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Joanna Kalafatis

Los Angeles, California

Day trip from Tokyo to Kyoto?

If I spend 5-6 days in Tokyo, is it easy (transportation-wise) and worth it to take a day trip to Kyoto, or is it better to just focus on exploring the admittedly huge city of Tokyo?

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7 Answers

  • Joanna Riquett

    top answer by

    Kyoto is a remarkable city, I totally loved it, but for such a short period of time is not worth it, because you'll miss everything important. The train (which is pretty easy to take, but not cheap: +$150 one way) takes around 3 hours and once in Kyoto you'll only have time to go to one area and come back to the station.


    There are so many things to do in Tokyo that 5 days is not enough. Yesterday I wrote this, actually, to help you plan your first trip to Tokyo: http://hayo.co/how-to-plan-trip-to-tokyo-basic-beginners-guide/

    Have fun, Tokyo is fantastic!


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    • Joanna K.

      Joanna K.

      Thank you very much that's a very helpful answer! I kept going back and forth between visiting Tokyo or Kyoto and had such trouble deciding...but I'm leaning towards Tokyo now, we'll see! · (1 likelikes)

    • Joanna R.

      Joanna R.

      You can also skip Tokyo if you don't like big cities and just do Kyoto which is more authentic and a bit smaller. Plus you can go to Osaka and Mie prefecture from Kyoto which is pretty close. Depends what you want! · (0 likelikes)

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  • James Kim

    answered by

    Tokyo and Kyoto are in complete contrast to each other. You can enjoy the sophisticated pleasures of Japanese city life in Tokyo. In Kyoto, on the other hand, you can enjoy traditional Japanese culture such as temples, tea ceremony, Kimono etc. If you want to understand and feel the spirit of Japan, I recommend you to take a day trip to Kyoto. It takes about 2.5 hours by JR Shinkansen (high-speed railway lines in Japan) from Tokyo to Kyoto.

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  • Toufic Tawily

    answered by

    I have spent 9 days in tokyo and they were not enough! Every district is massive and unique that you would want to experience all of them.

    kyoto seems like a small city compared to tokyo but it is not! Every temple in the surrounding hills is worth visiting. I did spend 6 days there and were maybe a bit too much, but a day trip will not do...

    have fun japan is a unique experience.


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  • Jonny Duncan

    answered by

    I spent three weeks in Tokyo and one week in Kyoto and a day trip to Kyoto is not worth it for the limited time you would have. Just concentrate on Tokyo.

    Here's two posts I wrote to give you an idea about the best things to do in Tokyo and some advice on the costs involved.

    http://backpackingman.com/how-to-spend-your-time-in-tokyo/

    http://backpackingman.com/japan-cheaper-travel-may-think/

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    • Joanna K.

      Joanna K.

      Thanks very much, those posts were very helpful! I was concerned about the cost of travel in Japan as well, so that was especially useful. · (0 likelikes)

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  • BLOGGER emme

    answered by

    Totally worth it! You should visit the Golden Temple Kinkaku-ji and Ishimaru Shohten a cosy, welcoming bar.

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  • Felix Werewolf

    answered by

    So, people here are clearly divided, but I think it would be a real shame for you to miss out on Kyoto. Yes, Tokyo is huge, dense, varied, and you could never run out of things to do there. But it's really a hectic place, and Kyoto moves at a very different pace. Going there will let you see another aspect of Japan that you don't get in Tokyo. And an evening stroll down the street called Ponto-Cho will be incredibly memorable for you. Yes, it's a 2.5 hour train trip on the bullet train, but the train is actually really fun and comfortable. And Japanese train stations are super fun, too. I love the Kyoto station. There is a ton to do and see just there. Just doing Tokyo would be limiting yourself and will be more one-note.

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  • Arsene Wenger

    answered by

    Definitely easy using the bullet train. And personally Kyoto is worth it because you can really experience Japan culturally. Tokyo is nice, but it's just like any other metropolis.

    I would recommend going to Kiyomizu-Dera and Gion. Definitely like stepping into another world.

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