1 Day Kyoto Itinerary: The Best Attractions of Kyoto

1 Day Kyoto Itinerary: The Best Attractions of Kyoto

Kyoto, the cultural capital of Japan, is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Japan. As its cultural capital, it shouldn’t surprise you that there are many attractions in Kyoto, including 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Fushimi Inari Taisha, and many more.

This 1 day Kyoto itinerary will cover some of the best things to do in Kyoto in 1 day. However, if I must be honest, 24 hours in Kyoto is not sufficient to see all the amazing sights it is known for. It is advised to stay at least 2 days in Kyoto to see all the main attractions.

However, we understand that sometimes you are time-restricted and you might just have one day in Kyoto.

In our Kyoto itinerary, we will cover the things you must do in Kyoto in one day and how to maximize your time!

Guide To 1 Day in Kyoto

Kyoto Tourist Map: 1 Day Kyoto Itinerary Attractions

This is the personalized Kyoto tourist map you will use to visit all the things you must see in Kyoto in one day.

On the top left corner of the map is a toggle that will allow you to see the list of things to do in Kyoto. Since this 1 day itinerary in Kyoto, you will miss some of the attractions in Kyoto.

The red circles on the map are what I consider the best attractions in Kyoto. Under no circumstances should you switch them out unless you have been there before.

The blue stars on the Kyoto attractions map are the alternatives you could use to replace the main attractions. They are also great places to visit in Kyoto if you plan on staying for two days. 

The green question marks are all the “average” attractions in Kyoto. Some of these places are UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the Ryoanji temple. They are by no means bad places to see but are not as good as the must-visit attractions.

Kyoto One Day Pass

Many tourists that visit Kyoto in 1 day are tempted to buy the Kyoto one day pass because they think it will save them money.  Let me tell you why that might not be the case. 

There are two types of passes that are worth considering, the one day bus and subway pass, and the one day bus pass. 

Costing only 900 yen for 1 day, most travelers are tempted to buy the Kyoto one day bus + subway pass to save money. It is true that with that pass, you can visit all the attractions in this Kyoto itinerary.

The problem is, it might not be the most convenient or fastest way. The Kyoto one day pass doesn’t cover all the transportation in Kyoto, such as the JR lines or even the trams. The buses are also infrequent, inconsistent, crowded, and often stuck in traffic. If you only have 24 hours in Kyoto, this is your worst nightmare. 

For those reasons, I recommend you to NOT buy the Kyoto one day pass. 

Step-By-Step Itinerary of the Best Things to Do in Kyoto in 1 Day

Morning: Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Tenryu-ji, Nishiki Market

Welcome to Kyoto and good luck!! You have a long day ahead of you. This 1 day in Kyoto itinerary covers a lot of the things you must see in Kyoto. 

Before you start your first attraction on the Kyoto 1 day itinerary, make sure you have a good breakfast. If your accommodation doesn’t offer breakfast, my favorite place in town for a quick breakfast is either 7-Eleven or Lawson. Unlike the 7-Eleven in the western part of the world, 7-Eleven in Japan offer nutritious and affordable meals. Try some of the onigiris, egg sandwiches, or even pancakes! 

Rice balls of Seven-Eleven

Your first stop will be the Arashiyama bamboo grove, also called the Arashiyama bamboo forest. One of the best things to do in Kyoto, the Arashiyama bamboo grove gets crowded quite easily. Sprawling with a countless amount of soaring bamboo trees, it is quite an unworldly feeling when you are alone.

For that reason, you will arrive no later than 8:30 AM. In the early morning, there are fewer people and you can feel the real magic of the Arashiyama bamboo forest. It will also guarantee you will photograph the best picture of the bamboo grove! Trust me, it is worth the effort! 

The best way to arrive at the Arashiyama bamboo grove is via the JR San-In Line, also known as the JR Sagano Line. Take the JR San-In line to Saga-Arashiyama station and the bamboo forest is a 15-minute walk away. If you have JR Rail Pass, all JR lines are free!

After you are done strolling around the Arashiyama bamboo grove, head over to Tenryu-ji. Within a walking distance from the bamboo forest, it is the best way to hit two birds with one stone. Not only is Tenryu-ji one of the most famous Zen temples in Kyoto, it is also one of the proud UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Come stroll around the historic buildings and the tranquil gardens, it has a sense of serenity unlike anywhere else.

Aim to leave Arashiyama no later than 10:30 AM.

The next stop on your 1 day in Kyoto itinerary is Nishiki Market. There are many options to get there from Arashiyama. My favorite is taking the Randen and switching to the Hankyu-Kyoto Line. The Randen is the last tram line in Kyoto and takes you on a beautiful sightseeing journey.

Once you arrive at Nishiki market, spend some time to wander around. Nishiki market is the biggest food market place in Kyoto, specializing in many of Kyoto’s specialties. Though the Nishiki market only spans 5 blocks, there are over hundreds of stalls, and some have been there for centuries.

Nishiki Market

One of the best places for Japanese street food, don’t hesitate to try anything that fancies you. My favorite snack was definitely the octopus on the skewer. Though slightly unsettling at first, once you bite into the head, you will be fully intrigued. Trust me!

Don’t walk and eat at the same time! In Japanese culture, it is one of the most disrespectful things you can do!

You are probably tempted to spend your 24 hours in Kyoto here sampling the local seafood, trying the pickled vegetables, shopping for souvenirs, but there are still plenty of amazing things to see. 

Grab your lunch in the surrounding area but remember to leave Nishiki Market no later than 1 PM. What is next on the itinerary? The famous Fushimi Inari Taisha.

Afternoon: Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kiyomizu-dera

To get to Fushimi Inari Taisha from Nishiki Market, the quickest one is to take the Keihan Main line at Gion-Shijo station to Fushimi Inari station. The journey is about half an hour.

Fushimi Inari Taisha is one of the most important Shinto shrines located in Kyoto. Famous for the thousands of vibrant orange torii gates that reach the top of the sacred Mount Inari, Fushimi Inari Taisha is as beautiful as it is important.

Fushimi Inari Taisha is the most important shrine dedicated to the Shinto god Inari, the goddess of rice. And I don’t think I need to tell you how important rice is for the Japanese, it is almost in all of their cuisines. The fox statues you will see as you ascend up Mount Inari are the messengers of Inari.

Many travelers already know Fushimi Inari Taisha as one of the top sights in Kyoto, but many do not do that it is actually a hike! The trail to the top of Mount Inari takes about 2 hours one way. With the frequency of the torii gates decreasing and not much to see at the summit, it is not recommended you hike all the way up.

However, do spend 45 minutes to an hour to hike up to the Yotsu-Tsuji intersection. A great viewpoint with a few houses and shops, it is a great place to relax and enjoy the scenic views of Kyoto. Though there are a lot fewer tourists beyond this point, the torii gates offer no variation.

This is the highest point you will hike up to.

When you are ready, head back down. You want to head down at least 2 hours before sunset because the next attraction is the best place in Kyoto to watch the sunset! This depends on the month you are visiting Kyoto, so make sure you check the sunset time beforehand!

The next thing to see on the 1 day Kyoto itinerary is Kiyomizu-dera, or the “Pure Water Temple”.

To arrive at Kiyomizu-dera from Fushimi Inari Taisha, you will take the Keihan Main line from Fushimi-Inari station to Kiyomizu-Gojo station. Then you will walk about 20 minutes to arrive at Kiyomizu-dera. It might be tempting to take a bus but the buses are infrequent, unreliable, and often crowded. It is better to walk.

On your way to the temple, you will go through the Higashiyama district. Filled with cool shops and beautiful traditional streets, it might be tempting to stop and look around. We will come back to this place after Kiyomizu-dera, don’t worry!

Kiyomizu-dera is one of the most famous Buddhist temples in Japan. Founded in 778, this religious relic is one of the many UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kyoto. Featuring many different buildings inside with different significance, it is a great way to learning about traditional Japanese culture. 

Check out the Otowa waterfall and its wish-granting water. The waterfall’s water is divided into three streams and they all have different effects. But drink from all three and you are considered greedy and none of your wishes will be granted.

Afterward, head over to the Jishu Shrine, a shrine dedicated to the god of love. In front of the shrines are 2 stones places 18 meters apart. Anyone that can navigate from one stone to the other with their eyes closed is promised to have everlasting love!

Visitors can also rent a kimono in Kiyomizu-dera if they want! 

Besides being an important historic temple, Kiyomizu-dera is one of the best places in Kyoto to watch the sunset. It is exactly why we saved it for the last thing to do in Kyoto before the night sets in.

Head over to the Butai, or otherwise known as “Kiyomizu’s wooden stage”. This wooden stage is where you will watch the beautiful sunset over the beautiful city of Kyoto. If you are lucky enough to come during autumn or cherry blossom season, the view will even be more spectacular. Either way, you will be stunned by Kyoto’s beauty.

Keep in mind the opening hours of the Kiyomizu-dera temple changes with the seasons. It opens at 6 AM daily and can close anytime from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM. If there are seasonal illumination events, such as the cherry blossom event, the temple might close as late as 9 PM. 

Night: Yasaka Pagoda, Higashiyama District, Gion, Shirakawa Canal

After visiting Kiyomizu-dera, head back down the same way you came. You will do a little bit of exploring in the Higashiyama District, one of the most well-preserved traditional districts in Kyoto. Dainty wooden buildings, old narrow roads, the Higashiyama District is a glimpse of the past when Kyoto was the capital of Japan. 

Make sure you stop by Ninenzaka and Yasaka-dori (No.5 and 6 on the map) on the way. These two spots are some of the greatest places to catch a glimpse of Yasaka Pagoda, considered one of the most beautiful places at night in Kyoto! It is also one of the best places for photography in Kyoto!

The rest of this Kyoto one day itinerary will have you explore the Higashiyama District and Gion District. There are no time restrictions, trains to catch, or closing hours you have to make. Take your time and explore at your pace, going down the narrow alleys and checking out the wooden merchant shops.

