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Should we spend the night in Kobe instead of Osaka?

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We are travelling to Japan in November 2012 and have three nights and 2 days in the Osaka area. We fly into Itami Airport on Friday at 8 PM and leave at 7 AM on Monday morning.

Initally our plan was to stay in the Namba area the first night, try and get something to eat late night, then head to Arima Onsen on Saturday, stay overnight, then return to Osaka on Sunday to spend time with some friends and then head to an airport hotel to sleep before our early morning flight to Tokyo.

We are considering whether to go straight from the airport to Kobe on Friday night instead of Osaka. The bus trip to Kobe from Itami is 40 minutes compared to the 25 minutes from Itami to Central Osaka. That way, we can soend Saturday morning wandering around Kobe, which we hear is a very charming little city (when compared to Osaka, have lunch there, and then head to Arima Onsen in the afternoon to relax in a ryokan.

If we stay in Kobe, the trip to the onsen will be much shorter than if we are staring from Osaka on Saturday morning.

Then, Sunday morning we can return to Osaka by noontime and explore the downtown area a little bit and check out the nightlife.

Cons would be carrying our luggage. We don't plan to have too much luggage but if we stay in Osaka on Fri & Sun nights, we could leave our luggage in one of the hotels and/or stations. If we go to Kobe, we will have to drag it with us everywhere. We travel lightly but we will still have a little rolling suitcase.


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