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7 Amazing Day Trips From Kyoto

Ajitsa Ashihundu

by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Ajitsa Ashihundu

Last updated : Jun 03, 202416 min read

Itinerary Ideas

Kyoto Tour Guide


Ready to jump through time? Just travel to Kyoto, it's the next best thing. The perfect mix of Japanese tradition and modern creativity attracted 87.9 million domestic and international tourists in 2019 looking to navigate the prefecture’s iconic historic preservation. 


As one of Japan's most visited cities, there's much to see, but that doesn't mean you have to stick to the former capital. A day trip will open your eyes to the surrounding beauty that's sometimes overshadowed by the big, bold metropolis. 


So what is a day trip? Well, unlike a day tour where you stay in one location, like sticking to Florence when you’re in Italy, you get to travel to nearby attractions within the city while staying close enough to return to your base within the day. Oh, the places around Kyoto you could go to!


7 Amazing Day Trips From Kyoto

Discover Japan: Sites Around Kyoto & How To Get There 

What destinations can you visit from Kyoto? For unmatched energy and passionate fandoms, head to the Hanshin Koshien Stadium. Looking to explore Japan’s evolving cuisine? Head to Kobe and Osaka. Uji and Arashiyama are nature lovers' dreams come true, and historians will enjoy Hiroshima and Nara


Hopping from one adventure to the next is a breeze, thanks to Japan's extensive transportation system. All sites on this list are accessible via public transport such as bus or rail. The shortest distance for a day trip is Arashiyama, clocking in at 20 minutes via train. Love the journey just as much as the destination? Hiroshima is a soothing 1 hr 42 minutes away. 


The Destinations 

1. The Hanshin Koshien Stadium 
Distance from Central Kyoto: 58.7 km (36.4 miles)
Travel Time: 41 min
Accessible By: Train, Bus, Private Car 
Estimated Total Tour Time: 7 hrs


Welcome to the home of the Hanshin Tigers! If you thought Major League Baseball was a phenomenon in the United States, wait until you experience the adrenaline-charged crowds at a Japanese game! What started as an interest during the Meiji Period has become a way of life. Visiting this historic stadium built in 1924 is quite the experience, even if you're not a baseball fan. 


The energy during a season game (Late March to October) is infectious, and you'll join in the cheers. During the day, you can tour the Hanshin Museum, and get the Tigers' history and Japan's humble baseball beginnings.


How Do You Get There? 

It’ll take a quick commute from Kyoto station via the Nozomi Shinkansen to Osaka. Once there, you'll transfer to the Osaka-Umeda line to Koshien, costing 8-40 USD (1,092- 5,464 JPY). From there, it's a seven-minute walk to the stadium. Alternatively, you can take a private car or taxi and arrive directly at the stadium within 46 minutes, depending on traffic. Keep in mind that there's no parking at the stadium.



2. Kobe
Distance from Central Kyoto: 64 km (40 miles) 
Travel Time: 50 min
Accessible By: Train, Bus, Private Car 
Estimated Total Tour Time: 8 hrs


The stunning harbor city synonymous with Japan's delicious beef is the perfect day trip destination for foodies and seaside lovers. Of course, you can't touch down in the former capital without tasting the marbly delights of Wagyu on a Kobe beef tour


Beyond the beef, Kobe’s blossoming bread and boulangerie culture awaits. Simply tuck into one of the many street stores releasing the sweet fragrance of freshly baked pastries. Food fantasies aside, Kobe’s got a whole lot to offer, including the relaxing Arima Onsen hot springs, a sake-tasting tour in the Nada district, the structurally stunning Himeji Castle, and shopping varieties at the Kobe Harborland. 


How Do You Get There? 

There are several ways to get to Kobe from Kyoto, but the easiest would be a direct Shinkansen from Kyoto Station to Shin-Kobe Station for around 22 USD (2,870 JPY) which takes only 30 minutes. For a central location like Sannomiya Station, travel via the JR Rapid trains takes 50 minutes and costs 8.07 USD (1,100 JPY).