Kyoto is known as the cultural capital of Japan and you can really see it in the streets of Higashiyama. After visiting Yasaka-dori, make your way to Hanamikoji street.

Located in the Gion district, Hanamikoji street is one of the oldest streets in Kyoto and the one that you are most likely to see a Geisha or Maiko strolling down the street.

Originated from the 18th century, Geishas and Maikos are an important part of traditional Japanese culture. With years of practice in arts, dance, and singing, their main role is solely to entertain the clients in ochayas (traditional tea houses). The difference between Maikos and Geishas are that Maikos are apprentice Geishas, and you can usually tell the difference in their clothing and accessories. 

There are only a handful of Geishas and Maiko that live in Kyoto, so it is a rare occurrence that you encounter one while walking in the Gion District. However, if you do see one, please don’t intrude on them and disturb their lives. They are usually on their way to work or home, and none of them would appreciate the aggressiveness. 

For more information on Geishas and Maikos culture, check out here.

When you are in Gion district, make sure you stop by Shirakawa Canal. The tranquility of the water along with the timeless wooden houses along the street creates a unique ambience, it is almost as if you just stepped into a time machine. 

This is the end of the one day in Kyoto itinerary! At this point you must be tired, go grab some dinner in the area or go to downtown Kyoto. Make sure you try some of the traditional dishes of Japan such as sushi, ramen, takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and more. The ramen in Kyoto is some of the best in Japan! 

Alternative Attractions to the 1 Day Kyoto Itinerary

In this section, we will talk about other attractions that we didn’t make the cut in our Kyoto 1 day itinerary.

1. Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji) – One of the most impressive Zen Buddhist temples in Kyoto. It’s top two floors are completely covered in gold, showing the luxury Kitayama culture during the Yoshimitsu reign.

The 1 day itinerary in Kyoto doesn’t include Kinkakuji simply because it is too far and only accessible with the rather inconvenient buses. Probably the best UNESCO World Heritage Site in Kyoto, you should visit it if you have 2 days in Kyoto. If you must see this on your Kyoto trip, swap it out for one of the other attractions.

2. Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion) – Ginkakuji is a Zen Buddhist temple built a few decades after Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion). Unlike the Golden Pavilion that is partially covered with gold, the Silver Pavilion is not covered in silver. However, the Silver Pavilion is not as crowded as the Golden Pavilion and is a perfect place to feel zen and tranquil. 

3. Philosopher’s Path – A path right outside of Ginkakuji, you can easily pair this attraction with a visit to Ginkakuji. The Philosopher’s Path is beautiful during cherry blossom season but rather unimpressive during other seasons.

4. Kyoto FREE Walking Tour – The Kyoto free walking tour runs every day in the morning. The schedule can be found on their website here. It is a 2.5-hour walking tour and the guide gives you a lot of information about the city of Kyoto and its history.

5. Kyoto Tower – The viewing tower of Kyoto Tower is one of the best places for a panoramic view of Kyoto. However, you have already been to places like Fushimi Inari Taisha and Kiyomizu-dera. Kyoto Tower will seem repetitive compared to those. 

Where to Stay in Kyoto to Maximize Your 1 Day in Kyoto

Best Hostel in Kyoto – K’s House Kyoto: Backpackers Hostel

If you are looking for a backpacker’s hostel in Kyoto, then consider K’s House Kyoto: Backpackers Hostel. Hostels in Japan aren’t known to be particularly social but K’s House boasts many common areas for guests to meet and a nice bar to help loosen everyone up!

The facilities, like the rest of Japan, are clean and top-notch. It is also like you are staying in a hotel but for the rice of a hostel.

Click here for more details!

Best Airbnb in Kyoto – Sakura Inn 2

Ochaya Kyoto Stay
Where To Stay In Kyoto For Ramen

(Images Courtesy of Airbnb)

One of the best ways to experience the culture in Kyoto is by staying at one of the traditional Japanese homes! Luckily, there are plenty of Airbnbs in Kyoto.

Sakura Inn 2 is a traditional Japanese apartment that was originally inhabited by a Geisha. Guests can experience what it is like to sleep on a tatami mat!

Oen of the most outstanding features of this Airbnb is the location. The terrace overlooks the Takase River, and ducks often frequent this small river. The terrace is also facing one of the most popular streets for cherry blossom in Kyoto. If you are visiting Kyoto during that time, make sure you book in advance!

Click here for more details!

Best Luxury Hotel in Kyoto – The Share Hotels Rakuro Kyoto

The Share Hotels Rakuro Kyoto is a meticulously clean and modern hotel in Kyoto. It is known to be some clean that you can eat your meal off the floor, not that we would recommend it.

The hotel has nice and comfortable decor, creating a feeling of home. Breakfast is included, free coffee throughout the day, a bar on-site, and much more are offered here at The Share Hotels. 

Click here for more details!

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This concludes the 1 day Kyoto itinerary! I hope this guide helped you determine the things to do in Kyoto in one day. Any question? Leave them in the comments!

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14 FUN Things To Do In Kyoto At Night

14 FUN Things To Do In Kyoto At Night

Not sure what to do in Kyoto at night?

Kyoto might not get the same recognition as Tokyo or Osaka when it comes to nightlife, but there are still plenty of amazing things to do in Kyoto at night.

From exploring the popular Gion district to visiting some of the off-the-beaten-path places, our guide will feature an array of Kyoto night activities.

Enjoy!

What To Do In Kyoto At Night: 14 Best Night Activities in Kyoto

1. Explore Gion, Kyoto at Night

Gion is the most famous geisha district in Kyoto. Filled with many elements of the past, the Gion District is the best place to get a good glimpse of Kyoto’s culture. Walk down the historic streets and you will see wooden machiya merchant houses, ochaya (teahouses), and if you are lucky, a geisha or two.

Though ochaya translate to teahouses in English, don’t mistake them for your ordinary cafes or something similar. Ochaya are the finest-dining establishments you can find in Kyoto.  Guests are entertained by geishas and maikos (geisha apprentices) as they dine. The admission fee for a well-established ochaya can be astronomical, and many only accept guests that have been personally invited.

Gion District is a huge area and exploring it thoroughly would take a long time. However, there are some streets and places you must see in Gion at night. They are Hanamikoji Street and Shirakawa Canal.

Hanamikoji Street is the most famous street in the Gion District. If you take any Kyoto tour, chances are the tour guide will take you on this street. Timeless houses, traditional alleys, a visit to Hanamikoji Street is like stepping into a time machine. You also have a high chance of spotting a geisha here!

Shirakawa Canal is personally my favorite spot in the Gion District. It has everything the Hanamikoji Street has but with fewer tourists and a serene river passing through. It is the most picturesque part of Gion, especially during the cherry blossom season!

2. Go For Late Night Food In Kyoto!

If you visit Japan, you must try some of their traditional mouth-washing cuisines. Luckily for you, Kyoto is one of the best cities in Japan to get your hands on some of its internationally-famous dishes.

There many worthy dishes to try such as sushi, okonomiyaki, takoyaki, and plenty of other quirky Japanese street foods, but my favorite has to be the timeless Japanese ramen.

Hot-steamy thick delicious broth with hand-made al dente noodles, Japanese ramen is one of the reasons why I gained so much weight on my trip to Japan. Ramen is an international dish and I have confidence that you have had it before.

A ramen-lover myself, I have tried ramen in many big cities such as Hong Kong, New York, and many others.

Nothing compares to the ramen I had in Japan.

Many of the ramen shops are open till late at night in Kyoto. My favorite ramen restaurant in Kyoto has to be Ramen Sen-No-Kaze. The broth is so deliciously-addicting it should be banned.

3. Take A Kyoto Night Tour

Known as Japan’s cultural capital, Kyoto is filled with riveting but dense Japanese history. Trying to learn everything from the culture to the history alone might seem like a daunting task. Luckily for you, there are many night tours in Kyoto, some tours are even free.

The one Kyoto night tour I highly recommend is Kyoto Localised Free Night Walking Tour. Led by experienced locals, there is no better way to learn about the various traditions and UNESCO Heritage Sites of Kyoto. The night tour is completely free but the tour guides make their money off of tips.

If you don’t think the tour was worth your time or money, you don’t have to tip a single dime!

There are also many private Kyoto night tours. These are more costly but will provide you with more information as well as more personal attention.

Here are some Kyoto night tours we recommend: 

4. Have A Nice Stroll Down Kamogawa River And Have a Beer!

The Kamogawa River, or Kamo River, is a 31-kilometer river that goes through some of the most popular tourist spots in Kyoto.

In the daytime, the riverbanks of Kamogawa River are bustling with activities: people are walking their dogs, going on dates, and generally having a good time.

At night, nothing changes. Everyone is still out having a good time. I personally like strolling down the riverbanks of Kamo River at night, people watching with a beer in my hand.

The feeling of a sedative evening breeze along with the mesmerizing music of the soothing river is the perfect way to rejuvenate your body after a tiresome day in Kyoto.

It is legal to drink outside in Japan so head over to your nearest convenience store, grab a beer and some snacks, and have a good time at the Kamogawa River!

(Just don’t go in the winter!)

5. Visit Gion Corner

By: ASocialNomad

Many of the experience in Japan relates to how different Japanese Culture is compared to western culture. From traditional ryokans, onsens, and Japanese food experiences, there’s a host of different things to try.

If you don’t have much time in Japan, and Kyoto especially but want to understand a little more of some of the cultural aspects of Japan, then a visit to Gion corner at night in Kyoto will cover a few bases for you.

A visit to Gion Corner will let you explore 7 of the cultural arts of Japan in one evening. You’ll experience Japanese flower arranging and a maiko and geiko dance as well as listening to the traditional art of koto music.

There’s also Gagacou musical theater – once performed at the Imperial court shrines and temples and the humourous Kyogen theatre. Japan’s traditional puppet theatre, Bunraku is also shown – this was added to the UNESCO list of intangible humanity in 2003.

Finally, you may be lucky enough to be chosen to take part in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony at Gion Corner, a great experience and worth the ticket price alone!

Performances last a total of around 50 minutes and adult tickets cost 3,510 Yen – but discounts may be available in low season.

