Holidays are the perfect opportunity to bond with our loved ones, and create wonderful memories with them. However, when it comes to planning the perfect holiday that caters to the different interests and abilities of our loved ones, it can get a little stressful. Well, you’re in luck! 😌 We’ve worked out an awesome itinerary so you can take your whole family on an epic adventure in two of Japan’s most happening cities no less- Osaka and Kyoto!
Get your fill of soba-licious noodles at Kansai Airport
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- Hungry already? Get your fill of halal soba at Sojibo, a restaurant that is halal-certified by the Malaysia Halal Consultation & Training Agency.
- Take your pick from a variety of handmade soba noodles that can be served cold with dipping sauces or have them served in hot broth.
- Take the JR Haruka limited express train to travel into Osaka from Kansai Airport
#HHWT Tip: Get yourself a prepaid ICOCA IC card to enjoy discounted rates on JR, subway, private railway, buses and shopping in the Kansai area
- 1100 yen to Tennoji, from Kansai Airport (instead of 2000 yen)
- 1300 yen to Shin-Osaka, from Kansai Airport (instead of 3000 yen)
Check in and settle down!
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- Jet lag isn’t fun, so it’s best you check-in as soon as possible so you can freshen up!
- We recommend you stay at Sheraton Miyako Hotel Osaka- the staff are well trained to answer questions from its Muslim guests, such as directions to the nearest mosque, and halal eateries nearby.
- What’s more, the hotel’s restaurant Uemachi can also prepare halal Japanese bento meals for you 😋
Go K-crazy in Koreatown
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- You might be in Japan, but this eclectic town just next door is a mini Korea 😆
Credit: Iñaki Pérez de Albéniz on Flickr
- You may want to take it easy on your first day, so why not start with an excursion to the iconic Osaka Castle, the largest castle in Japan!
- The exhibition showcases the historical significance of the castle and the samurai generals.
- The stunning view of the exterior is just worth seeing! It is especially beautiful during the sakura season as you will get to see natural cherry blossoms beautify the surroundings!
#HHWT Tip: Get a Kansai Thru Pass to enjoy discounted adult admission tickets to Osaka Castle (plus several other attractions) 😉
Want to visit Osaka?
With over 50 halal eateries, exciting attractions and prayer spaces in Osaka on the HHWT website, you're all ready to conquer the city!
Kids Plaza Osaka
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- If you have young children, the Kids Plaza Osaka will be playground heaven for them!
- There are 5 Floors, each with a different theme – Welcome Floor, Creativity Floor, Adventure Floor and Discovery Floor. Get your child to role-play and be in character at the role playing section such as pretending to buy food in a supermarket and cook them. Or in this case, a cute postman 😛
Lunch at Ramen Honolu
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- Time for lunch!
- Take a well-deserved break with some yummy ramen at Ramen Honolu 😋
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- If you’re a Pokemon fan, then you definitely have to be here to try and catch ’em all!
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- Take a little train trip out to soak in the sights!
- Visit the Osaka Masjid is a place where all Muslims in Osaka gather as one.
Dinner at Matsuri
- From takoyaki to seafood okonomiyaki, dinner at Matsuri will be a feast 😆
Shopping at Shinsaibashi
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- Now that you’re fully energized, walk along the 600m stretch of Shinsaibashi Shopping Arcade and the surrounding areas.
- This area has a combination of retail stores, trendy boutiques, expensive departmental stores and designer brands.
#HHWT Tip: There is a prayer space at Shinsaibashi Suji, so you can pray your afternoon prayers there while taking a break 😌
Lunch at Minokichi Shinsaibashi
- All that walking and shopping must have sapped your energy by now 😅
- It’s time for lunch at Minokichi, where you can treat your loved ones to a delectable and halal kaiseki meal!
Glico Running Man
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- Visit the Glico Running Man! If you are a fan of Pocky pretzel biscuits, the Glico brand will definitely ring a bell. The Glico Man sign is one of the popular tourists spot for photo-taking.
- The Glico Man sign has been up for over 70 years and also popular amongst the locals who celebrate sport victories.
Credit: Mufiedah Hadi
- Replenish your energy at Ganko Osaka Houzenji in Namba.
- This halal-certified Japanese restaurant is known for its delicious food and huge portions!
- The restaurant requires reservation 3 days in advance, so don’t forget to give them a call first to avoid disappointment 😉
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- Walk around Dotonburi district, one of Osaka’s most popular tourist destinations. With shops stretched along the entire street, shop all you want at this shopping and entertainment district! Expect to spend at least 2.5 – 3 hours there!
- Dotonburi district is livelier at night with brightly lit neon lights and mechanized signs. You can visit Dotonburi again at night and enjoy the views of Osaka from the water with the Tombori River Cruise!
#HHWT Tip: Child ride is free with every paying adult (700¥) on Tombori River Cruise. Otherwise, each child ticket costs 300¥.
