Basic itinerary of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka in 7 days

skytree7 to 9 days
Chidorigafuchi near Imperial Palace in Tokyo is one of the best spots to see cherry blossom. (C) Yasufumi Nishi / JNTO
Chidorigafuchi near Imperial Palace in Tokyo is one of the best spots to see cherry blossom. (C) Yasufumi Nishi / JNTO

I made the sample itinerary of Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo in 7 days a month ago. Now I would like to show you the reverse itinerary that start from Tokyo and end at Osaka in 7 days. There is no deal to cover whole part of trip unfortunately. But you can combine some local deals and single ticket.

In this post, I show you the basic 7 days itinerary and the deals that suit this itinerary. But you can extend the duration as many as you want. I also show you how to change or add days in this itinerary too.

Day 1 – Narita airport or Haneda airport to Tokyo

Ordinary class interior of Narita Express
Ordinary class interior of Narita Express. It takes you to Tokyo, Shinagawa, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ikebukuro, Yokohama and many more stations.

Tokyo has two airports, Haneda and Narita.

Haneda airport is much closer to downtown Tokyo. You can take Keihin Kyuko railway to Shinagawa or Monorail to Hamamatsucho. Both stations are connected by JR Yamanote line with Tokyo, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ueno and many other stations in Tokyo. And also many of Keihin Kyuko railway’s trains go through Toei Subway Asakusa line. You can get Shinbashi, Higashi-Ginza, Asakusa and Oshiage (Tokyo Skytree) directly without changing the trains. You may find more information about the access from Haneda to downtown Tokyo at the following link:

Narita airport is one hour away from Tokyo station. There are many ways to from Narita to downtown Tokyo, like Narita Express, Skyliner, Limousine bus and budget access bus. Please find more information about access from Narita at the link below:

Day 2 – Sightseeing in Tokyo

The view of Tokyo Skytree from near Asakusa. It is new icon of Tokyo. (C) Yasufumi Nishi / JNTO
The view of Tokyo Skytree from near Asakusa. It is new icon of Tokyo. (C) Yasufumi Nishi / JNTO

Tokyo Metro/Subway deal is most popular. JR Tokunai Pass is also available. Subway covers most of spots in Tokyo but subway lines are so many and very hard to find the fastest route. JR train network is very simple. But you cannot get many places in Tokyo by JR trains, such as Asakusa, Tsukiji. Please see the links below to find more information of these deals.

How to access to the places surrounding Tokyo

Many popular attractions are located outside downtown Tokyo. For example, Tokyo Disney Resort, Ghibli Museum, Sanrio Puroland and many more places are located outside coverage area of both subway pass and Tokunai pass. There is no deals available to access these areas. The regular fare ticket is okay to access to these places. You may use IC card, such as Suica, Pasmo instead of using a single fare ticket.

And also Yokohama and Kamakura are not in Tokyo and not covered by these Tokyo deals either. Please find the link below to get more information:

How to extend to stay in Tokyo

If you stay in Tokyo more, you may simply add subway fare, Tokunai Pass or single fare as you need. But if you want to travel to other places in Kanto area, like Nikko, Fuji, Hakone, there are some deals available. Please find more information at the links below:

If you travel both Fuji/Hakone and Nikko, Tokyo Wide Pass is a good choice.

Tokyo Wide Pass covers Izu, Yuzawa (Gala Yuzawa), Kusatsu Onsen and many more places too.

Day 3 – Transfer from Tokyo to Kyoto

Shinkansen is the high speed train service in Japan. Shinkansen stops at Maibara, Kyoto, Shin-Osaka, Shin-Kobe, Nishiakashi and Himeji in Kansai area.
Shinkansen is the high speed train service in Japan. It connects Tokyo and Kyoto in 2.5 hours.

There is no deals to cover this segment. Single ticket is your choice. If you take the Shinkansen (bullet train), base fare ticket and Shinkansen surcharge ticket are required. You can purchase these tickets in advance. You can purchase the Shinkansen seat ticket and a base fare ticket at any JR stations that have reservation window, a.k.a. “Midori no Madoguchi”.