6. Eat Till You Drop At Pontocho Alley

Though there aren’t any Kyoto night market, the Pontocho alley is the closest thing to a night market in Kyoto!

Featuring diverse dining establishments from the cheap street food to traditional and modern Japanese cuisine, Pontocho is the place to be if you have a growling stomach. Takoyaki, yakitori, okonomiyaki, if there is a Japanese dish your heart desires, chances are you can find it at Pontocho alley.

Most of the restaurants on the eastern side of the Pontocho alley overlook the Kamogawa River. In the summer, temporary terraces are built so guests can dine outside with the beautiful views of the river. It is the perfect place for a romantic date in Kyoto!

Location: Kashiwayacho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, 604-8014, Japan

7. Visit A Japanese Onsen (Natural Hot Spring) or Sento (Public Bath)

Some of the best attractions in Japan are the numerous natural hot springs (called onsens in Japanese) throughout the country. As a volcanic island, Japan is home to over 30,000 naturally occurring hot springs. Though there are plenty of onsens in the country, unfortunately Kyoto is not in the prime region.

For those cities that are not lucky enough to have natural hot springs, man-made sentos (Japanese public baths) are available to the public.

Luckily for you, due to technology, Kyoto has a few proper onsens. The one closest to town is called Tenzan-no-yu Onsen, and it is located near the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. The onsen water comes from a well drilled 1,200 meters below the city and is rich in minerals.

For those that do not want to venture out into Arashiyama, there are public baths closer to the city center. One of my favorites is the Goko-yu Sento

The public baths are separated by gender so if you are visiting with your partner, you will have to separate. One of the striking features of a Japanese public bath or onsen is the nudity. Anyone entering the baths must be completely nude. 

This might be shocking in western culture but the Japanese are used to it. Don’t worry if you are a little shy at first because the locals are used to seeing the shock on foreigners’ faces!

Most baths and onsens are open till midnight and beyond. If you are unsure of what to do in Kyoto at night, just head over to a sento or onsen!

Main Bath

Enjoy Kyoto Nightlife!

1. Drink Sake at A Traditional Izakaya

By: The Nomadic Vegan

Eating and drinking at a traditional izakaya is a quintessential Japan experience. The word “izakaya” doesn’t really have an equivalent in most languages, although one possible exception is “bar de tapas” in Spanish. Of course, the type of cuisine served in an izakaya is different from typical Spanish tapas, but it is similarly served in small portions.

The idea is that you order a bunch of dishes and share them with friends while having a drink. Sometimes the word “gastropub” is used to translate the concept of an izakaya into English, as this emphasizes the point that an izakaya is not just for drinking but also for eating.

Renkon-Ya is a very authentic yet still tourist-friendly izakaya right in the center of Kyoto, near Sanjo station.

The place is very small, with just a handful of Western tables, a few stools at the bar, and some Japanese-style seating at low tables on a tatami mat platform in the very back.

It’s run by two hardworking women who do everything themselves, including the cooking, the washing, and the serving. They don’t speak very much English, but they have arranged for someone to create a hand-written English menu for them.

The dishes change often depending on the season, but you can always find a few veggie options that are clearly identified as such. This means that vegans and vegetarians in Kyoto don’t have to worry about missing out on the izakaya experience.

Make sure you try the national drink of Japan, sake, when you are at an izakaya!

2. Party at World Kyoto, The Biggest Nightclub In Kyoto

Though the nightlife in Kyoto is not as crazy as the nightlife in Osaka or Tokyo, there are still many clubs and bars you can go to.

The most popular nightclub in Kyoto is unquestionably World Kyoto. As the biggest nightclub in Kyoto, World has two floors: one with lockers for guarding your stuff and another for dancing the night away.

With a variety of music and frequent events, guests will have an unforgettable night here. Well, unless you drink too much. 🙂

If you are not sure where to go in Kyoto at night, you can always find a good crowd at World Kyoto!

Location: 97 Shincho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8001, Japan

3. Sing Your Heart Out At A Japanese-Style Karaoke

Japanese-style karaoke is one of the Japanese locals’ favorite things to do at night. Unlike the western counterpart where you have to embarrass (I mean sing) in front of a group of strangers, Japanese karaoke is a lot more private, and a lot more fun in my opinion.

In Japanese karaoke, you sing in a private room that you rent out by the hour. Not only do you get to choose the type and size of the room, but you also get to decide who is invited or not. No more singing Backstreet Boys in front of people you don’t know!

Most karaokes in Japan sell snacks and drinks. That way you can get loose and have some fun with your friends!

The two karaoke places I recommend are Jankara Kawaramachi and JOYSOUND.

Hours: Usually until 5 AM the next day

Check out the Kyoto Night View!

1. Kyoto Tower At Night!

If you are looking for the ultimate panoramic night view of Kyoto, head over to Kyoto Tower. Measuring at 131-meter tall, Kyoto Tower is officially the tallest building in all of Kyoto. Nested in the historic city of Kyoto, this modern iconic landmark is the perfect juxtaposition of old and new Kyoto.

Inside the Kyoto Tower, there is an observation deck 100 meters above the ground. It is the highest observatory in all of Kyoto. The viewing platform offers unobstructed 360 degrees view of the city below. Your eyes will jump from one temple to another, completely tranced by its historic beauty.

In the basement of the Kyoto Tower is a Japanese public bath where visitors can enjoy some of the best ways to relax in Japan!

Location: 721-1 Higashishiokojicho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8216, Japan
Hours: 9 AM to 9 PM (entry until 8:40 PM) Daily
Fee: 800 yen

2. Yasaka-dori (Yasaka Street) And Yasaka Shrine

Yasaka Street is one of the most popular streets located in the charming Higashiyama District. As one of the most well-preserved areas in Kyoto, the Higashiyama District is filled with ancient wooden houses, narrow alleys, and many relics of the past.

The most scenic location of Yasaka Street is near Ninenzaka, a small narrow street containing many traditional Japanese houses. Starting at the intersection of Ninenzaka and Yasaka Street, head down the slopes of Yasaka Street. Soon you will come to a narrow path with quaint wooden houses on both sides and the glowing Yasaka Pagoda in the distance!

Bustling with life in the daytime, unfortunately, it is a lot quieter at night. Personally, for me, that meant fewer people in my way to get that perfect photo! If you are an avid-photographer, visiting Yasaka Street is one of the best things to do at night in Kyoto!

If you have extra time, stop by Yasaka Shrine on the way. This shrine is opened 24 hours and is one of the best shrines to visit in Kyoto at night.

Off-The-Beaten-Path Things To Do In Kyoto at Night

1. Visit The Arashiyama Bamboo Forest At Night!

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest is considered one of the biggest attractions in Kyoto. The countless number of bamboo trees soar into the sky, giving this unique place a sense of mystery and unworldliness. Visiting the bamboo grove is a popular thing to do in the daytime, but what about at night?

Though you can’t see the individual bamboo trees as well at night, the atmospheric feeling intensifies. With fewer tourists, you can properly enjoy the beauty of this natural wonder. For me, it was quite eerie to visit at night.

The path is illuminated by small lights so you can see properly, but there was a sense of uneasiness when you are the only one alone in a bamboo forest. It felt like I was in a survival/horror movie though I was in one of the safest countries in the world.

Without the staggering amount of tourists, it is also much easier to photograph the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. The photo, however, won’t come out the same as the ones in the daytime.

Location: Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, 616-0000, Japan
Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week!

2. Check Out The Torii Gates At Fushimi Inari Taisha

Similar to the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Fushimi Inari Taisha is one of the top places to visit in Kyoto.

As one of the most important Shinto shrines in Kyoto, Fushimi Inari Taisha’s sacredness is lost when you are constantly smacked in the face by selfie sticks.

The thousands of vibrant vermilion torii gates that lead up to the sacred Mount Inari no longer seem so impressive when it is overcrowded with tourists.

That is why I recommend visiting Fushimi Inari Taisha at night. Though the colors are not as beautiful as when the sun is shining on it, Fushimi Inari Taisha is still very pretty at night. Without the tourists, you are free to do whatever you want: hike all the way to the top of Mount Inari, or just wander until where your heart’s content.

Boars can occasionally appear during non-peak hours, so keep an eye out when you are visiting Fushimi Inari Taisha at night.

Location: 68 Fukakusa Yabunouchicho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, 612-0882, Japan
Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week!

Where To Stay In Kyoto

If you are backpacking Kyoto, then you must stay in K’s House Kyoto Backpackers. A social hostel filled with guests from around the world, come solo and leave with family! The hostel is also attached to an affordable bar to chill and relax!

Click here for more details!

Best Airbnb in Kyoto – Sakura Inn 2

Ochaya Kyoto Stay
Where To Stay In Kyoto For Ramen

(Images Courtesy of Airbnb)

If you want to take your visit to Kyoto to the next level, then staying at a traditional Japanese home is imperative! 

Sakura Inn 2 is an authentic Japanese apartment that was originally inhabited by a Geisha. Guests staying here will have to sleep on a traditional tatami mat! 

This Kyoto Airbnb features a total of 4 tatami mats, so a family of four can comfortably experience this lifestyle. Kids will especially love the terrace as it offers views of the Takase River. Ducks are often seen in that river.

This Airbnb faces one of the most spectacular cherry blossom streets in Kyoto. So if you plan on visiting Kyoto during that time, make sure you reserve in advance!

Click here for more details!

If swimming in a pool is too cliche, why not change it up for some natural hot springs in the Dormy Inn Premium Kyoto Ekimae Natural Hot Spring. Nothing beats sitting in one of the natural outdoor onsens with beautiful views after a tiresome day of exploring Kyoto!

Click here for more details!

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These are the 14 best things to do in Kyoto at night! We hope you find this article helpful!

Any questions? Leave a comment!

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One Day in Osaka Itinerary: The Best Of Osaka

One Day in Osaka Itinerary: The Best Of Osaka

Not sure what to do in Osaka in one day? Worry not!