3. Uji
Distance from Central Kyoto: 21.4 km (13.2 miles)
Travel Time: 21 min
Accessible By: Train, Bus, Private Car 
Estimated Total Tour Time: 8 hrs


Tucked between the popular tourist cities of Kyoto and Nara is Uji, a quaint yet powerful destination for lovers of tea, tranquility, rolling valleys, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. As the city that celebrates Japanese green tea, it's ideal for a day trip spent soaking in local attractions and savoring matcha-themed treats. 


Check out these laid-back Uji tours that feature matcha tastings, museums, and monuments.


  • Visiting Uji: A Place of Gokuraku Jodo & Matcha - Get lost in Uji’s famous tea culture with a series of sweet tastings, followed by a tour of the beloved grounds of Byodo-In and Fushimi-Inari Temple. 

  • Uji & Fushimi Delicacies: What's better than green tea? Sake and green tea! Soak in the city's beloved beverages with dual sake and tea tasting.


How Do You Get There?

To reach Uji within 20-30 minutes, hop on the JR Nara Line. The JR rapid train will get you there in 20 minutes, while the local train adds ten minutes to that journey. Both trains cost around 1.76 USD (240 JPY).



4. Arashiyama 
Distance from Central Kyoto: 10.6 km (6.5 miles)
Travel Time: 20 min
Accessible By: Train, Private Car 
Estimated Total Tour Time: 4 hrs


Though you're technically still in Kyoto, Arashiyama is a world away from the busy streets of the Kyoto metropolis. Located along Kyoto's western outskirts, Arashiyama's beauty is best captured within its sky-scraping bamboo forests, raging rivers, and romantic valleys.

For a full scope of Arashiyama, try a Magnificent Views Tour featuring towering bamboo forests, nature-wrapped temples such as Tenryuji and Nonomiya, and the iconic Togetsu bridge.

Looking to try something new? Tour Arashiyama through the Sagano Romantic train. With windowless views and old-school charm, you'll experience the scenic sweeping valleys along the Hozu River in a new light. Talk to one of our local guides about adding more experiences to your day in Arashiyama.


How Do You Get There?

Getting to Arashiyama is as easy as saying bamboo forest! Take the JR Sagano Line from Kyoto Station to the Saga-Arashiyama Station, with tickets costing 1.74 USD (240 JPY). From the station, it's a brisk ten-minute walk to central Arashiyama.


Kyoto Day Trips - Hanshin Koshien Stadium, Kobe, Uji, Arashiyama


5. Osaka 
Distance from Central Kyoto: 56.4 km (35 miles) 
Travel Time: 15 min
Accessible By: Train, Bus, Private Car
Estimated Total Tour Time: 5-8 hrs​


It's time to delve into the city of street food, thrilling theme parks, and inviting communities. Is Osaka worth a day trip? Yes! Between the enchanting Wizarding World and Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan, to the sizzling street foods on a Dotonbori and Kuromon Tour, a day might not be enough!


With 2.2 million residents, Osaka is Japan’s third largest city, so there's no shortage of exciting activities, whether you're looking to relax or get your heart racing. Some tours we can't get enough of include;

  • Dotonbori Foodie Fest: Spend the day strolling along the calming Dotonbori river and taste the flavors that put Osaka’s world-renowned cuisine on the map, from Takoyaki to sweet and savory crab.

  • Osaka’s Gems In A Day Tour:There's more than meets the eye, and this full-day trip takes you to iconic sites like the Osaka Castle, Shitennoji Temple, and the Umeda Sky Temple where you'll experience breathtaking views of central Osaka.


Check out our customizable Osaka Tour offerings for a deeper look at the city's highlights.


How Do You Get There?

Can you do a day trip from Kyoto to Osaka? Yes, within 15 minutes you can get from Kyoto Station to Shin-Osaka Station via the JR Tokaido Shinkansen. Tickets cost around 10.3 USD (1,420 JPY).



