I have received inquiries about the trip to Kansai area many times. So I make a basic itinerary that includes Kansai area, such as Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe and Nara only. This is 7 days itinerary. But you can shorten or extend as you can.
Now I would like to tell you the best route and most economical deals about this trip.
Day 1 – Kansai airport (KIX) to Kyoto
Kansai One Pass and Haruka one way trip to Kyoto at 4,600 yen.
Overnight around JR Kyoto station
If you arrive in Kyoto early, you can visit somewhere around Kyoto station. Fushimi Inari is only 5 minutes away from Kyoto station. Kyoto Tower is just located in front of Kyoto station. You can use Kansai One Pass to get there.
Day 2 and 3 – Sightseeing in Kyoto
There are several deals available. I recommend you to use both Kansai One Pass and Kyoto City Bus Pass. Kansai One Pass covers city bus too but Kansai One Pass does not give you unlimited travel. It offers only convenience. On the other hand, Kyoto City Bus Pass is sold at 600 yen for one day. You can take a bus as many as you want. You can get the worth of it by only 3 rides. You can use Kansai One Pass only for taking a train and/or a subway.
Kyoto City Bus and Subway Pass (Kyoto Sightseeing Card) is also available. But this does not cover other railways, such as JR, Hankyu, Keihan railways. You will take various trains in Kyoto. Please see the link below to find the train route in Kyoto:
You can get anywhere in downtown Kyoto by bus. It is possible to visit all places only by city bus. However city bus is always crowded and the traffic in Kyoto has been very heavy in these days. I recommend you to take a train or a subway as much as you can.
Kansai One Pass and Bus Pass are the best combination for sightseeing in Kyoto, in my opinion.
Day 4 – Trip to Nara and transfer to Osaka
Visit Nara on the way to Namba, Osaka from Kyoto.
You can take either Kintetsu Railway or JR to get Nara. Both trains depart from Kyoto station. But Kintetsu railway’s Nara station is better location. It is 1 km closer to most of tourist spots in Nara than JR Nara station.
After Nara, you can take either JR or Kintetsu to get Osaka. Please see the link below to find the route to Nara:
Day 5 – Trip to Kobe and Himeji from Osaka
You can purchase this pass at many major stations in downtown Osaka but the price is a bit higher. There is other trains to Kobe and Himeji, like Hanshin railway. But JR is the fastest to get Himeji. Please see the post, How to access to Himeji and Kobe from Osaka to get the details.
Day 6 – Sightseeing in Osaka
There are lots of deals available in Osaka. Please see the link below to find the deal:
Day 7 – Osaka to Kansai airport (KIX)
Otherwise you can choose other deal in the link below:
I hope this sample helps you to build your trip plan.