Osaka, a port city known for its crazy nightlife, amazing street food, and bright neon signs, is one of the top tourist destinations in Japan. Dotonburi, Osaka Castle, Shinsekai, there are just so many things to do in Osaka.

In our Osaka 1 day itinerary, we will visit as many of the best attractions in Osaka without rushing through anything and help you decide which sightseeing spots in Osaka are worth your time!

Is 1 Day In Osaka Enough?

If you are reading this itinerary, you must wonder how many days you should spend in Osaka and is 1 day enough to see everything? The answer is … Probably not.

Given the number of things to do in Osaka and the eye-widening cultural differences, we recommend spending at least 2 to 3 days in Osaka.

As efficient as the trains are in Japan, 24 hours in Osaka is not enough to see all the beautiful sights it has to offer. We understand that traveling in Japan is quite expensive and sometimes you might just have one day in Osaka.

That is why we have written this detailed Osaka itinerary, so you discover the things you must do in Osaka in one day and how to maximize your time to see as much as possible!

The Perfect Osaka 1 Day Itinerary

Osaka Tourist Attractions Map: 1-Day Osaka Itinerary 

Above is the personalized tourist attractions map for your 1 day Osaka itinerary. You will see two sets of marks on the map: the red circle with numbers, and the blue circles with question marks. On the top left corner of the map is a toggle. By clicking on the toggle, you can see the list of attractions in Osaka I have highlighted on the map. It will make it easier to follow along.

The red circles are the places in Osaka you will be visiting. Each red circle has a number to it. The red circle with the number 1 means it will be the first thing to do in Osaka. Can you see what I have marked on the map as number 1? Yes, it’s Osaka Castle!

The blue circles with the question marks are other notable attractions in Osaka. Many of them are unique places in Osaka, such as the Universal Studios Japan or the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. If you have more than one day in Osaka, I would recommend you adding those attractions to your Osaka travel itinerary.  

Osaka Amazing Pass

For anyone on a short trip to Osaka, deciding whether to purchase the Osaka Amazing Pass could save a lot of money. The Osaka Amazing Pass is a 1-day or 2-day pass that offers free admissions to over 50 attractions, bonus perks to about 32 facilities, and a TOKU x2 Coupon, something that gives you discounts on certain attractions. Osaka Amazing Pass also gives you unlimited rides to trains and buses.

Often times, these day passes are usually not worth it, as they don’t cover the best things to do in a city. However, the Osaka Amazing Pass is an awesome deal that will save you a lot of money. It covers many of the top attractions you will be visiting in this Osaka 1-day itinerary.

I highly recommend buying the Osaka one day pass if you plan on following this Osaka itinerary.

For more information about the Osaka Amazing Pass, visit their official site and download their mobile app. Before purchasing, you can see all the special deals you can get from the Osaka pass on their mobile app. The Osaka 1 day pass costs 2700 yen at the time of writing.

Check out our special offer on the 1 day Osaka Amazing Pass.

Itinerary of the Best Things to Do in Osaka in 1 Day

Morning: Osaka Castle, Museum of Housing and Living, Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street

This itinerary will assume that you have purchased the Osaka Amazing Pass and that you have already redeemed your physical voucher. If you have decided not to buy it, don’t worry. But if you have not picked up the physical pass yet, you will need to do it the first thing in the morning. 

Osaka Castle

Welcome to Osaka! The first attraction you will be visiting in Osaka is the famous Osaka Castle. The Osaka Castle opens at 9 AM so that is exactly when you will arrive at the castle. However, feel free to arrive early and walk around the beautiful park where the Osaka Castle is situated, it is a quiet and serene park and one of the best places to in Osaka to see cherry blossoms when they are blooming!

The entrance fee to Osaka Castle is 600 yen but with the Osaka Amazing Pass, it is free.

The Osaka Castle you see is actually a reconstruction of the original castle tower built by Toyotomi Hideyori in 1597.  Toyotomi Hideyori intended to unify Japan under his rule but shortly died after the construction of the castle. The castle was destroyed a few years after by Tokugawa. It’s most recent reconstruction with concrete finished in 1997 and has a modern interior as well as an elevator.

The top floor of the Osaka Castle is an outdoor area where you have a panoramic view of the city of Osaka. The other floors are filled with the history of Toyotomi Hideyori and the construction and restoration of the Osaka Castle. 

Aim to spend about an hour or so at Osaka Castle before heading to our next activity: Osaka Museum of Housing and Living.

The best way to go from Osaka Castle to the Osaka Museum of Housing and Living is via the Tanimiachi Line. The journey costs 230 yen and will take about 30 minutes. The ride is free if you have the Osaka Amazing Pass.

Note: If you want to travel leisurely, consider skipping the next two attractions (Osaka Museum of Housing and Living and Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street) and getting on the Osaka-jo Gozabune Boat instead. The Gozabune Boat ride is a 20-minute ride that takes you around the moats of the Osaka Castle and is completely free with the Osaka pass. Afterward, head over to Umeda Sky Building. 

Osaka Museum of Housing and Living (Optional)

Osaka Museum of Housing and Living features recreation of many of the neighborhood from the Edo Period. Visitors can come and immerse yourself in the historic Osaka by wandering down the perfectly re-created streets. Kimonos are also available for rent for 500 yen an hour.

The entrance fee of the Osaka Museum of Housing and Living is 600 yen but free with the Osaka Amazing Pass.

Looking down onto the festival street Museum of Housing and LIving Osaka Japan

The museum itself is relatively small so it shouldn’t take you a long time to see everything. Try not to spend more than an hour here and leave by 11:30 AM, there are still many things to see on this Osaka itinerary. 

Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street (Optional)

Exit the museum and you will find yourself next to the famous Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street. As the longest shopping street in Japan, the Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street spans a total of 2.6 kilometers and takes about 40 minutes to walk its length.

This shopping street is much more local than the other ones you see around Osaka such as Shinsaibashi. Spend about half an hour or so checking out the huge variety of merchandise. Groceries, snack stalls, tea shops, kimonos shops, bookstores, anything you want, you can find it at Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street.

Try to pick up a snack because you will have having a late lunch today!

After you are done exploring Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street, head to Temma station and take the JR Osaka Loop Line to Osaka Station. The fare of the ride is 130 yen and it takes about 25 minutes. Note that this ride is not covered by the Osaka Amazing Pass because it is a JR line, but it is covered y the JR Rail Pass.

Afternoon: Umeda Sky Building, Kuromon Market, Hozenji Yokocho

Umeda Sky Building

A visit to the Umeda Sky Building is a must for any Osaka itinerary. With a height of 170 meters, the Umeda Sky Building is the most famous landmark in Umeda, Osaka. At the top of this unique skyscraper is a 360-degree circular roof called the Floating Garden Observatory, or Kuchu Teien Observatory. The views up there are unmatched by anywhere else in Osaka.

The twin 40-story towers of the Umeda Sky Building might be a little difficult to navigate. You must first arrive at the 35th story on one of the towers and then take the escalator across to arrive on the 39th floor on the other side. The escalator connects the two towers and hovers in the air. It is quite a surreal feeling taking the escalator as it feels like you are being transported in the air.  

Once you arrive on the 39th floor, you must purchase a ticket to enter the observatory. The entrance fee is 1500 yen. But guess what? With the Osaka Amazing Pass, entrance is totally free! 

Admire at the beautiful city of Osaka but don’t dwell for too long. The latest you should leave the Umeda Sky Building is 2 PM.

Take the Midosuji Line from Umeda Station to Namba Station and walk to Kuromon Market. It should take around half an hour and cost 230 yen, but free with the Osaka pass.

Kuromon Market

Kuromon Market is one of my favorite places in Osaka and let me tell you why. Spanning 580 meters long, the Kuromon Market is filled with fresh produce, seafood, traditional sweet and most importantly, street food! If there is anything that excites me more, it is the Japanese seafood you can purchase in the markets and the quirky street foods!

For most vendors, you can simply select the fresh seafood and they will cook it and serve it in front of you. If you prefer to eat any of the seafood raw such as oysters, just buy one and slurp it up right there!

But be extra careful to not spill any of your food on anyone passing by or eat while you are walking. Both actions are very disrespectful in Japanese culture. 

Kuromon Market is not just a good place to sample the local cuisine, but also good place to have proper lunch! So fuel up before we head towards our next destination on our itinerary: Hozenji Yokocho.

Hozenji Yokocho

The Hozenji Yokocho is a traditional street located in the Minami district. Though in the hectic Minami district, Hozenji Yokocho surprisingly preserves its serene Naniwa vibes.

A stone-paved narrow street dating from the historic Edo era, Hozeji Yokocho is filled with quaint traditional Japanese buildings. Most of these establishments are small cafes or shops that have been there for a long time. 

This street is quite famous for the Japanese street food Okonomiyaki, a savory thick pancake, so make sure to give it a try if you see them!

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Hozenji Yokocho translates to the alley next to Hozenji Temple, so it would be a shame to not visit the Hozenji temple down the street. Home of the god Fudo Myo-o, come by and worship him for some good luck. You will see that his statue is completely covered in moss but that is because throwing water at him is how you pray!

Night: Dotonburi, Shinsabaishi Shopping Street, Shinsekai, Spa World

After visiting the Hozenji Temple, make your way to Dotonbori. Within walking distance from Hozenji Yokocho, you don’t need to take any transportation to get there. 

Dotonbori

Dotonbori is the heart of all the action in Osaka. With so many bright lights, crazy neon signs, boat cruises, and enough people to colonize a new planet, you can spend your entire 1 day in Osaka just there. If you thought the trains during rush hour is crowded, wait until you get to Dotonbori.

Known as the entertainment district, Dotonbori is filled with some of the best restaurants and bars, activities, and souvenir shops. Visit one of my favorite shops in Japan, Don Quijote, for the ultimate shopping and culturally shocking experience. I’m not going to spoil anything for you but things get weird in there!

If you have the Osaka Amazing Pass, the boat cruises on the Dotonbori Canal is free. Just show your pass to exchange for a ticket and get on the next ride!

Don’t forget to grab a photo at the famous Glico Man sign!

