Many of you might be wondering, if you are to go to Japan, which city you want to go to first (fly to), Tokyo or Osaka?
As a first-timer, last year I went to both (since I can’t decide ). Thanks to the Bullet train and the JR pass, travelling from Tokyo to the south – Osaka it’s only 3 hours away. It was also a brilliant decision as I could briefly experience both cities (areas) and for my next Japan trip, I could easy know where I want to go next. It based on which part of the country I like the most.
For those who have budget or time limitation, then I will try to help you to make decision based on several facts below:
If you are looking for city lifestyle such as big malls, shopping, Harajuku hunting, fancy gundam/ anime cafes and country landmark then Tokyo is the answer. Its a big city like any other big/capital cities around the world. Also, if you want to go to the famous mount FUJI then Tokyo have a better access to it compare to Osaka (distance wise).
Here are some places I visited in Tokyo for your reference:
- Sensō-ji Temple
Sensō-ji is an ancient Buddhist temple located in Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan. It is Tokyo’s oldest temple, and one of its most significant. From here you can walk to Tokyo tower or take a photo with Tokyo Tower as the background.
- Ueno Park
Public park that was established in 1873 on lands formerly belonging to the temple of Kan’ei-ji. Good to visit during Sakura season.
- Meiji Shrine
Meiji Shrine, located in Shibuya, Tokyo, is the Shinto shrine that is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken. If you are lucky, you can witness Japannese wedding ceremony here like we did 🙂
Odaiba is a large artificial island in Tokyo Bay, Japan, across the Rainbow Bridge from central Tokyo. If you are a Gundam fans, you can take photo with real size Gundam here.
If you are looking for culture experience then flying to Osaka is the answer. It is nearby to KYOTO – about 15 minutes train ride. These cities have thousand of beautiful and famous temples and castles. You can walk around the city with kimono (you can easily rent it in every part of the city), or spotting real life Geisha or Meiko. Not to mentioned enjoying street food or local food from lively night market.
The famous Shirakawa-go village is more accessible from Osaka compare to from Tokyo.
Last but not least is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Universal Studio Osaka. It a must for Harry potter Fans like most of us 😀
Here are some places I visited in Osaka and Kyoto for your reference:
We only did 1 day trip around Osaka, that why only visited these two places. We spent the next two days exploring Kyoto.
- Nijō Castle – very popular for its garden especially during Fall season. Nearby also have the famous Bamboo Forest.
Fushimi Inari Shrine
- Kiyomizu–dera Temple, with over 1200 years of history. It is one of the signature World Heritage sites in Kyoto.
- Kyoto City Center for shoping and Gion for you to see real life Geisha