6. Hiroshima
Distance from Central Kyoto: 354 km (220 miles) 
Travel Time: 1 hr 42 min
Accessible By: Train, Bus, Private Car
Estimated Total Tour Time: 10 hrs


Hiroshima is a city that balances its tragic past with its bright and hopeful future. With a compelling and cautionary tale, it's a place you have to visit whenever you get the chance. Beyond the city's beautiful yet heavy memoirs, there's an air of entertainment waiting to be discovered. Some beloved Hiroshima tours include;


  • Hiroshima’s Heritage Tour: Discover the heart of this remarkable city with an in-depth tour of key sites such as the Genbaku Atomic Dome, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, and the tranquil Itsukushima Shrine.

  • Hiroshima Tavern Crawl Tour: Hit the city’s entertainment district with a vibrant three-hour evening tour featuring Hiroshima’s best beer and sake spots. End your night with satisfying meals at a local Izakaya (pub).


Check out our customizable Hiroshima tour offerings for a full breakdown of Hiroshima's highlights.


How Do You Get There?

Given the distance, I know what you’re thinking. Can Hiroshima be a day trip from Kyoto? Yes, with the innovative Tokaido & Sanyo Shinkansen line, you'll cover a distance of 354 km (220 miles) in 1 hr and 42 minutes. You'll arrive at Hiroshima station. How much is the bullet train from Kyoto to Hiroshima? Bullet train tickets on the JR Pass start at 76.69 USD (10,570 JPY).



7. Nara 
Distance from Central Kyoto: 45.9 km (28.5 miles) 
Travel Time: 45 min
Accessible By: Train, Bus, Private Car
Estimated Total Tour Time: 8 hrs


Mountainous, lush, and filled with fascinating wildlife, you'll be forgiven for mistaking Nara for the fictional land of Narnia. The enchanting city combines ancient structures and peaceful parks, but is Nara worth a day trip? Yes, if you want to experience ancient arts, engage with adorable animals and stop to reflect at serene shrines.


There’s so much to see, from the Seven Temples to the Sika deer, so these tours are a great place to start.


  • The Emperor’s Path- Nara Tour: Step back in time to experience Japan's first capital through the eyes of the Emperor. Enjoy the calmness of Nara's deer-filled park before traveling to Todaiji Temple to gaze at the Great Buddha. 

  • The Dear Deer of Nara Tour: between the sweet sika deer and the stunning shrines and temples, you'll find it hard to leave Nara Park. Finish the day in Nara Machi, where you'll find a collection of artisanal tea, sake, and much more.


For a closer look at what the city brings, check out our customizable Nara Tour offers.


How Do You Get There? 

Can you take a day trip to Nara from Kyoto? Yes, it's only a 35-minute train ride when you use the Kintetsu-Nara line from Kyoto station at 8 USD (1,100 JPY). If you have a JR Pass, you’ll be covered under the JR Nara line, which takes 45 minutes (express train).


Kyoto Day Trips - Osaka, Hiroshima, Nara



Touching down in Kyoto soon? Skip the stress that comes with planning your own itinerary by contacting a GWG Kyoto Private guide. If travel is an experience, let's make yours unforgettable for all the right reasons.

Written by Ajitsa Ashihundu

blog writter avatar

Ajitsa Ashihundu is an editor, blog writer and Marketing team member at GoWithGuide, helping readers understand travel, one post at a time. She fell head over heels for writing back in high school, thanks to Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and countless poetry analyses that extended way beyond English Literature class. This led her to study journalism and Communications in university, where she discovered a greater passion for fictional tales. Born in Kenya, raised in the U.S., and now back in Kenya, she balances life bilingually in Swahili and English. Her three-year stint as a professional outdoor instructor and guide, leading hikes and outdoor adventures across Kenya, taught her the magic of nature in bringing people together. In 2021, she began freelancing, weaving words into blog content and video scripts while juggling personal writing projects. When not writing, Ajitsa can be found watching TV shows, reading, sipping coffee, or dreaming about her ultimate destination—Monteverde, Costa Rica. Her current goal? Writing her very own novel.

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