Shinsaibashi Shopping Street

Situated right next to the Dotonbori Canal, Shinsaibashi is another shopping street in Osaka (Surprise!). If you haven’t noticed by now, Osaka is the shopping city of Japan. 

However, Shinsaibashi is not just any regular shopping street; it is a shopping street on steroids. 

Stretching 580 meters in the Chuo ward, Shinsaibashi has been a popular shopping street since the Edo period, 380 years ago. Anything you want to find, you can find it in Shinsaibashi shopping street. Street stalls, skincare shops, kimonos shops, 100 yen stores, sweaty travelers (though not for sale), they are all in Shinsaibashi.

Feel free to stroll around the Shinsaibashi and Dotonbori area as long as you want. Just remember that if you want to go up to the Tsutenkaku Tower in Shinsekai, the last entrance is at 9 PM and it takes 30 minutes to get there from Dotonbori!

The Tsutenkaku tower offers an amazing night view of the surrounding area at 91 meters above the ground.

Before you head over to Shinsekai, make sure you pack your swimsuit with you because you are going for a spa later!

Shinsekai

Take the free Midosuji line again from Dotonbori to arrive at Shinsekai.

Shinsekai is a very unique neighborhood in the sense that it was built to model Paris on the northern side and New York on the southern side.

The Tseutenkaku Tower on the north side resembles the Eiffel Tower in Paris. On the southern side of Shinsekai, there used to be an amusement park called Luna Park, modeled after Coney Island in New York.

The world Shinsekai literally translates to “The New World” and it used to be one of the most bustling and symbolic neighborhoods in Osaka. However, with the closing down of Luna Park and the war efforts, Shinsekai is not what it used to be. Nowadays, Shinsekai is considered to be an “unsafe” part of Osaka for Japanese standards, which means it is still totally safe.

If it is past 9 PM, go up to the 103-meters tall Tsutenkaku Tower for a mesmerizing night view of Osaka. The entrance is free with the Osaka pass! 

Shinsekai neighborhood is known for its Takoyaki and Kushikatsu. Takoyaki is a ball-shaped Japanese snack filled with minced octopus and various other kinds of ingredients. Kushikatsu is a skewer of deep-fried meat or vegetable.

Spa World

Spa World is the last attraction in our 1 day Osaka itinerary. You have done a lot of walking and exploring today so it is time to kick it and relax! As one of the largest hot spring theme parks in the world, Spa World has themed rooms modeled after spas from different parts of the world. Divided into European-styled baths and Japanese-styled baths, visitors can find Finnish sauna baths, Greek medicinal baths, as well as Japanese Cypress baths. 

The 7-story tall establishment also features a gym, massage services, a hotel, and a kid-friendly area for anyone traveling Osaka with kids.

Visitors with the Osaka Amazing Pass can use their TOKU x2 Coupons here for 200 yen off the entrance cost!

This is the end of the Osaka one day itinerary! The best thing about Spa World is that it is opened 24 hours so stay as long as you want. Afterward, just take the subway train back to where you are staying in Osaka, just make sure you are able to catch the last train!

Alternative Attractions to the Osaka 1-Day Itinerary

In this section, we will talk about other attractions that we didn’t make the cut in our 1 day Osaka itinerary.

1. Cup Noodles Museum Osaka Ikeda

The Cup Noodles Museums Osaka is located in the Ikeda district, 45 minutes away from Namba. Come here and learn about the miraculous history of the Cup Noodles. At the Cup Noodles Museum, you can also design your own cup noodle! Decide what kind of toppings and what kind of logo you want for your own personal cup noodle!

Did I mention you can take it home after you design it?

2. Universal Studios Osaka

One of the six Universal Studios in the world, Universal Studios Osaka definitely worth checking out. If you are traveling with kids and don’t know what to do in Osaka for a day, take them to Universal Studios! 

Click here to check our special offer!

3. Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

The Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is also a great place in Osaka if you are traveling with kids. It is one of the biggest aquariums in the entire world and features two whale sharks in the main tank! A great place to spend half a day in Osaka!

Check out our special offer here! 

4. Sumiyoshi Taisha

One of the oldest Shinto shrines in Osaka, a visit to the Sumiyoshi Taisha is a must if you are a culture and religion lover. Make sure you check out the Sorihashi Bridge (or Taiko Bridge) when visiting this cultural site. 

If you are into Japanese history and culture, you must visit Kyoto, a city filled with UNESCO Heritage sites! 

5. Abeno Harukas

Abeno Harukas is the tallest skyscraper in Osaka. Towering at 300 meters, it features an observation deck called “Harukas 300”, the largest department stores in Osaka, and the Abeno Harukas Art Museum. This is an alternative to the Umeda Sky Building but the entrance fee to Abeno Harukas is 1500 yen and it is not covered by the Osaka Amazing Pass.

6. HEP Five Ferris Wheel

Located right next to the Umeda Sky Building, this is another alternative way to get a bird’s eye view of Osaka. The HEP Five Ferris Wheel rises to 106 meters above ground and the view there is just incredible. A ride costs 500 yen but it is free with the Osaka pass.

7. Osaka Tennoji Zoo

One of the oldest zoos in Japan, the Osaka Tennoji Zoo is home to over 1000 animals! Come to Tennoji Zoo and learn about the African savannah or see some orangutans. However, the condition of the zoo is not the best in the world, and I would only recommend this attraction as a last resort or if your kids love the zoo.

Where to Stay in Osaka to Maximize Your One Day in Osaka

To maximize your 24 hours in Osaka and visit as many places as possible, you should stay at either Umeda at Kita District or Namba at Minami District. 

Umeda is a family-friendly neighborhood with access to many of the city’s public transportations as well as numerous tourist attractions nearby. 

Namba is walking distance to the big shopping and nightlife district near Dontonburi. It is a little noisier than Umeda but still a very tourist-friendly neighborhood to stay in Osaka.

Best Hostel In Osaka – Nine Hours Namba Station

If you are looking for affordable accommodation in Osaka, why not consider the trendy capsule-styled hostel? The capsule beds are not as tiny as most people think and they offered unmatched privacy. Designed for travelers on a short visit in Osaka, Nine Hours is equipped with clean and high-tech facilities. The rooms also look like you are living in a spaceship!

The annoying thing is you have to check out every day before 9 am and check back in after 1 pm.

Click here for more details!

Best Airbnb In Osaka – Forest Breath’s Room

Best Airbnb In OSaka Japan
Where To Stay In Osaka Japan

(Images Courtesy of Airbnb)

Located in the Shinsaibashi neighborhood, Forest’s Breath Room Airbnb in Osaka is within walking distance to the best places in Osaka. The famous Glico Man Sign in Dotonbori is only 600 meters away! The Shinsaibashi station is only 8minutes away by walking, which is extremely convenient for someone with only 1 day in Osaka.

Start your day in Osaka by preparing a nice delicious homemade breakfast at home. If you don’t want to cook, you will find hundreds of convenience stores such as Lawson and 7-Eleven in close proximity to this Airbnb.

Given that it is Japan, this Airbnb is quite large and can comfortably accommodate 4 guests in its 2 double beds. If you are traveling in a pair, you will definitely appreciate the extra space!

Click here for more details!

Best Luxury Hotel In Osaka – Swissotel Nankai Osaka

One of the few 5-star hotels in Osaka, the Swissotel Nankai Osaka offers unparalleled amenities at one of the best places to stay in Osaka. The Namba train station is directly underneath the hotel and Dontonburi, the most famous attraction in Osaka is within a 10-minute walk.

The facilities of this hotel are unmatched. Indoor swimming pool, spa, sauna, state-of-the-art gym, delicious cuisine ranging from Japanese to Mediterranean, guests will find nothing but luxury in this hotel.

Click here for more details!

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This concludes our 1 day in Osaka itinerary. I hope this guide helped you decide what to see in Osaka in one day. 

Any questions? Leave them in the comments!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book 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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13+ UNIQUE Things To Do In Osaka At Night

13+ UNIQUE Things To Do In Osaka At Night

Not sure what to do in Osaka at night?

Don’t worry. The fun does not stop when the sun sets in Osaka. 

A popular tourist destination in the Kansai region, Osaka is known for its architecture, quality cuisines, and amazing nightlife. 

When we visited Osaka on our Japan trip, we found that the Osaka attractions at night are even better than the ones in the day. 

So we have compiled a personal list of our favorite things to do in Osaka at night! 

Enjoy!

What To Do In Osaka At Night

1. Go For Late-Night Ramen

In the land of delicious cuisine and enticing street food, it is almost impossible to not think about Japanese food at all times. Luckily for you, one of the most popular things to do in Osaka is to go for late-night ramen.

Nothing soothes the mind and soul like a hot-steamy bowl of thick broth with al dente hand-made noodles.

It might sound strange to slurp a huge bowl of goodies in the middle of the night but it is actually a popular activity for the locals. In fact, many of the ramen restaurants in Osaka operate 24 hours!

My two favorite places for ramen in Osaka are Ramen Zundo-Ya Shinsaibashi and Hanamaruken Namba Hozenji, they are both open 24 hours.

When you are eating ramen, remember to slurp as loud as possible to indicate that you like the ramen. If you don’t slurp at all, it means that you don’t like the food and is actually disrespectful. There are many strange cultural differences in Japan!

2. Relax At Spa World

Are you tired after spending one day in Osaka visiting its amazing attractions?

Worry not.

I know the best place to relax in Osaka. Seven stories and filled with many different styles of onsens, Spa World one of the largest hot spring complexes in the entire world. With a mix of European-styled baths and Japanese-styled baths, visitors can find Finnish sauna baths, Greek medicinal baths, as well as Japanese Cypress baths.

My favorite has to be the Finnish Sauna Baths. Nothing is more refreshing than jumping in the iced-cold water after sitting in the skin-melting Finnish Sauna Baths.

After visiting their onsens (natural hot springs), guests can also get a nice workout in their gym or a nice relaxing massage session. If you are traveling with kids in Osaka, there is an amusement park on their roof!

