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10 BEST Day Trips from Kyoto, Japan [2023 Travel Guide]

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Although visiting Kyoto should be on your Japan itinerary, there are also amazing day trips from Kyoto that should not be missed. 

Kyoto is the historic capital of Japan. To this date, it still holds the record for being Japan’s capital for the longest time.

Centuries of political, cultural, culinary, and artistic history was forged in this central Japanese city, in historic districts like Higashiyama

But there is more to Kyoto than just experiencing Japanese culture within the city center. Its central location also allows for Kyoto to be a perfect travel hub with so much of the rest of the country at your fingertips. 

READ MORE: Check out our perfect Kyoto itinerary blog post!

Here’s Our Guide to the Best Day Trips from Kyoto

From historic sites like Himeji Castle to natural wonders like Amanohashidate, Japan’s third-largest city of Osaka, the Pacific port city of Nagoya, and sites of historic cultural majesty like Miyajima, there is so much that can easily be reached from Kyoto in a single day. 

These day trips from Kyoto are all beautiful, unique, and easy to do.

Kyoto station is well connected to many other train stations around Japan. A quick, scenic train ride will bring you to most of these amazing places.

With a Japan Rail Pass, you can easily hop around the country for a cheaper price than you would if you just bought

individual tickets. If you’re going to be doing lots of train travel, definitely consider getting a JR Pass.

1) Nara

The city of Nara was once also the capital of Japan during the, appropriately named, Nara period.

Today, Nara is best known for its enormous park filled with thousands of tame, beautiful deer that roam the area freely.

Nara forms a kind of triangle with Kyoto and Osaka, meaning that all three cities can be easily travelled between by train from Kyoto Station.

Nara is far smaller than both Kyoto and Osaka, and as such, the city can be easily explored in a single day.

Nara majestically blends the urban and the rural in an uncanny, almost unbelievable way.

Half of the city is a small urban sprawl of shopping arcades, a few restaurants, and quiet pedestrian streets.

The other is an enormous parkland populated by two thousand deer who roam this hilly area and bow to visitors as they pass.

Within Nara Park are the famous Todai-ji Temple and Kasuga-taisha Shrine, symbols of Japan’s rich history as well as its tight and intimate bond with nature.

A Nara day trip is one of the best things to…

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