Osaka

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While it's great to pick one destination to enjoy to the fullest, a day trip to a nearby town or attraction can be the icing on the cake of your vacation. ShermansTravel experts have rounded up the top day trips within a few hours' drive so you can experience that must-visit stretch of beach, national park, or under-the-radar city.

Day Trips from Osaka

Arima Onsen

Take in the reputed healing waters of Kin-no-yu (Gold Spring) and Gin-no-yu (Silver Spring) in this resort village on Mount Rokko seasonally favored with autumn red and gold leaves, late winter camellia flowers, and spring cherry blossoms.

33 miles northwest of Osaka, www.arima-onsen.com/eng/index.html
Tags: outdoors | day trip

Himeji

User-friendly city that’s home to World Heritage Site Himeji Castle, nicknamed “White Heron,” and Koko-en, a restful, nine-garden park with a tea house overlooking a carp pond that you’ll never want to leave.

59 miles northwest of Osaka, www.city.himeji.hyogo.jp
Tags: culture | architecture | history | day trip | gardens

Kobe

Famous for its fatty, marbled beef (which fetches eye-popping prices throughout Japan) this city is also known for having survived a devastating 1995 earthquake. Today, having been almost completely rebuilt, it again thrives.

29 miles west of Osaka, www.feel-kobe.jp
Tags: culture | history | day trip

Koya-san

A World Heritage site, this sacred mountaintop retreat was founded by esoteric Buddhist Kobo Daishi in the 9th century; since then faithful followers have been buried here. Wander pathways lined with stone lanterns leading to wooden temples nestled among centuries-old cypress.

50 miles south of Osaka, www.shukubo.jp/eng
Tags: culture | architecture | history | day trip | world heritage site

Kyoto

Ancient capital with Japan’s most famous temples and Imperial palaces, Kyoto deserves at least a week, but a day trip will still allow you to see Nijo Castle and Kiyomizu Temple.26 miles

30 miles northeast of Osaka, www.city.kyoto.jp/koho/eng
Tags: culture | architecture | history | day trip

Nara

This historic city was Japan’s capital before Kyoto. Many flock here to visit the 1,200-year-old Todaiji temple, which contains Japan’s largest Buddha. Others take picnics in Nara Park and watch the deer wander by.

30 miles east of Osaka, www.pref.nara.jp/nara_e
Tags: family | culture | architecture | history | day trip

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