You may use Platt Kodama for Tokyo to Kyoto instead. You can add single fare ticket for Kyoto to Osaka and other deal for Osaka to Kansai. This way is better if single fare ticket is too complicated for you. Please see the link below to find the detailed information about Platt Kodama:

Please find the timetable of the Shinkansen in the link below:

JR Central official site – The Tokaido and the Sanyo Shinkansen timetable

If you leave Tokyo in early morning, you can spend half day for sightseeing in Kyoto. I recommend you to visit southern Kyoto, like Fushimi Inari. It’s just 5 minutes away from Kyoto station by Nara line local train and single fare is only 140 yen one way. If you want, you can visit even Nara:

If you need some more information about Kyoto station, please refer the link below:

Day 4 – Sightseeing in Kyoto

Fall foliage in Kiyomizu-dera temple. It is one of Must-See spots in Kyoto.
Fall foliage in Kiyomizu-dera temple. It is one of Must-See spots in Kyoto.

When you visit temples and shrines in Kyoto, you have to take city bus and/or subway. Kyoto city sightseeing card or all day bus pass is your choice. You may find more information at the link below:

Day 5 – Transfer from Kyoto to Osaka

The best and the fastest way to get Osaka JR line Special Rapid train.

If you stay near JR station in both Kyoto and Osaka, such as Kyoto, Osaka, Shin-Osaka, this is the perfect choice. However there are two more ways between Kyoto and Osaka. Those are Hankyu Railway and Keihan Railway. Hankyu Railway connects Kawaramachi (Gion area), Shijo-Karasuma, Shijo-Omiya, Arashiyama in Kyoto and Umeda in Osaka. Keihan Railway connects Sanjo, Gion-Shijo, Kiyomizu-Gojo in Kyoto and Kyobashi, Kitahama and Yodoyabashi in Osaka. Please find the train network in Osaka and Kyoto area in the link below:

Squeeze Nara or/and Kobe on the way to Osaka from Kyoto

If you just make a trip from JR Osaka to JR Kyoto, it takes 30 minutes by Special Rapid train. You can spend some more in Kyoto or get Osaka early and enjoy there. But you may visit other places, such as Nara or Kobe. Nara is easier to squeeze because both Kyoto and Osaka are very accessible to Nara.

You may visit Kobe too. But Kobe is located at other side if you move from Kyoto to Osaka. Please find more information about trip to Kobe at the following link:

Day 6 – Sightseeing in Osaka

Dotonbori is located near the biggest downtown core of Osaka, Namba.
Dotonbori is located near the biggest downtown core of Osaka, Namba.

There are several deals available in Osaka. Please find more information in the link below:

If you want to extend to stay in Osaka

You may add other deal or a regular ticket as you need. But you may visit other places, such as Kobe, Nara. In case of this, you may add another Kansai area deal, such as Kansai Thru Pass or Kansai Area Pass.

The following link shows you the itinerary of stay in Osaka only. But you may get some idea about choosing deal for trip to inside/outside Osaka.

Day 7 – Osaka to Kansai Airport

There are several deals available to get Kansai airport. Please find the information in the link below:

That is all to explain about this sample itinerary.

In this post, I have explained Tokyo to Osaka in 7 days. If you have a plan to travel the reverse itinerary, Osaka to Tokyo in 7 days, please see the link below:

I also have many more sample itineraries. Please check the category, Sample Itinerary.

Enjoy your trip!


  1. Jeff says:

    Hi Takeshi san

    Need your expertise and advice.
    My family and I will be visiting Japan this Oct. We are looking to explore Tokyo and Kyoto. We will be flying in to Narita and leaving from Narita as well. In this case, is it better to buy the 7 days JR pass? Or we should do the Kodama train which is cheaper? A simple of itinerary as below:

    Day 1: Arrive at Narita and train to Kyoto
    Day 2: Kyoto
    Day 3: Kyoto
    Day 4: Day trip to Osaka or Nara or Kobe
    Day 5: Take train back to Tokyo
    Day 6: Day trip to MT Fuji
    Day 7: Tokyo
    Day 8: Flying out from Narita

    Do you think This will be a good itinerary in terms of travelling?

  2. Lina says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    We are going to Japan on February. We will cover Tokyo and certain area at Kansai. Below are suggested itinerary. Could you suggest, what pass we should use during our time at Japan.

    Day 1: HND Airport (arrival 2230hrs) – Numabe Station (Our Guest house area is Numabe Station)
    Day 2: Numabe Sta. – Shibuya – Shinjuku
    Day 3: Numabe Sta. – Asakusa to Taito
    Day 4: Numabe Sta. – Koganei Area (Edo-Tokyo Tatemono – Ghibli Muzeum)
    (What pass should we use? Tokyo Metro Pass or just using IC Pass: PASMO?