Hours: 24 Hours
Location: 3 Chome-4-24 Ebisuhigashi, Naniwa Ward, Osaka, 556-0002, Japan

3. Shop At Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade

Osaka is known for its numerous shopping streets that span the length of many football fields. (The Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street spans 2.6 km!) The best shopping street to shop till you drop in Osaka is Shinsaibashi. You can finally work off all the calories (in a fun way) you got from eating all the ramen. 

Spaning 580 meters, the hectic Shinsaibashi shopping street can receive up to 120,000 visitors in one day on the weekends. That is about one-third of the population of Iceland! At night, Shinsaibashi gets crazier. Prepare yourself to be smacked by selfie sticks, intimidated by frenzy shopaholics and their overeagerness, and the sweaty tourists.

You will definitely have an unforgettable time shopping at Shinsaibashi. Located next to the famous area known as Dotonbori, visitors can see both of these famous Osaka attractions in one go.

Hours: Most shops close at around 8:30 to 10 PM
Location: 2 Chome-2-22 Shinsaibashisuji, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 542-0085, Japan

4. Eat Okonomiyaki at Hozenji Yokocho

By: A Hole In My Shoe

Osaka is renowned for its food and Okonomiyaki originated there just prior to WWII. Eating this giant savory cabbage pancake, sometimes called Japanese pizza, is one of the best things to do in Osaka.

Okonomiyaki is made from a batter mixed with cabbage, meat, seafood and cooked on a flat iron griddle, then topped with thick brown sauce, mayo and bonito flakes that dance in the heat.

The anticipation of watching it prepared and cooked in front of you, listening to the sizzle as the scent lingers, entices the appetite and adds to the dining experience. Surprising for only having a few ingredients Okonomiyaki is delicious and often there will be lines outside the popular okonomiyaki restaurants, but the wait is truly worth your while.

This iconic dish of Osaka is definitely a must-eat and there is no shortage of places to enjoy it. Stacked with restaurants and shops, Dotonbori is a great area to try Okonomiyaki. However, the place where the local Osakans go for a late-night Okonomiyaki is actually the traditional street name Hozenji Yokocho.

If you want to have the most authentic Okonomiyaki, you must try the restaurant called Yakizen

5. Visit Dotonbori and Take a Photo at The Glico Man

By: Swedish Nomad

Dotonbori is the main area for nightlife, shopping, and entertainment in Osaka. It typically refers to the canal as well as Dotonbori Street, and it’s one of the most iconic areas in all of Japan, famous all over the world.

The area is known for its neon signboards and big advertising boards, including the Glico Man sign, which is a symbol for Osaka. It’s a busy area that offers a lot of fun for all ages and interests.

While it’s very popular among foreigners who visit Osaka, it’s equally popular among the locals which makes it a great place to experience every day Japanese life and culture.

There are abundant options for shopping with lots of shops as well as restaurants when you get hungry. It’s easy to get to Dotonbori from all over Osaka, and it’s well-connected by public transportation. The area of Dotonbori is also a great place to try some local street food from Osaka, which is often referred to as the food capital of Japan. 

6. 24/7 Thrift Shopping in Don Quijote

By: Knycx Journeying

Everyone knows that Japan is a shopping paradise from-day-to-night. Japanese products have great diversity, supreme quality, and unimaginable creativity that not just the locals but also the visitors enjoy. With so much to see and do during daytime in Osaka, why not have your own shopping spree at night?

While a lot of shops and department stores close at 8 pm, Shinsaibashi never sleeps. At night, Dotonbori-Dori is ablaze with neon lights and the symbolic Glico Running Man billboard would be lit until midnight.

Don Quijote is one of those places where you want to be. The locals call it “Donki”, and as charming as its name, it is a discount chain store that carries a vast array of goodies from groceries, snacks, cosmetics, to electronics and clothing.

The chain is expanding rapidly in the last decade overseas and they could be found everywhere. Some of them, like the Umeda and Shinsaibashi stores in Osaka, work 24/7. A lot of interesting products are in very good value – so beware that there could be a long queue at the cashier, even at 2 to 3 am in the morning!

Enjoy Osaka Nightlife!

1. Craft Beer Crawl

By: Food And Drink Destinations

In a country dominated by sake and mass-produced beer, you might be surprised to learn that Japan produces outstanding artisan craft beer.

At the heart of Japan’s craft beer brewing is Osaka. Most famous for its food scene, Osaka is also home to several amazing craft beer producers. Throughout Osaka, travelers will find over a dozen bars and restaurants featuring locally brewed craft beers. The perfect amount to create your very own night-time craft beer crawl.

Several of the best craft beer in Osaka can be found in the neighborhood surrounding the Osaka Station. It’s possible to visit 2 or 3 craft beer bars in one night. Check out Beer Belly Tenma, Craft Beer Bar Marciero, and Craft Beer House Molto, which has views over Namba station from the 31st floor of the Hankyu Grand Building.

Like many things in Japan, craft beer is relatively expensive. Craft beers can cost from ¥600-1500 ($5-$13) depending on the size and which craft beer you choose. Additionally, many bars include a “cover charge” ¥200-300 per person. While this can add up on a craft beer crawl, the quality of Japanese craft beers more than makes up for it.

So if you visit Osaka, keep an eye out for one of the many craft beers and enjoy.

Kanpai!

2. ROR Comedy Club

Do you like laughing?

Then you will enjoy our next Osaka night attraction!

ROR Comedy Club has been bringing joy and waves of laughter to all its visitors since 2011. They are the first English stand-up comedy club in Osaka so don’t worry if you don’t speak Japanese, all their award-winning performances are in English.

Personally I have so much regret not visiting ROR Comedy Club when I was in Osaka. A lot of the travelers I have met said they were in stitches the whole entire night and left with a laughter-induced six-pack.

ROR Comedy Club also serves a variety of drinks and cocktails!

Admission Fee: 1,00 Yen
Hours: Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, 8:45 PM – 11 PM
Location: ROR Comedy Club 

3. Go To An Izakaya And Try Japanese Sake

It doesn’t matter how many days you spend in Osaka, you can’t travel to Japan and not try some authentic Japanese Sake. Luckily for you, Osaka is known for its delicious food and drinks. The best place to try some Sake is at the timeless Izakayas.

Izakayas are Japanese casual bars where patrons can have drinks and snacks,  similar to a tapas bar or a pub.

Izakayas are the place to hang out after a tiresome day at work and you just want to chat with your friends. If you want to meet locals, you will undoubtedly find a lot of chatty (but drunk) locals here.

Come try authentic sake and some local Japanese bar food such as Yakitori (Grilled chicken skewers), Edamame (boiled and salted soybean pods), and Karaage (bite-sized fried chicken). 

My favorite Izakaya in Osaka is Izakaya Hisa! Make sure you try it out!

Hours: 6 PM – 3 AM Daily
Location: Izakaya Hisa

4. Late-Night Karaoke, One of Japanese Favorite Things to Do in Osaka At Night

Tired of singing in the shower? Are you tired of radiating your beautiful voice and not having a loyal audience? Or do you just want to sing your heart out and not feel embarrassed?

Then you must try Karaoke in Japan. Karaoke is one of the most popular night activities and it’s not surprising why.

Unlike its western counterpart where you have to stand up and sing in front of a group of strangers, Karaoke in Japan is very private. All karaoke establishments have private rooms where you and your friends can sing till they go mute.

Typically the karaoke spot will also provide snacks and drinks so everyone can really get loose. You can rent the rooms by the hour but people typically start out with 2 hours and sometimes end up staying the entire night!

Luckily, most karaoke places are open 24 hours. My favorite place in Osaka for karaoke is Karaoke Pasera Dotonbori. It is a family-friendly karaoke establishment that opens until 7 AM or 8 AM daily!

Hours: Usually 24 hours
Location: 1 Chome-4-27 Dotonbori, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 542-0071, Japan

5. Go Party at An Osaka Night Club

Osaka nightlife is one of the best in the world. It would be a shame to not visit one of the renowned Osaka night clubs on your trip to Japan.

Japanese locals are known to be super friendly so chances are they might just approach you while you are in the middle of breaking out some moves.

The best night club in Osaka has to be Giraffe. A 3-story club featuring mostly a young crowd, this is the place to go crazy and dance till your feet hurt. They also have an all-you-can-drink option for all the alcoholics!

Hours: 8 PM to 2 AM
Admission Cost: Free to 4500, depending on the day and if you want the all-you-can-drink option.
Location: 7-9 Souemoncho, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 542-0084, Japan

See Osaka Night View!

1. Kuchu Teien Observatory at Umeda Sky Building

Towering 173 meters, Umeda Sky Building is one of the most remarkable skyscrapers in Osaka. Consisting of two 40-story tall buildings that connect on the uppermost floors, the architecture of the Umeda Sky Building is quite unique. But the architecture isn’t the most impressive thing about this giant, on the top of the Umeda Sky Building is the famous Kuchu Teien Observatory.

The Kuchu Teien Observatory, also known as the Floating Garden Observatory, is a 360-degree donut-shaped roof that provides panoramic views of Osaka from above. The views will stretch farther than your eyes can reach.

To reach the observatory, you must first take the elevator to the 35th floor on one of the buildings. Once you arrive on the 35th floor, there is an escalator that connects the two towers. Traveling on that escalator is a surreal experience that you cannot miss!

Hours: 9:30 AM to 10:30 PM (Last entrance at 10 PM)
Admission Cost: Age 4-12 – 700 yen, Adults – 1500 yen
Location: 1 Chome-1-88 Oyodonaka, Kita Ward, Osaka, 531-6023, Japan

2. Harukas 300 Observatory at Abeno Harukas!

Measuring at 300-meters tall, the Abeno Harukas is the tallest building in Osaka. It is a building that houses many individual establishments such as a department store, an art museum, and a hotel. The most remarkable of which is the Harukas 300 observation deck.

The observation deck occupies the top 3 floors of the building (from floor 58 to 60). At 300m above ground, the Harukas 300 observatory is the highest viewing platform to see Osaka at night.