Dinner at Mr Halal
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- What’s unique about Mr Halal is that you can eat both Japanese and Arabic food here 😚
Universal Studios Japan
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- You would have expected this to be in the itinerary (how can we even miss this?!) and it WILL make everyone (whether adult or child!) happy… a trip to UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN!!!!
- Buy your USJ entry tickets ahead of your visit, and you’ll be floating past the queues when you arrive 😆
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- Harry Potter fans, rejoice! Enter the wizarding world of Harry Potter and get to see Hogwarts for real! Best thing? You are even allowed to enter the castle 🤓
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- Try out the popular drink from the Harry Potter movies, Butterbeer. It is actually a Butterscotch drink and unlike its name, it is non-alcoholic!
Credit: Sandra Donoso on flickr
- There are plenty of amusement rides to cater to children of different ages!
- If you have very young children, they would certainly have a ball of time at Snoopy Studios and Minion Park
- Think you need more than one day to enjoy it to the fullest? Get the 1.5 day USJ ticket here to enter the park the next day too!
- Check out our secret hacks to having the best time ever at Universal Studios Japan 😆
Dinner at Uemachi, Sheraton
Credit: Miyako Hotels & Resorts on Facebook
- Sheraton’s in-hotel restaurant Uemachi serves delicious halal bento you can tuck into for a quick, delicious dinner 😊
Credit: Joe Baz on flickr
- Say goodbye to Osaka and make your way to Kyoto! Take the high speed bullet train Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka station. Your journey will approximately take 15mins. Each ticket costs 1420¥ (SGD17).
- In general, Kyoto is more traditional and has lots of temples and shrines. Visitors often go to Kyoto for sight-seeing.
Credit: HOTEL GRANVIA KYOTO on Facebook
- Consider staying at Hotel Granvia Kyoto, it’s located next to Kyoto Station. A plus point – it’s Muslim-friendly! The hotel offers special halal menu and Qibla within the hotel premises. Do note that 3 days advanced booking is required.
- On top of all the muslim-friendly facilities, you will also get a stunning view from the hotel rooms!
- #HHWT Tip: Most hotels in Kyoto can provide a cot for your child upon request. Do book in advance before checking-in.
Kinkakuji Golden Temple
- Visit the famous Kinkakuji Golden temple. Take the direct Kyoto City bus number 205 or 101 from Kyoto Station.
- The name says it all – the temple is totally covered in GOLD leaves! The impressive structure has a different architectural style on each floor and overlooks a large pond.
Lunch at Arash’s Kitchen
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- You can’t go wrong with kebab at Arash’s Kitchen- they received many good reviews about it!
Fushimi Inari Taisha
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- Don’t miss the most important shrine in Kyoto – Fushimi Inari Taisha.
- Locals believe that this shrine is the head shrine of Inari – god of sake, rice, prosperity of business, manufacturers and merchants.
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- Visit Kyoto Railway Museum, of the best railway museums in the world – a must visit for families!!
- The museum consists of trains from the earliest days till the latest bullet train, a definite eye opener.
- Walk further and you will get to see the interior viewing area where you will get to see the train models close-up. Do note that this area is only accessible to only children.
Dinner at Ayam-ya
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- Have your dinner fix at Ayam-ya serving delicious Halal ramen. You get to choose between soy sauce and salted flavouring for your broth.
- Ayam-ya does not only serve great spicy shoyu chicken ramen, they also have a spacious musollah (prayer room) too. The good thing is, its 10 minutes away from Kyoto Station, making it easier for you to return home *winks*
- #HHWT Tip: If you’re a big eater, UPSIZE your bowl, it’s free!
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- Feed the semi-wild deer at Nara Park.
- This activity is one of the interesting features of the park where you can purchase deer crackers shika sembei to feed the deer.
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Disclaimer: It is advisable not to give the crackers to very small children as some deer can get pretty aggressive when trying to get the food out of your hands.
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- Stroll at the best garden in Nara, Isui-en Garden. This spacious garden filled with blooming flowers and trees is bound to make you captivated with the beauty of nature!
- Order a cup of matcha for you to enjoy while gazing over the garden 🍵
Lunch at Naramachi Jinniyah
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- After such an eventful day, there is nothing more relaxing than to sit down to a beautiful meal together.
- Naramachi Jinniyah is perfect because not only is it so near Nara Park, it also serves delicious halal Japanese cuisine, we’re sure you’d love it too!
- Savour every last drop of your ramen broth here, because you’ll soon be on your way home
With so many exciting kid-friendly activities, Osaka and Kyoto are perfect for your next family vacation. What are you waiting for? Plan your trip to Japan NOW 😎
Want to visit Kyoto?
With 120 gorgeous places of attraction, and plenty of delicious halal eateries, Kyoto promises an exquisite adventure you won't forget!