Kinki (Kansai)

Kinki (Kansai)

Kinki is the western region of the main Japanese island of Honshu. The region is also called Kansai. While the use of the terms “Kinki” and “Kansai” have changed over history, in most modern contexts the two can be considered the same. The urban region of Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto (Keihanshin region) is the second most populated in Japan after the Greater Tokyo Area. The people in this region speak a distinctive dialect of Japanese and are renowned for humor and their love of food.

Kinki (Kansai)

Hyogo Kyoto Mie Nara Osaka Shiga Wakayama
Hyogo Kyoto Mie
Nara Osaka Shiga
Wakayama    

Hyogo

Hyogo prefecture is situated in the western part of Kinki Region (Midwest Japan) facing Seto Inland Sea to the south and the Sea of Japan to the north. There are scenic places like Seto Inland Sea National Park, San-in Kaigan Coast National Park, Rokko Mountains and Awaji-shima Island. It also has numerous cultural heritage represented by Himeji Castle which is a World Cultural Heritage.

Akashi-Kaikyo Ohashi Bridge (Maiko Marine Promenade)
The Akashi-Kaikyo Ohashi Bridge is the world’s longest (3911.1 meters) suspension bridge connecting the Maiko district of Kobe and Awaji Isla …  more »
LandmarkNatureOthers
Atelier NUU
Toyooka City is known as the biggest producer of bags in Japan, and you can find a huge variety of unique bags including original bags made b …  more »
Food / Shopping
Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution
On January 17, 1995, a huge M7.3 earthquake occurred in Hyogo prefecture.
The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake caused massive damage to Kobe Ci …  more »
HistoryMuseum / Gallery
Himeji Castle
Himeji Castle is the most magnificent of Japanese castles which survive in their original form.
The castle is also known as “Shirasagi (White …  more »
HistoryLandmark
Kinosaki Onsen Hot Spring
Kinosaki is a small, elegant hot spring town located in the northern part of Hyogo prefecture on the Sea of Japan.
It has an about a 1,300-ye …  more »
Spa / Hot spring
Kobe City Museum
The exhibits of Kobe City Museum feature the archaeology and history of Kobe city.
The museum also houses a fine collection of the 16th to th …  more »
Museum / Gallery
Kobe Harbor Land
Kobe Harbor Land is a coastal commercial facilities complex near Kobe Port.
There are a variety of shopping malls available in the immediate …  more »
EntertainmentFood / Shopping
Mount Rokko-san
Mt. Rokko-san, spreading behind Kobe city, is one of the most popular mountains in the Kinki (Kansai) region.
The mountain offers a vantage p …  more »
EntertainmentNature
Suma Aqualife Park
Suma Aqualife Park, located in Suma Seaside Park, is one of the biggest aquariums in Japan.
It displays 13,000 of fishes and animals.
You can …  more »
Entertainment
Suma Seaside Park / Suma Beach
As well as an aquarium, a ball game ground and tennis courts, Suma Seaside Park has a two kilometers long white sand Suma Beach fringed with  …  more »
NaturePark / Garden
Tajima Ankoku-ji Temple
Tajima Ankoku-ji Temple, which belongs to the Daitoku-ji branch of the Rinzai School, was established in the late Kamakura Period (1185 – 133 …  more »
History

Kyoto

Kyoto Travel Guide

Mie

Mie is situated in the center of Honshu, in the eastern part of the Kii-hanto Peninsula that juts out into the Pacific Ocean. It is narrow, and spreads down from north to south. Its complex geographical features create a variety of climates.
The southern coastline is an irregular and rugged saw-toothed coast. The eastern coastline is designated as Ise-Shima National Park, and is famous for cultured pearls, oysters and Ise lobsters, all made possible by the complex geographical features. The area designated as a natural park is more than one-third of the area of the entire prefecture, and is the second largest park area in Japan. There are many other scenic spots, including the Uga Valley in Suzuka Quasi-National Park, Doro Valley, and Akame Shiju-hattaki (forty-eight) Falls.