With ceiling-high windows that surround the observatory, visitors can have a 360-degree obstructed view of the photogenic Osaka.

Though the observatory is higher than that of the Umeda Sky Building, I prefer the Umeda Sky Building over the Harukas 300. The architecture of the Umeda Sky Building is much more inspiring and traveling on the elevator that connects the two towers is an astonishing experience.

Hours: 9 AM to 10 PM Daily
Admission Fee: 1500 yen
Location: 1 Chome-1-43 Abenosuji, Abeno Ward, Osaka, 545-6016, Japan

Check out our special offer for the Harukas 300 here!

ABENO HARUKAS

3. See Osaka Castle At Night

Osaka Castle is one of the biggest attractions in Osaka. Most people see it at night, but visiting in the night time is one of the off-the-beaten-path things to do in Osaka.

If you didn’t get the chance to see Osaka Castle in the day time, you can see get a glimpse of it at night. The Osaka Castle is lit up at night and seeing lights emitting from the interior of an ancient castle is quite a unique spectacle.

Though the interior of the castle is not open, visitors can walk around the outer moat of the castle and admire the lights from a distance.

If the hustle-and-bustle of Osaka and the number of tourists in Dotonbori are proving to be too much, a serene walk in the Osaka park is sure to be appreciated. A night activity in Osaka doesn’t always have to involve drinking and partying.

Hours: Lit through the night
Admission Fee: Free
Location: 1-1 Osakajo, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 540-0002, Japan

Osaka Castle Keep Tower in 201504 016

Where To Stay In Osaka

Best Hostel in Osaka- Nine Hours Namba Station

One of the most popular type of hostels in Osaka is the trendy capsule hostels. With each bed like your own little personal bubble, it is not surprising why they have become so popular. Once you get into your spacious and clean bed and close that curtain, it almost feels like you have your own private room! The best capsule-style hostel in Osaka is the Nine Hours Bamba Station Hostel. Equipped with clean and high-tech facilities, you will surely have an amazing stay at this stylish hostel!

Click here for more details!

Best Airbnb In Osaka – Forest Breath’s Room

Best Airbnb In OSaka Japan
Where To Stay In Osaka Japan

(Images Courtesy of Airbnb)

Located in the Shinsaibashi neighborhood, Forest’s Breath Room Airbnb in Osaka is within walking distance to the best places in Osaka. The famous Glico Man Sign in Dotonbori is only 600 meters away! The Shinsaibashi station is only 8minutes away by walking.

Japan’s accommodations are known to be small and tight, but Forest Breath’s Room is spacious enough to feel not cramped. This Osaka Airbnb can fit a maximum of 4 guests with its 2 double beds. But guests that are traveling in a pair will appreciate the extra space!

Click here for more details!

Best Luxury Hotel in Osaka- Swissotel Nankai Osaka

King of the luxury hotels in Osaka, Swissotel Nankai Osaka offers unparalleled amenities. The Namba train station is conveniently located underneath the hotel, making it very easy if you are going to the Kansai Airport.

The facilities of this hotel are simply unmatched. Every detail is perfect and the hotel is immaculate. Indoor swimming pool, spa, sauna, state-of-the-art gym, delicious cuisine ranging from Japanese to Mediterranean, guests will find nothing but luxury in this 5-star Osaka hotel.

Click here for more details!

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This is the end of our guide for things to do at night in Osaka! We hope you find it helpful!

Any questions? Leave a comment!

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Guide on Deciding How Many Days to Spend in Osaka, Japan

Guide on Deciding How Many Days to Spend in Osaka, Japan

Traveling in Japan can be quite expensive. As a result, you will want a well-planned itinerary to make sure you don’t overstay in any city. 

One of the most-asked questions is how many days in Osaka to stay. 

Osaka is a bustling port city filled with amazing tourist attractions, but deciding how many days to spend in Osaka will be determined by what you would like to see. 

In this guide, you will determine how much time you will spend in Osaka by narrowing down on the best attractions in Osaka.

How To Decide How Many Days in Osaka

How many days in Osaka to spend depends on what you want to accomplish and your allocated travel time.

Osaka is nicknamed “the nation’s kitchen” and is an absolute paradise for food-lovers. Kuromon Street, Shinsekai, Dotonbori, Osaka is filled with amazing places to sample some of the best Japanese cuisines.

If you are into shopping, you can shop till you drop in Osaka. Shinsaibashi, Tenjinbashisuji, Dotonbori, you will never run out of places to shop. With some of these shopping streets spanning over 2 kilometers, you can get a proper exercise while shopping!

However, if you want to learn about Japanese culture and history, Osaka is not the place to be.

I recommend not spending more than 2-3 days in Osaka if you are just interested in the things Osaka is known for (nightlife, shopping, and restaurants).

You can opt to stay more than 3 days in Osaka but at that point, you will be taking day trips to other cities in the Kansai region!

1 Day in Osaka

If you have just 1 day in Osaka, you definitely won’t see all of the best attractions. However, if you are short on time and you don’t have many days in Osaka, you can still get a lot done.

But forget about taking day trips to any of the nearby places such as Kyoto, Nara, or the Universal Studios Osaka. You will not be able to see any of the main attractions in Osaka if you decide to do those things.

You will spend most of your day in the popular tourist attractions of Osaka, namely, Dotonbori, Osaka Castle, Umeda Sky Building, and Shinsaibashi.

These places in Osaka will give you a good understanding of what the Osaka culture is about. Great nightlife, amazing restaurants, and chill vibes can be found in those areas in Osaka, especially near Dotonbori.

Traveling with kids in Osaka? Forget about spending just one day in Osaka if you want to see everything. It will be stressful and extremely tiring for you and the kids.

We recommend purchasing the Osaka Amazing Pass to maximize your money and time if you only have 1 day in Osaka.

2 Days in Osaka

2 days in Osaka is the minimum amount of days I would recommend. It allows you to see the best tourist attractions in Osaka without killing yourself and rushing through everything. 

Your 2 days in Osaka should look very similar to the 1-day Osaka itinerary, but you can add in a half-day side trip such as the Cup Noodles Museum in Ikeda or a visit to the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. 

However, if you plan on spending a day in Universal Studios or visiting some of the nearby cities such as Kyoto, Nara, or Hiroshima (with the shinkansen bullet train), you will need to stay more than two days in Osaka. If you are traveling Osaka with kids, it becomes even more difficult to accomplish so much in two days. You will need 3 or more days for Osaka if you are with kids. 

3 Days in Osaka

3 days in Osaka is the recommended time to stay. It gives you the flexibility to decide when and where you go. Whether it is taking a day trip to the Nara Deer Park or spending an afternoon relaxing in the world-famous Spa World, you will have enough time to cover the things you must see it Osaka.

There is enough time for you to get a good vibe of the city of Osaka, known for its atmosphere of hospitality and friendliness.

Explore some of the best restaurants in town such as the famous Kobe beef (if you don’t plan on visiting Kobe) or even some of their unique bars such as Shinka, a submarine-themed bar. You will never run out of things to do in Osaka at night.

4 or More Days in Osaka

4 or more days in Osaka is really unnecessary unless you are a slow traveler or want to use Osaka as a base to visit the nearby cities. You will have more than enough time to see all the attractions in Osaka. You will get a good understanding of the city and decide if you like it or not.

If staying in Osaka for such a prolonged period of time is boring to you, take a day trip from Osaka. The nearby Kansai region is filled with amazing Japanese wonders.

Best Day Trips from Osaka

The best day trips from Osaka are Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, and Kobe. 

Kyoto

The cultural capital of Japan and is filled with UNESCO Heritage Sites. A day trip to Kyoto would scratch the surface of it. Unless you are short of time, I would recommend staying in Kyoto for a few days. One day in Kyoto is just not enough. Even if you are a nightlife lover, there aren’t many things to do in Kyoto at night.

Nara

Nara is a great option for a day trip. Located only 1.5 hours from Osaka, visitors can see the entirety of the Nara Deer Park at ease in one day. Nara is not worth staying for a few days because there are not that many tourist activities there besides the deer park!

Kobe

Kobe is a port city located about an hour away from Osaka. Visitors mainly come here to try the freshest Kobe beef they can get their hands on. It is said that Kobe beef is probably the best beef you can find in the entire world. On top of that, there are few hiking spots and a huge herb garden on top of Mount Rokko.

Hiroshima

Hiroshima is a historic city located 330 kilometers west of Osaka. The only way you can make a day trip to Hiroshima from Osaka is by taking the shinkansen (bullet train), taking only 1.5 hours. If you have the JR Rail Pass, the shinkansen is free.

But if you don’t have the pass, it costs 9,710 yen one way (it is quite pricey!). If you want to learn about the atomic bomb and its history and consequences, a visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and the Atomic Bomb Dome is a must.

Where to Stay in Osaka to Maximize Your Days in Osaka

No matter how many days you have decided to spend in Osaka, it is important to stay in the right neighborhood in Osaka to maximize your time there.

The two best neighborhoods to stay in (unless you are staying long term near Universal Studios Osaka) is Umeda in Kita District and Namba in Minami District.

Umeda is the home to the Umeda Sky Building and the HEP Five Ferris Wheel. A family-friendly neighborhood with access to many of the city’s public transportations, your stay in Osaka just got a lot more convenient.

Namba is the biggest shopping and nightlife district in Osaka. Within walking distance to the most popular tourist attractions such as Dontonburi and Shinsaibashi, you will be in the heart of the action. It is a little more hectic and busier than Umeda but still an amazing place to stay in Osaka.

Best Hostel In Osaka – Nine Hours Namba Station

With the increasing popularity of capsule-style accommodation, it is not surprising that you will find some in the lively city of Osaka. Affordable, spacious (yes spacious), and with unmatched privacy, Nine Hours is one of the best capsule hostels in Osaka.

Designed for travelers on a short visit, the facilities and amenities are high-tech and spotlessly-clean. If you are lucky, you can stay in their spaceship-looking rooms!

Click here for more details!

