Day planningJapanPlanning & Preparation

Day planning Japan trip Kyoto, Kumano Kodo, Osaka, Kobe, Tokyo

By June 1, 2016 June 9th, 2019 No Comments

I was lucky enough to go on a 12-day (from June 2nd till June 14th) solo trip to Japan to see Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, but above all, to hike the famous Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail and acquire some serious chunks of foodcomaness because of the amazing food. So, here’s my (pretty detailed) day planning for the 12 days in Japan (and what I eventually ended up doing) – my day planning Japan.

Day 1: Tokyo, heading Kyoto

Take it easy – first exploration of Kyoto.

  • Morning
    I arrived with an early flight (08h40) from Amsterdam and had not to stay in Tokyo, but directly to travel on to Kyoto (and spend some time in Tokyo at the end of my trip).
    The 09h31-13h17 Shinkansen bullet train took me directly to Kyoto.
  • Lunch
    I had a quick lunch at a ramen place close to the AirBnB.
  • Afternoon
    I went for an afternoon run, as I like to do when arriving in a new city, especially with a jet lag. Striking to see how ruthless Japanese runners go out for a run – it seemed like every single one of them was racing for their life.
    After that, I had a look at Kyoto Station and Kyoto Tower.
  • Evening
    I just had a stroll around town and went to bed early.
  • Night
    I spent the night at a really nice AirBnB, owned by an American University teacher, his Japanese wife and their toddler.

Day 2: Kyoto

Spend the day exploring Kyoto.

  • Breakfast
    I just had a quick bento box on my way around town.
  • Morning
    I spent the morning in the Southern Higashiyama area to visit the Kiyomizudera temple, Chion-in and Maruyama-koen.
  • Lunch
    Nishiki Market.
  • Afternoon
    I spent the afternoon in the Northern Higashiyama area to visit Nanzen-ji, Path of Philosophy, Honen-in an Ginkaku-ji.
  • Dinner 
    Dinner in the Ponto-cho area.
  • Evening
    Walk around Ponto-cho.
  • Night
    I spent the night at the same AirBnB.

Day 3: Kyoto

Spend the day exploring Kyoto.

  • Breakfast
    I just had a quick bento box on my way around town.
  • Morning
    I spent the morning in Arashiyama and Sagano, visiting Tenryu-ji, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Okochi Sanso and Gio-ji.
  • Lunch
    I had lunch in the same area.
  • Afternoon
    I spent the afternoon in Kuruma.
  • Dinner 
    Dinner in the Gion area.
  • Evening
    I had planned to spend the evening in Gion and do some Shijo avenue shopping, but by chance, I was invited by the AirBnB host to visit a Belgian Beer Festival in Osaka, so I joined him and his friends.
  • Night
    I spent the night at the same AirBnB.

Day 4: Kyoto, heading Tanabe (Kumano Kodo)

Omakase in Kanteki in Tanabe in Japan
Omakase in Kanteki in Tanabe in Japan

Morning in Kyoto, in the afternoon traveling towards Tanabe near the trailhead of Kumano Kodo.

  • Breakfast
    No special plans.
  • Morning
    Early morning to Fushimi Inari Taisha (be sure to be early to avoid all the other tourists).
  • Lunch
    No special plans.
  • Afternoon
    This would be an afternoon with a lot of traveling.
    14h27-14h40 I took the train from Kyoto to Shin-Osaka.
    I left my suitcase with gear in Osaka, to travel with only my hiking gear to Tanabe.
    15h15-17h28 I traveled from Shin-Osaka to KiiTanabe and made sure to sit on the right hand side of the train for the best views (the train even has rotating chairs to ensure the best views).
    Just before closing time (18h00) I got some last minute hiking maps.
  • Dinner
    Tanabe outside high season isn’t too busy or vibrant. I had planned to eat somewhere near the train station, and I eventually stumbled upon Kanteki (see my post about Kanteki). It was one of the best food experiences I ever had, because of it’s raw authentic omakase experience (see more on omakase).
  • Evening

     

  • Night
    I spent the night in Tanabe’s Miyoshiya-Ryokan.

Day 5: First day on the Kumano Kodo

Kumano Kodo Lookout on Day 1
Kumano Kodo Lookout on Day 1

Today was the first day of my Kumano Kodo hike, from Takijiri to Tsugizakura (a total of 17 kilometers).

Day 6: Second day on the Kumano Kodo

The amazing onsen at my ryokan in Yunomine
The amazing onsen at my ryokan in Yunomine

The second day of my Kumano Kodo hike, from Tsugizakura to Yunomine via Kumano Hongu Taisha (a total of 24 kilometers).

Day 7: Third day on the Kumano Kodo

My third and final day of my Kumano Kodo hike, from [add]. 

Day 8: Osaka, Kobe

My first day in Osaka.

  • Breakfast
    Breakfast on my way to Kobe.
  • Morning
    Travel to Kobe (30min), visit Kobe Harborland, Kobe Nunobiki Herb Garden & Ropeway, Nunobiki Falls (Nunobiki-No-Taki), Rokko Cablecar.
  • Lunch
    13h00 Kobe Plaisir Kobe Beef for some real Kobe beef.
  • Afternoon
    Stroll through Osaka.
  • Dinner
    Dinner in Osaka.
  • Evening
    Kuromon Market, Namba, Dotonburi
  • Night
    Sleep in New Japan Capsule Hotel Cabana in Osaka.

Day 9: Osaka

Day 10: Osaka, Tokyo

  • Breakfast
    Quick breakfast at train station. Drop my suitcase at the luggage storage there.
  • Morning
    10h00-12h00 Asics run with Asics team.
  • Lunch
    Bento box on the train.
  • Afternoon
    Train to Tokyo, 13h23-16h23 Travel Tokyo Yomogi.
  • Dinner
    17h15 Robot restaurant dinner.
  • Evening
    This evening turned out into one of my best omakase experiences ever. I met an Australian girl in the Robot restaurant and we decided on a spontaneous bar crawl. We eventually ended up with a group of 6, visiting the most obscure Tokyo bars.
  • Night
    Sleep in AirBnB in Shibuya area (AirBnB is closed now).

Day 11: Tokyo

  • Breakfast
    Hungover, skipped breakfast.
  • Morning
    Shibuya tour by my AirBnB host.
  • Lunch
    Lunch in Shibuya.
  • Afternoon
    Explored different parts of the city.
  • Dinner
    Nothing special
  • Evening
    Explored different parts of the city.
  • Night
    Sleep in AirBnB in Shibuya area (AirBnB is closed now).

Day 12: Tokyo

  • Breakfast
    05h00 Tsukiji Fish Market (tried to get into Tuna auction)
  • Morning
    Explored different parts of the city.
  • Lunch
    Nothing special.
  • Afternoon
    Explored different parts of the city.
  • Dinner/Evening
    I met up with an old friend of my mother and she showed me around town. We had some amazing sushi, we went to an eel-only restaurant and tasted some amazing sake.
  • Night
    Sleep in AirBnB in Shibuya area (AirBnB is closed now).

Day 13: Heading back home

  • Breakfast
    Breakfast bento box in town.
  • Morning
    10h30 flight back from Tokyo to Amsterdam.
 

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