Akame 48 Waterfalls (Akame Shijuhachi-taki)
Akame Shijuhachi-taki is a series of waterfalls, both graceful and spectacular, cascade through the narrow four-kilometer valley.
The area wa …  more »
Nature
Aoyama-kogen Plateau
Aoyama-kogen Plateau spreads on the south side of Mt. Kasatori-yama.
This gently sloping highland is located 600 to 700 meters above sea leve …  more »
Nature
Gojoban Yashiki
Matsusaka Castle, constructed in 1588, is now a park in which the stone walls remain.
Ajacent to the castle are nineteen houses in which the  …  more »
History
Kameyama Castle Ruins
Kameyama Castle was built in 1590 by Okamoto Yoshikatsu, a Daimyo who was given Kameyama by Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
The castle was destroyed in t …  more »
History
Kaochi-dani Valley
Kaochi-dani Valley, located in the upstream of the Shorenji-gawa River, was created by the volcanic activity of Muro volcanic cluster.
The va …  more »
Nature
Kiho Town Sea Turtle Park
Kiho Town has been a hub of sea turtle protection activities since the town enact a low in 1988.
Loggerhead sea turtles land on the Shichiri- …  more »
EntertainmentNature
Kitabatake-jinja Shrine (Kitabatake House Garden)
Kitabatake-jinja Shrine was established in the early Edo Period (1603 – 1868).
The place was originally a residence of Kitabatake clan who ru …  more »
HistoryPark / Garden
Lake Shorenji-ko
Lake Shorenji-ko is an artificial lake created in 1970 for a dum.
The lake is surrounded by deep green mountains and features beautiful scene …  more »
Nature
Memorial Museum of Matsusaka Merchant
After Matsusaka Castle was constructed by Gamo Ujisato in 1588, Matsusaka town prospered as a commercial center during the Edo Period (1603 – …  more »
History
Mikimoto Pearl Island
The small island is the home of the world-famous Mikimoto Pearls and is where Kokichi Mikimoto succeeded in developing the world’s first cult …  more »
Museum / Gallery
Mount Gozaisho-yama
Mount Gozaisho-yama is 1,212 meters high and is the highest peak in the Suzuka Range.
An aerial ropeway allows visitors to climb to the peak  …  more »
Nature
Nagashima Spa Land / Yuami-no-Shima Spa
Nagashima Spa Land is an amusement park with full of thrill rides including the popular super-fast roller coaster called “Steel Dragon 2000”  …  more »
EntertainmentSpa / Hot spring
Nemu-no-sato Resort
Nemu-no-sato Resort is located on the Osaki Peninsula jutting out into Ago Bay.
This area is a part of Ise-Shima National Park.
In the 3,000 …  more »
EntertainmentPark / GardenSpa / Hot spring
Okukahada-kyo Gorge
Okukahada-kyo Gorge stretches along the Hachisu-gawa River, a tributary of the Kushida-gawa River.
The gorge is a part of Muro-Akame-Aoyama Q …  more »
Nature
Old Nabari Town / Nabari Todo Residence
Nabari town is located on the other side of the mountains from Yamato (today’s Nara), the former location of the imperial court of ancient Ja …  more »
History
Rokka-en
Rokka-en was built in 1913 as a new residence of a successful business person in Kuwana, Seiroku Moroto Jr.
It consists of a Western-style ma …  more »
HistoryPark / Garden
Saiku Historical Museum
This museum is located in a part of Saiku that was the former location of the palace of the unwed Imperial Princess Saioh who served at Ise J …  more »
HistoryMuseum / Gallery
Sakakibara Onsen Hot Spring
As one of the three most famous hot springs in Japan, Sakakibara Onsen has been popular since ancient times.
In Makura-no-Soshi (Pillow Book …  more »
Spa / Hot spring
Sekijuku
During the Edo Period (1603 – 1868), this district of inns on the historical Tokaido Road was a popular rest place, both for feudal processio …  more »
History
Shima Marineland
Shima Marineland located on Ago Bay offers close-up views of many interesting fish species, including ocean sunfish and electric eel.
2,500 f …  more »
Entertainment
Shima Spain Village 'Parque Espana'
Capturing the color and charm of Spain, a unique Spanish-themed amusement park “Parque Espana” features a fantastic world of elaborate parade …  more »
Entertainment
Shinshu Takada Honzan Senju-ji Temple
Senju-ji Temple is the largest temple in Mie Prefecture and this is the head temple of the Shinshu Takada sect, which practices one form of B …  more »
History
Suzuka Circuit
Suzuka Circuit is a 205,000 square meters of comprehensive leisure complex with an international racing course, an amusement park “Motopia”,  …  more »
EntertainmentSpa / Hot spring
Tado-Taisha Shrine
This shrine was written about in an ancient poem, “If you travel to Ise (Ise Jingu), you must visit Tado, too.” The full lineage of Japanese  …  more »
History
Tanemaki Gonbei-no-Sato
The facility features Gonbei-san, an ex-Samurai farmer who actually lived here in the Edo Period (1603 – 1868).
His struggle against farming  …  more »
HistoryPark / Garden
Toba Aquarium
Toba Aquarium is one of the world’s top aquariums, containing approximately 1,200 varieties of 30,000 sea creatures.
There are 12 individual  …  more »
Entertainment
Toba Sea-Folk Museum
Toba Sea-Folk Museum has exhibits organized around seven themes on the relation of the Japanese people to the sea, including the history of A …  more »
Museum / Gallery
Toda Bay Cruise / Toda Bay Dolphin Island
Toda Bay Cruise is a one-hour cruise which starts from Toba Marine Terminal near Toba Station and stops at Toba Bay Dolphin Island, Mikimoto  …  more »
EntertainmentOthers
Yuki-jinja Shrine
Yuki-jinja Shrine honors Yuki Munehiro, a commander who destroyed the Kamakura Shogunate with Nitta Yoshisada in 1333 and contributed to the  …  more »
HistoryPark / Garden