    Arrive Osaka in the morning, using night bus.
    Day 5: Our guest house near Imazato Station. Imazato Sta. – USJ
    Day 6: Imazato Sta. – Himeji – Kobe
    Day 7: Imazato Sta – Kyoto
    Day 8: Imazato Sta. – Osaka Area
    Day 9: Check Out – Osaka Area – 6pm to KIX Airport
    At Kansai area, I’m still confuse whether to use Kansai Thru Pass or Kansai Area Pass (JR)? And for Day 8-9 should we use Osaka Amazing Pass or just using Kansai Area Pass/ Kansai Thru Pass for 3 whole day at Kansai? Can PASMO be use in Kansai Area? or if using IC Card, we have to change to ICOCA?

    Thanks for your help, and have a nice day 🙂

    • Hi Lina,

      First of all, I would like to tell you the route from Haneda to Numabe. The fastest way is the following:
      Haneda airport (Keikyu airport line 10 minutes) Keikyu-Kamata (walk about 1km 15 minutes) Kamata (Tokyu Tamagawa line 10 minutes) Numabe

      But you have to walk about 1km at Kamata. Both stations are located in Kamata. But those are 1km away.

      If you want to avoid this walking, you can take the following route:
      Haneda airport (Tokyo Monorail 15-20 minutes) Hamamatsucho (JR Keihin Kyuko line 15 minutes) Kamata (Tokyu Tamagawa line 10 minutes)

      You can take either way.

      For the sightseeing in Tokyo, I recommend you to use Suica or Pasmo. You will take Tokyu Tamagawa line first everyday. But Tokyu is not covered by subway pass. And you will take JR from Kamata. JR is not covered by subway pass either. JR has Tokyo Tokunai Pass but this covers only JR. It does not cover subway and Tokyu. You may take several kinds of trains but there is no deals to cover all. Suica and Pasmo do not give you unlimited ride. But you can use either card to take any trains, Tokyu, JR, subway and other trains.

      You may use Suica or Pasmo in Osaka too. You don’t need to purchase ICOCA in Osaka. But if you want to refund the deposit in Suica or Pasmo, you have to return your card before you leave from Tokyo. You cannot refund the deposit of IC card which is purchased in Tokyo. Please see the link below to find more info:

      For day 5, you can use IC card.

      For day 6, 7 and 9, you may use Kansai thru pass 3-day and you can use Osaka amazing pass 1-day for day 8. Please try to visit the attractions which are on the list of Osaka amazing pass on day 8. You can visit other places on day 9. You still can get the discount at many attractions by Kansai thru pass.


      Takeshi /

  3. Miguel Reis says:

    Hello Takeshi,

    Please give me advise on my 10 days itinerary as below:

    Tokyo Airport to Shinjuku
    Day 1 – Tokyo
    Day 2 – Tokyo
    Day 3 – Day trip to Nikko
    Day 4 – Day trip to Yokohama
    Day 5 – Tokyo to Hakone
    Day 6 – Hakone to Kyoto
    Day 7 – Kyoto
    Day 8 – Kyoto
    Day 9 – Day trip to Nara
    Day 10 – Kyoto to Osaka airport

    # with this plano, should I buy JR pass?
    # should I by IC card like PASMO for Tokyo (covers Tokyo metro)
    # and any advice you can give in terms of transportation.

    Best regards

    Miguel Reis

  4. Onelia go says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,

    My family(husband and 4 year old son) will be going to japan April 18-30. We will be arriving in Tokyo taking the airport limo bus to our hotel in Roppongi. We will be using the subway 3 day pass and a Suica card to travel to various sites in Tokyo. Or do you recommend the greater Tokyo pass?
    Then on April 23 we plan to start our JR 7 day pass to Hakone for a day trip and visit various sites in that area. Any recommendations for a day pass for transportation in that area?

    Then on April 24, we plan to use the JR pass from Tokyo to our hotel in Osaka and will plan to go to various sites in Osaka, Kyoto, Nara & Kobe. Do you have any recommendations for travel passes for those areas? Or should we just use our Suica card for transportation? We are debating between getting the Osaka amazing pass or Kansai Thru Pass or osaka Kyoto sightseeing pass. I’m getting confused with all these options!

    We will use our JR Pass to travel back to Tokyo on April 28, then use our JR pass to Narita Airport on April 29.

    Do you have any additional recommendations for our travel plans?

    Thank you for your time and for reviewing our plans.

