Self Drive in Japan 10 days 9 nights @ Osaka, Nara, Wakayama, Tsu, Nagoya and Takayama!

Finally decide to record down my full itinerary to Japan back in 2015 before I forget most of it. Sharing it on my blog can not only help myself to recollect my memory but also help people that might need it as well. I actually always wanted to blog about the trip but I lost my motivation after seeing the photos because the camera screwed up and the pictures are mostly blurry and in very low quality :(

The locations that were connected are the area that I went throughout this 11 days trip. The places I went are Osaka 大阪, Wakayama 和歌山, Nara 奈良, Takayama 高山, Gero 下呂, Nagoya 名古屋 and Tsu 津.
We did not go to Kyoto this time because me and my family already went there before, that's why we decided to skip it this time. 

A few details before moving on to my itinerary:

Samurai Wifi rental for 9 days: RM135/6 = RM 23
Air ticket from AirAsia per pax inclusive of baggage, meals and seat: RM 1200
Accommodation for 10 nights per person: RM 1000
Car Rental for 5 days: RM3100/6 = RM 517
Food, Transport, Entrance Fees, Petrol and Toll per person: RM 1000
Total: RM 3740 for 10 days per pax
Disclaimer: some of the prices stated are just approximates and are higher than the expected amount so the total might be lesser than RM3740. 

We got our wifi rental from Samurai Wifi for RM15 per day. You can also get the same price from Travel Recommends when they are having promotion. 
The accommodation for the first 4 nights in Osaka were booked through Airbnb (sign up now to enjoy RM105 off your trip), 2 nights in Takayama and Nagoya through and 2 more nights were booked by my host family in Mie. Most of the hotels we stayed are RM100 per person per night. 
The car rental service were booked through the TOYOTA Rent-a-car website. There's 6 of us, so we went for a bigger car and it's really comfortable! The only downside of driving in Japan is the petrol and toll fees are quite pricey, parking is also hard to find in city area especially Nagoya. 

 Me with our car for the trip!

Day 1: Kansai Airport関西空港  Izumisano泉佐野市 
We arrived quite late at night, where we just rented an Airbnb place from WenXiang at Izumisano, which is half hour away from Kansai Airport to stay for the night with 24hr airport transfer from the owner!

Day 2: Izumisano泉佐野市  Nanba難波
The owner from Izumisano dropped us off at the nearest train station, and we went straight to Nanba to check in to our next Airbnb apartment from YUI where we stayed for 4 days. We spent the day around Nanba area, and then we met up with Ayaka, a Japanese girl where my family hosted in Malaysia before for a simple dinner!

Day 3: Osaka Town 大阪市
We bought the one day pass a day before at Nanba Station. I have also shared how I fully utilized the Osaka One Day Pass before along with my whole day itinerary. So if you're interested you can click the link to check out!

Day 4: Kuromon Market 黒門市場 and Nara Day Trip 奈良
We started off the day by having our seafood breakfast at Kuromon Market in Osaka, and then we took the train to Nara for a one day trip. Nara is where you'll be able to find your loved ones- the deers! (pun intended) Nara is also famous for the Todaiji Temple and their pudding too! So make sure to check those out when you're in Nara! Our trip in Nara were solely by walking only. So if you have weak legs then be prepared cause my leg nearly broke. T_T

Day 5: Wakayama Day Trip 和歌山市
I had no idea what came to me that I planned Wakayama in my trip, I shouldn't have crossed out Kobe for Wakayama! Travelling down to Wakayama was quite time consuming actually, so it's actually better to stay the night and see more rather than a one day trip. We went to Kuroshio market to watch some Tuna cutting show, had a BBQ lunch by the sea, watched a free dolphin show and had a dip at the Onsen with super sea view. Totally not worth it. 


Day 6: Osaka 大阪 Takayama 高山
We got our car in Nanba and started our self drive trip up to Takayama in Gifu Prefecture. It was a long drive from Osaka, the weather was quite bad as it was raining for the whole day. We were crossing from mountain to mountain through a two-lane bridge, it was quite thrilling. The view was superb too! We stopped by at a service area and the temperature is quite cooling! Upon reaching Takayama it was already past noon, so we head straight to Hida Folk Village where we can see the farmhouses that are in triangle shape. We skipped going to Shirakawago due to time restriction, if you have a day extra then you shouldn't skip going to Shirakawago! :)
We stayed one night in Takayama at a traditional hotel called Hodakaso Yamano Iori, where we sleep on tatami mat with futon and there's a public hot spring area too!

The service area while going to Takayama

Takayama Hida Folk Village, you can spot the triangle shaped houses behind there.
Cozy place to stay at.