How Many Days In Osaka Places To Stay
Where To Stay In Osaka Days To Spend

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Not only is staying at an Airbnb in Osaka one of the best ways to support the locals, but they often offer comparably more space than the traditional hotels. Take this 1-bedroom Osaka Airbnb for example.

Featuring 2 double beds and a sofa, this apartment can comfortably accommodate up to 5 guests. With amenities such as a fully-equipped kitchen, a balcony, laundry services, and a storage room (for after you have checked out), this Airbnb is a cheaper, cozier, and generally better alternative.

It is located 3-minutes away from Nipponbashi Station, giving guests access to the entire city of Osaka on their doorstep. Within walking distance are some of the best shopping streets in Osaka for anyone that wants to go on a shopping spree!

Click here for more information!

Best Luxury Hotel In Osaka – Swissotel Nankai Osaka

A top 5-star hotel in Osaka, the Swissotel Nankai Osaka offers unrivaled facilities at one of the best locations in Osaka. The Namba train station is directly below the hotel and it is the easiest way to get to the Osaka Airport (Kansai International Airport).

Indoor swimming pool, spa, sauna, a top-of-the-line gym, delicious international cuisine, guests will find nothing but luxury in this 5-star hotel.

Click here for more details!

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This concludes our guide to how many days to spend in Osaka! I hope it helped you determine how much time you will be staying in Osaka.

Any questions? Leave them in the comments!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book 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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6 BEST Ramen Restaurants in Kyoto

6 BEST Ramen Restaurants in Kyoto

Ramen, one of the most iconic foods in Japan, is something you just try when visiting. A dish with a complicated history, ramen has evolved to be a stable and popular food in Japan. Rich and thick broth, tender yet “al dente” noodles, along with traditional Japanese seasoning, ramen is surely going to claim the heart of food-lovers.

One of the best places to try Ramen is in Kyoto. As the cultural capital of Japan, Kyoto is not only filled with beautiful Geishas walking down these traditional alleys, but also some of the best ramen restaurants in Japan.

Without further ado, here are 6 BEST Ramen in Kyoto, as suggested by fellow travel bloggers!

Make sure you add them to your Kyoto itinerary! 🙂

Best Ramen in Kyoto

Best Vegan Ramen In Kyoto

1. Towzen Ramen

By: The Nomadic Vegan

Towzen Ramen is a traditional Japanese ramen restaurant with tatami mat seating as well as Western-style tables. But unlike most ramen restaurants, Towzen is 100% plant-based! It’s obviously a great choice for vegetarians and vegans in Japan, but meat-eaters will love the ramen here too.

You can choose between two types of soymilk ramen: Musashi (made with mushroom and nori) and tantan (made with tantanmen-style soy meat). Then you choose how much noodles you want. Small (120g), medium (180g) and large (240g) are all the same price. You only pay extra if you want an additional 80g of noodles beyond the large portion.

After that, you choose the type of noodle: regular thin ramen noodles; gluten-free rice noodles, or chlorella noodles, which are similar to udon. For the traditional ramen experience, I recommend the thin noodles. For an additional nutrition boost, you can also choose to add chlorella, vitamin B12, hemp or charcoal to the broth.

I chose the Musashi ramen with a medium serving of thin ramen noodles and the standard flavor. It was by far the best ramen I’ve ever had in my life!

2. Chabuton

By: Never Ending Voyage

It’s not easy to find vegan ramen in Japan, but thankfully the Chabuton ramen chain has both vegan ramen and gyoza. Chabuton is in a convenient location close to Kyoto Station in the food hall on the 6th floor of the Yodobashi camera store.

You order and pay at the vending machine then give the ticket to a waiter before sitting down. Although the machine is in Japanese, there’s an English menu (with the vegan ramen highlighted in green) that you can use to work out which button to press.

The vegan ramen is inexpensive (750 yen), huge, and delicious. It’s packed with vegetables including avocado, okra, tomato, and radish. There are condiments like chili and sesame seeds on the table to spice it up. You can ask for a second portion of noodles for free. The gyozas are well worth ordering too.

For more meat-free eating options in the city, read my vegetarian Kyoto guide.

3. Ichiran

By: A World in Reach

After traveling to Japan, I’ve learned that just because a restaurant is a chain doesn’t mean that it’s not delicious. Ichiran, a Japanese ramen chain with locations all around the country, is believed by many to be the best ramen in the world. In my opinion, it’s definitely one of the best ramen spots in Kyoto.

Ichiran specializes in tonkatsu-style ramen, meaning that its broth is made from pork bones. The dining experience at Ichiran is unique.

You’ll first order your bowl of ramen and any extras you’d like (sliced pork, soft boiled eggs, matcha tea, etc.)

After ordering, you’ll be directed to an empty seat, which is more like a personal ramen booth, and given a form where you can customize your ramen to your liking. You’ll be able to select the richness of the broth, the amount of garlic added, the spiciness, and more.

Once you’re ready, you can call the server using a button in your booth to take your sheet; soon after, a hot bowl of delicious ramen will be brought to you! If you need anything else during your visit, such as a kaedama (noodle refill), you can fill out the extra items order sheet and call back your server.

There are two Ichiran locations in Kyoto: Kawaramachi and Karasuma. No matter which one you choose, you’ll be in for a delicious meal!

When eating ramen, make sure you are slurping loudly! Slurping is a sign of appreciation and it important that you know if you are eating out in Japan!

Ichiran is opened 24 hours, 7 days a week so don’t worry if you are craving ramen in Kyoto at night!

4. Menkiya

By: Greta’s Travels

Menkiya ramen restaurant, located in the Gion neighborhood of Kyoto, just on the outskirts of the Nishiki market, served one of the best ramens I had throughout my whole Japan trip.

The restaurant is split over three floors, but all of them are fairly small. On the ground floor you’ll find the kitchen, counter where you can pay and a counter where you can eat on tall stools. The middle floor has a few separate tables and seats along the windows and the top floor has one big table. If you’re visiting with a big group you can ask them to reserve you the top floor all to yourself for free.

All the staff are Japanese and speak very minimal English, and we were the only non-Japanese people eating there when we visited (usually a good sign)! They have some English menus though so don’t worry, you’ll be able to order even if you don’t speak Japanese!

I had the curry ramen with pork and egg and loved it. It was a little bit spicy for me (despite being advertised as a 2 out of 5 on their spiciness scale) but the overall taste was great. Menkiya offers a genuine Japanese experience and tasty ramen, I recommend it to anyone visiting Kyoto!

5. Ramen Factory

By: The Invisible Tourist

When it comes to finding the best ramen restaurants in Kyoto, there’s one in particular you shouldn’t miss. This is because it’s the only restaurant in Kyoto where you can actually cook your very own ramen from scratch!

I absolutely love learning more about the local culture through experiences (and of course food), but taking my own Kyoto cooking class made me a little nervous. I am definitely not a chef, but the lovely staff at Ramen Factory Kyoto make everything super easy for amateurs like me. 

Ingredients are pre-measured and each table has a step-by-step instruction guide in English. You even get to create a custom ramen broth flavor, with traditional white miso paste that’s exclusive to the Kyoto region. It’s perfect with chicken!

The most enjoyable part (aside from eating) was kneading the ramen noodle dough. Actually, I should say punching it into shape no less than 100 times. What a workout! The experience gave me a whole new appreciation for ramen and I was quite proud that even I managed to create something so delicious!

6. Gogyo Ramen

By: Our Passion For Travel

The intimate Gogyo Ramen is a popular option amongst locals, and is this travel blogger’s all-time favorite ramen in Japan. You can expect to queue for 30-60 minutes during peak periods, but put your name down on the door and brave the wait. We did so twice on our last trip to Kyoto and still have dreams of returning.

When the door finally opens for you, the aroma will smack you in the face. I’m sure the wood panels help keep the scent alive in a way a French Oak barrel makes a wine taste so much better. There are a couple of options here, but it is difficult to go past the burnt miso ramen (Kogashi Miso ramen). There’s a magic to scent, the anticipation as it greets your lips and then that sensation when it hits your taste buds.

I’m not sure what the Japanese word for ‘al dente’ is, but the noodles are exactly where they need to be. The soup is thick and super-rich. There’s no doubt the flavor is strong, and if it’s your first ramen ever may be little overpowering. For those with a taste for ramen though, you won’t look back after this one. 

Where to Stay in Kyoto

Best Hostel in Kyoto – K’s House Kyoto: Backpackers Hostel

K’s House Kyoto: Backpackers Hostel is the most popular hostel in Kyoto for backpackers. You must stay at this place if you want to meet other travelers. The facilities are clean and sufficient. There is also a bar linked to the restaurant that serves good and reasonably-priced drinks. The terrace also gives an amazing view of Kyoto.

Click here for more details!

Best Airbnb in Kyoto – Sakura Inn 2

Ochaya Kyoto Stay
Where To Stay In Kyoto For Ramen

(Images Courtesy of Airbnb)

If you want an all-encompassing experience in Kyoto, then indulging in its food is not enough. You must stay at one of the traditional Japanese homes! Luckily, there are plenty of Airbnbs in Kyoto.

Sakura Inn 2 is a traditional Japanese apartment that was originally inhabited by a Geisha. Experience what it is like to sleep on a tatami mat when you stay at Sakura Inn 2.

This Airbnb features a total of 4 tatami mats, so a family of four can comfortably experience this lifestyle. Kids will especially love the terrace as it offers views of the Takase River. Ducks are often seen in that river.

If you are visiting during cherry blossom, your terrace will become your own personal paradise. The terrace of this apartment faces one of the best cherry blossom streets in Kyoto!

Click here for more details!

Best Luxury Hotel in Kyoto – The Share Hotels Rakuro Kyoto

The Share Hotels Rakuro Kyoto is a meticulously clean and modern hotel. You won’t find a speck of dust in your room. The hotel has nice and comfortable decor, creating a feeling of home. Breakfast is included, free coffee throughout the day, a bar on-site, and much more are offered here at The Share Hotels. 

Click here for more details!

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These are the 6 BEST ramen restaurants in Kyoto! Have you tried ramen in Kyoto? Let us know in the comments!

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