stay in Osaka, deciding how long to stay in Kyoto is a little easier. Kyoto is the cultural capital of Japan. It has an extremely high concentration of historic sites, temples, and shrines. However, Kyoto’s nightlife and food options just cannot compare to Tokyo or Osaka.

Some travelers might even find Kyoto boring at night, but I personally found some fun things to do in Kyoto at night.

These are all things to consider when you ask yourself, “How many days to stay in Kyoto?”

1 Day in Kyoto

Let me start by saying that 1 day in Kyoto is just not enough, but sometimes you just have to make do with the amount of time you have.

Kyoto is known as the Japan’s cultural capital. Filled with beautiful UNESCO Heritage Sites, amazing temples, and well-preserved traditional places, you will only see a fraction of them in just one day.

If you are on a day trip to Kyoto or only have 1 day to spend, I am afraid you won’t be able to get a good understanding of why Kyoto is such an incredible city in Japan.

Though you will be able to see some of the most popular tourist attractions such as the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Fushimi Inari Taisha, and the Gion District, the cultural atmosphere can only be felt after staying for a few days.

2 Days in Kyoto

2 days in Kyoto is the minimum number of days to stay in Kyoto. In two days, you have just enough time to cover all the best things to do in Kyoto: Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Nishiki Market, Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kinkakuji, Ginkakuji, Kiyomizu-Dera, and a few more.

Your itinerary will be packed if you just have 2 days in Kyoto. From the early morning to the night, you will be hopping from one attraction to another, with very few breaks in between.

Want to casually stroll along the Kamogawa River at night? Nope, can’t do that. You have to visit the Gion Corner for a show with geishas. Want to watch the sunset at Fushimi Inari Taisha? Nope, you have to go to the Gion District.

You will be so rushed that you simply won’t be able to fully appreciate the beauty of Kyoto, which requires a little bit of presence and time.

3 Days in Kyoto

How many days do you need in Kyoto to appreciate it? I would say 3.

3 days in Kyoto is enough time to see the main attractions of Kyoto without rushing through all of them. You might even have extra time to revisit some of the ones you like, such as the delicious food market in Kyoto called Nishiki Market.

You will have time to spend a night sitting in one of Kyoto’s onsens, experiencing a tradition unique to Japan. (I highly recommend Tenzan-no-yu Onsen!)

You will start having glimpses into the local lives here. The drastic difference between Japanese culture and Western culture will start becoming transparent to you.

4 or More Days in Kyoto

If you are spending 4 or more days in Kyoto, you are either a slow traveler or want to do some side trips from Kyoto. There is nothing wrong without spending that much time in Kyoto. In fact, it is a great opportunity to visit some of the off-the-beaten-path attractions in Kyoto, try some traditional izakayas, or even meet some locals!

The initial excitement will definitely wear off after 4 days in Kyoto. That is why I recommend you to do day trips if you are spending that many nights in Kyoto.

Best Day Trips from Kyoto

Kyoto’s strategic location in the Kansai region means that you will have easy access to other great cities. The best day trips from Kyoto are Osaka, Nara, Kobe, Hiroshima, and Tokyo.

Hiroshima and Tokyo are located far away from Kyoto. You should only consider doing day trips to them if you plan on taking the expensive but hasty bullet trains. These bullet trains are called shinkansen and some are free to take if you have the JR Rail Pass

Osaka

If you are a shopaholic, nightlife-lover, or a foodie, Osaka is the perfect place for you. Located about an hour away from Kyoto, a day trip from Kyoto to Osaka is very doable.

Though it is easy to take a day trip to Osaka, I wouldn’t recommend it. Why? Because 1 day in Osaka is simply not enough.

Osaka is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan and it requires a minimum of 2 or 3 days to cover the basics. The nightlife in Osaka is also some of the best in Japan and it’s hard to experience it if you are not staying a night in Osaka.

Nara

A visit to Nara is a must on any Japan itinerary. As the old capital of Japan, Nara is filled with UNESCO Heritage treasures such as temples and shrines.

The best part about Nara is definitely Nara Park. A massive park with wild deers that harass (I mean bow) to visitors, Nara Park is a unique attraction you can’t miss in Japan.

Luckily for you, a day trip to Nara from Kyoto is very easy. It takes about an hour on the train to arrive from Kyoto. Unlike Osaka where it takes several days to explore, Nara can be easily done in a day.

If you stay more than 4 days in Kyoto, you must add Nara onto your itinerary!

Kobe

Kobe is a port city located about an hour and a half from Kyoto.

Home of the freshest Kobe beef, travelers come from all over the world to try this Japanese delicacy.  A type of Wagyu beef, Kobe beef is said to be the tastiest beef in the entire planet.

If you weren’t able to get an onsen experience in Kyoto, Kobe is the home to one of the best onsen in Japan called Arima Onsen. An entire town is built around this impressive onsen. It is the perfect spot for a relaxing weekend getaway!

Hiroshima (via Shinkansen)

Hiroshima is a historic city located 310 kilometers west of Kyoto. The only possible way to do a day trip to Hiroshima from Kyoto is by taking the shinkansen (bullet train). Even then, the trip from Kyoto to Hiroshima will take about 2.5 hours one way.

The shinkansen must pass through Osaka before going to Hiroshima. If you are planning on staying in Osaka, you should wait to do a day trip to Hiroshima from Osaka instead.

If you have the JR Rail Pass, the shinkansen is free.

As one of the cities where the atomic bomb was dropped in World War II, Hiroshima is a historic city with much evidence of the past. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and the Atomic Bomb Dome are two attractions you can’t miss when you visit Hiroshima.

If you have some extra time, visit the beautiful island of Miyajima!

Tokyo (via Shinkansen)

Though it is technically feasible to do a day trip to Tokyo from Kyoto via the shinkansen, I wouldn’t recommend doing so. As Japan’s capital, Tokyo is loaded with some of the best attractions in Japan.

You wouldn’t want to spend a few hours there when you could be spending few days or a week!

Where to Stay in Kyoto to Maximize Your Days in Kyoto

Best Hostel In Kyoto – K’s House Kyoto Backpacker Hostel

If you are looking for a proper backpacker hostel, look no further. K’s House Kyoto Backpacker Hostel is probably the best hostel in Kyoto. Featuring beautiful common areas and spacious dormitory rooms, you get such a good value for a low price. The hostel is also attached to a bar where you can meet international travelers and share your stories over a drink!

Click here for more details!

Best Budget Hotel In Kyoto – Henn Na Hotel Kyoto Hachijoguchi

While Henn Na Hotel Kyoto Hachijoguchi isn’t the cheapest hotel in Kyoto, it makes up for it in its unique feature: 2 robot dinosaurs working in the reception. We knew that Japan was a strange and quirky place but even then the dinosaurs were a pleasant surprise! The rooms are fairly spacious (for Japanese standards) and immaculately clean.

Click here for more details!

Dormy Inn Premium Kyoto takes advantage of the rich natural hot springs (onsens) Japan is known for. Featuring several natural hot springs (one on the roof terrace), guests can properly relax after a long day in Kyoto. If they don’t like onsens, just lay down on their super soft and comfortable beds!

Click here for more details!

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This concludes our guide to how many days in Kyoto to stay! I hope it helped you determine how many night in Kyoto to spend!

Any questions? Leave them in the comments!

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