Day 7: Takayama 高山  Gero 下呂 and Nagoya 名古屋
We went for a walk in Takayama town, and had breakfast at the morning market before leaving to Nagoya. We stopped by at Gero Onsen, a small town where their main attraction is Onsen(hot spring bath)! As an onsen enthusiast, I can't afford to miss out this place! This small town actually offers an unlimited pass where you can visits different onsen places for the day! However as we were just stopping by for a short period of time, we only went for a leg only onsen area and a public onsen by the river where we met a Japanese uncle and he told us the benefit of going to an Onsen where I blogged about before!
After that we head down to Nagoya and checked in to our hotel, then met my host family for the famous must eat in Nagoya- Hitsumabushi!
The morning market at Takayama! 
Gero Onsen for a dip! 
My family with my host family from Nagoya!

Day 8: Nagoya 名古屋  Mie 三重
After checking out from Nagoya, we drove straight down to Mie to meet Hiromi and her family, another Japanese girl that my family hosted in Malaysia almost 9 years ago! The main reason we went to Japan this time is to attend her wedding!

Hiromi's house in Tsu, Mie

Hearty meal prepared by Hiromi and her family. 
With Hiromi and her family!

Day 9: Tsu 津 and Suzuka 鈴鹿市
Today is the big day for Hiromi! Which is also the first time for us to attend a Japanese wedding. Her wedding is not the traditional type I guess, it's quite westernize and fun! There's a buffet lunch and quite a few fun activities throughout the wedding too. Speech from her best friends, performances from her friends and siblings. 50% of the time we didn't really understand what the emcee was talking about, but it was a great experience!
After the wedding, we went to explore around Tsu city, and drove 30 minutes to Suzuka which is a city near Tsu, where it has a very large Aeon Mall!

Hiromi and her husband

Day 10: Mie 三重  Osaka 関西空港
The last day in Japan, we drove from Mie back to Osaka. As our flight was 11pm at night, we went to Rinku Premium Outlet to have our last shopping spree before heading to the airport to return our car. We met up with Ayaka and her parents to have our farewell dinner as well!


That's all for my 10 days trip. I might miss out a few main places throughout the post. The link of the places I've stayed are already included in the post except for the hotel in Nagoya and Mie. I might messed up some stuff in the post so bear with me!

If you have any question you can leave a comment below or email me at! I'm more than happy to answer your questions!



  1. wow, what an awesome trip. I've been to japan, but just on a connecting flight at Osaka. I heard from my wife that in the big city, it's really crowded especially on the subway, where people are packed like sardines. Is it true?

  2. This is incredible! I've been to a few of these places but there are definitely some that I have never even heard of. Definitely bookmarking this for when I head to Japan again!


  3. It must have been quite an adventure to drive in Japan under such terrible weather conditions. It's wonderful how you have forged such close friendship with the girls your family hosted.

  4. My boyfriend says that if you are travelling solo, it is impractical to bring your car around. But in your case with families with you, best way it to have a car. Its hard to commute especialky if you have little ones with you.

    Lovely post!

  5. Been to Japan for 4 times but haven't try on self drive yet. Might be can try next time.

  6. The experience is definitely the best! I would wanted to try out self drive too, it might saves a lot too =D

  7. I have not try driving in Japan before, perhaps I should try.

  8. I have never been to Japan, But really nice write up of the entire journey and lovely pics :)

  9. Japan is the place that I really wish to go. That's really cool experience to drive in Japan haha!

  10. interesting to self drive in Japan. I always travel with trains and buses in Japan. gonna try this next time. miss Takayama a lot

  11. Wow! You have experience a lot in Japan !! Driving , attending japanese wedding ~ Wish to go back Japan soon !!

  12. What a great post. Now all I need is ticket to Japan.

  13. This is such an inspiration and just the time for me to do itinerary for Japan trip soon! Glad to found this post :)

  14. Wahh. So brave are you driving yourself. Its actually good because you can have your own schedule and plan and also can explore more.

  15. Hi thanks for your sharing. May I know where did you rent the pocket wifi? How to pick up? Did they provide delivery service to doorstep or pick up at Airport? Thanks.

    1. Hello, i rent my pocket wifi from Samurai Wifi, now is the same company as Vision Data. I pick up from their office but they do provide delivery service to your place one day prior to your flight. :)

  16. Great post! aaww, i'm missing japan alot!

  17. Hi, would like to know how was the drive in Takayama? Are the roads too winding? Easy to navigate around?

    1. It was raining heavily on the day we went to Takayama so it was a little scary cause some parts of the road are just bridges connecting two hills.
      It's not winding just that the roads are quite small, mostly one or two lanes. We didn't have any problem navigating around, most cars in Japan has built in GPS so it wasn't a problem :)


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