    Warm regards,

  5. Richie Eustaquio says:

    Dear Takeshi-san,

    My family and I are planning a trip to Japan this summer. Can you help me what passes should be purchased with this itinerary:
    Day 1 – Arrival Tokyo via Narita
    Day 2 – Tokyo – Mt. Fuji
    Day 3 – Explore Tokyo
    Day 4 – Tokyo – Osaka
    Day 5 – Osaka – Kyoto
    Day 6 – Osaka (Universal Studios Japan)
    Day 7 – Explore Osaka
    Day 8 – Departure Osaka
    Thank you so much in advance!


  6. Manish says:

    We are planning a 7 day trip in early November with kids between 5 and 10 years, mainly interested in Disneyland Tokyo and Universal Studio Osaka please suggest an itinerary

    • Hi Manish,

      As I mentioned above comment section, I cannot make any trip plan because if I do, many readers may ask me and it’s too much for me. If you make it and show me, I can give you some suggestion.


      Takeshi /

  7. Pauline Porter says:

    My husband & I are planning a trip to Japan early November. I am not sure if it is worth buying a JL rail 7 days pass?
    2 1/2 days in Tokyo – visit the major tourist spots around town
    3 nights in Kyoto – major tourist attractions including Arashiyama, Fushimi
    4 nights in Osaka – major tourist attractions, including side trips to Kobe and Nara
    We will depart at Osaka (Kansai airport)
    Please can you suggest the cost effective transport passes for travel from Haneda airport to Tokyo, around Tokyo, Tokyo to Kyoto(bullet train) around Kyoto, Kyoto to Osaka, aound Osaka. will also take into consideration of time saver(more than 1/2 hours).
    If we will like to see Mt Fuji, should we take a day trip or stay around the five lake, or even see it on the bullet train while on our way to Kyoto.
    It is much appreciated for your time & look forward to your reply.

  8. Dee says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,

    I am Dee.
    I will going to Japan for 5 day.
    My itineraries are
    Feb 26, 2018 – arrive at Haneda
    Feb 27, 2018 – Sightseeing in Tokyo
    Feb 28, 2018 – Tokyo- Kanawaza/Toyama – Shirakawa – Kanazawa/Toyama – Tokyo
    Mar 01, 2018 – Tokyo – Hakone – Kawazu – Tokyo (I will buy Hakone Pass from Odarawa).
    Mar 02, 2018 – Tokyo – Kyoto – Tokyo (I will buy City Bus All Day Pass Kyoto for sightseing Kyoto)
    Mar 03, 2018 – going back from Haneda

    I have JR Pass Ordinary. For sightseeing Tokyo, must i buy pass metro/subway?
    Is it possible to route Hakone and Kawazu in one day?

    Thank you for your help and answer 🙂


  9. lyro says:

    Hi Takeshi San, can you provide simple itinerary that I can maximize my 7 days travel this May in Japan. I have 3 kids traveling with me and they want to visit Universal Studio. We also want to experience the cherryblossom and the busy street of Tokyo..Lastly to explore the beauty of nature and the traditional culture way of life of the Japanese people.

    thank you in advance

    • Hi lyro san,

      Sorry but unfortunately I don’t make any itineraries for the readers as I mentioned above the comment section. If I do it, many readers may ask me and it’s too much for me.

      Please try to make it by yourself. If you can show me it, I can give you suggestions.


      Takeshi /

  10. Dat says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,

    We (family of 4) are going to Japan for Cherry Blossom season next year for 8 days. Please let me know what passes should I purchase to cover our trip. Below is our itinerary:

    Day 1: Arrive in Osaka
    – Arrive at Osaka airport (KIX) around 4:00PM
    – Move to hotel near Shin-Osaka station and stay there for 3 nights

    Day 2: Sightseeing in Kyoto
    – In the morning: Visit Kiyomizu-dera and Ginkakuji Temples.
    – In the afternoon: Visit Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine

    Day 3: Sightseeing in Kyoto
    – In the morning: Visit Tetsugaku no michi (Philosopher’s Walk)
    – In the afternoon: Visit Arashiyama (Togetsukyo Bridge & Bamboo Groves)

    Day 4: Sight seeing in Osaka and move to Tokyo
    – In the morning: Visit Osaka Castle
    – In the afternoon: Move to Tokyo by Shinkansen and stay at the hotel near Shinagawa station for 4 nights

    Day 5: Sightseeing in Tokyo
    Visit Sensoji Temple, Tokyo Skytree, Ueno Park, Koshikawa Botanicia Garden

    Day 6: Sightseeing in Tokyo
    Visit Tsukiji Fish Market, Imperal Palace, Ginza

    Day 7: Sightseeing in Tokyo
    Visit Shibuya, Shinjuku Gyoen Park

    Day 8: Depart Japan

Copied title and URL