questions & answers: itinerary check

kyoto and nara

Kyoto and Nara

Hello there,

I'd like to do the following in a day in Kyoto (will go there from Osaka). Pls advise the order to do so and the transportation details.

Nijo-Jo Castle
Arachiyama Bamboo Grove
Kinkaku-Ji Temple
Path of Philosophy

If the above is not doable, what suggestions will you have to do them in 1.5 days or 2 days (ie any additional attractions)? Can we go to Nara in the pm of the 2nd day?

We'd also like to spend 1/2 day in Nara from Kyoto - any suggestions please? Would it be too rush to go to Hiroshima after the 1/2 day tour in Nara?

Thank you very much!


Hello there,

This should be possible on a single day. Depending on your hotel location, you may want to start at Arashiyama - Kinkaku-ji - Nijo castle and finish with the path of philosophy. This way you will travel from west to east Kyoto. You could then finish the day at Kyomizuder and see the sunset over Kyoto. I would use a taxi from time to time to maximize available time. This does not have to be expansive if you travel with multiple persons.

Travel to Hiroshima is more than 2 hours, going there and visiting Nara on single day would be too much. Also both places really deserve at least a full day. Although half a day in Nara is a possibility.

If you do want to make an additional day trip from Kyoto, then I would either head to Kobe or Osaka.

Hope this helps,

Expert button 2

The grove in Arashiyama is the Kyoto's west side, the castle in the middle, Kinkakuji is in the northwest, and the Path in the east side. You'd be wasting a lot of time in transit - better to explore those over 2 days, and there are plenty of other sites around those you mention to keep you busy. It is feasible to combine seeing Arashiyama and Kinkakuji in a day though.

Some of Nara's best sites can be seen in half a day. Just go to Nara Park (20 min on foot from the JR Nara Stn) and enjoy yourselves. The Todaiji temple is spectacular - one of Japan's finest temples and should be at the top of the list of any itinerary. Feeding the deer in the park is also popular, as is seeing the Kasuga Shrine there. Close by also is Kofukuji Temple as well as Isuien and Yoshikien Gardens. See this site for more info:

Doing Hiroshima and Nara in a day is really not realistic.


Many thanks for the prompt replies. We actually are staying in Osaka and will take the JR trains for the side trips. We've done visiting Osaka, wanting to go to Kyoto next, then Nara, and will stay at Hiroshima for 3 days (will go to the island).

Options are (1) to spend 2 days in Kyoto, 1/2 day in Nara, and travel to Hiroshima the same pm after visiting Nara, OR (2) visiting Kyoto one day, spending another day in Nara, go to Hiroshima on the third am.

All of the above will start from the JR stations. What would you recommend ?



To go from Nara to Hiroshima would take about 2 hours 40 minutes with a good connection, plus an additional 45+ minutes to get to Miyajima with changing trains, getting to the port and boarding, taking the ferry over etc. Simply not practical to squeeze in Nara and Hiroshima in the same day.
Going from Kyoto to Hiroshima isn't much better, just giving you 30 minutes less in transit.

The best choice would be your option #2, but after seeing Nara on day 2, go to Hiroshima in the evening and overnight there. It is possible to see some of Hiroshima City, and Miyajima in a day (the Peace Park/Museum, Shukkein Garden, maybe the castle for the former), but seeing Miyajima fairly leisurely will take about ¾ of a day. If you have already committed to a hotel in Kyoto, then you have no choice, and getting up very early on your 3rd day and going to Hiroshima is about all you can do - it still beats option #1 though.


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