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Tokyo and Osaka - where to stay and what to do?

(7 Posts)
pintsizedblondie Sat 08-Jun-19 00:04:16

Hi all,

Currently planning next year's holiday. My partner is 40 and has always wanted to visit Japan. We've decided on 2 weeks with a week's base in Tokyo and a week's base in Osaka and then plan to do day trips/get JR train pass in order to see surrounding areas of interest.

Where would your recommended hotels be in both places and any must do things while in either place?

Thanks in advance!

OP’s posts: |

We’re off to Japan in 2 weeks - very excited!

I’ve planned an itinerary to fit around DH’s work whilst he’s out there, and got some really good advice from Tripadvisor forums, but here’s what we’re doing:

Osaka - 1 night
Kyoto - 4 nights (one day tip to Nara in this time)
Hiroshima/Miyajama - 1 night (the 7 day JR pass will start the day we travel there
Kanazawa - 2 nights
Takayama (travel there by bus vis Shirakawa-go) - 2 nights
Hakone - 1 night in Ryokan with private onsen
Tokyo - 3 nights

I’m obviously no expert as I haven’t been there yet, but if you just want to focus on 2 places, I’d suggest basing yourself in Kyoto instead of Osaka (they’re really close if one of your flights is from Kansai), but depends what you’re interested in seeing.

There are literally hundreds of hotels in each place, so I just worked out which area of the town/city I wanted to stay by checking in my lonely planet book, and the searched for hotels with good reviews and in my budget. Nowhere fancy, and generally it looks like rooms in Japan tend to be very small, but we’re going to try and travel light so should be fine.

Enjoy planning your trip, and definitely try the Tripadvisor forums too as you’ll get some great tips there (from someone more knowledgeable than me I’m sure smile

Gone2far Sat 08-Jun-19 07:41:17

My memory of Osaka is lying in bed at night, in our tiny hotel room, wondering what was going on with the loud car revving going on. Apparently the city has a small ring road and it is popular to drive souped up Nissan micras ,with blacked out windows, round it at speed. Not the most useful tip, I know, but a different view of Japanese life

Gone2far Sat 08-Jun-19 07:44:15

Don't assume that you can book as you go along. We normally do that and it didn't work out well in Japan.

Atalune Sat 08-Jun-19 07:49:41


Walk from shibuya to yoyogi park on a Saturday morning.

Go shopping along OMETESANDO Dori in Harajuku.

Eat Ramen! So many good ramen places, but perhaps look one up.

Go to Kitchijoji park and have a walk around and take a little boat on the lake.

Go to Roppongi tower and take in the view and do some shopping.

Akihabara is amazing for electronic shopping.

There are lots of shrines to see too, especially in Tokyo.

Outside of Tokyo there are lots of onsen places to visit, so do that- Izu is my favourite.

YetAnotherThing Sat 08-Jun-19 07:54:15

I’ve been a few times (work) but would suggest less than a week in Tokyo. It’s great but a big city (suppose it depends on what you’re used to). I’d base myself in Kyoto which is a beautiful city between Osaka and Tokyo, easy to reach from either of them. Itinerary above looks good.

BubblesBuddy Sat 08-Jun-19 18:27:00

When we went to Japan we went to Tokyo to start with but around 4/5 days is fine. You may not use your JR pass much there and it’s expensive to have it if you don’t use it. We stayed at The Park Hotel which was well placed near Shiodome station. It’s mid range and ok. However base yourself near a station with access to a variety of lines. We also went to Hakone and Hase and Kamakura from Tokyo. It’s great fun getting to Hase on the Enoden line and the monorail.

I would strongly suggest Kyoto. We stayed at the fabulous Mume hotel. I loved it there. From Kyoto you can visit other places and Nara is a must.

You can also go to Magome and Tsumago and walk the Nakasendo Highway. Matsumoto is also a great place to visit.

We decided not to go as far as Hiroshima because we found we wanted to savour each place and get the most out of it, rather than rush around. In 2 weeks you can easily do what we did. Kyoto is wonderful and in May they have a major festival and the Geiko/Maiko theatre dance shows. Again in October I think. It’s a brilliant place to stay.

Have fun planning!

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