Iga, Mie

Haiseiden (Haiku Sanctuary)
Iga-Ueno is the birthplace of Japan’s most famous haiku poet, Matsuo Basho (1644 – 1694).
Haiseiden is a unique shaped building stands in Uen …  more »
History
Iga-no-Sato Moku-Moku Tezukuri Farm
Moku-Moku Farm is a group of private farms open to the public.
The produce, beer, and hams made by the farms are regarded highly world-wide.
 …  more »
EntertainmentSpa / Hot spring
Iga-ryu Ninja Museum
The Ninja were spies who worked their trade 400 years ago during Japan’s many years of civil war.
Shrouded in mystery and surrounded by legen …  more »
EntertainmentHistoryMuseum / Gallery
Iga-Ueno Castle
Iga-Ueno Castle is a landmark of Ueno City, the central city of the Iga area.
The castle was originally constructed by Tsutsui Sadatsugu in 1 …  more »
HistoryLandmark
Kan-Bodaiji Temple (Shogatsu-do)
Kan-Bodaiji Temple was established in 751 as a branch of Nigatsu-do Hall in Todai-ji Temple in Nara, so the temple is also called “Shogatsu-d …  more »
History
Menard Aoyama Resort
Located in the beautiful Aoyama-kogen Plateau, Menard Aoyama Resort offers lodging and sports facilities such as golf courses, tennis courts, …  more »
EntertainmentSpa / Hot spring

Ise, Mie

Futami Okitama-jinja Shrine / Meoto-iwa (Wedded-Rocks)
The pair of rocks fastened together by ropes works as Torii gate to adore Futami Okitama-jinja Shrine’s “Okitama-Shinseki” god stone sunk in  …  more »
HistoryNature
Hinjitsu-kan
Hinjitsu-kan was constructed in 1887 as a rest stop and lodging facility for distinguished guests of Ise-jingu Shrine.
The building is now de …  more »
HistoryPark / Garden
Ise Azuchi Momoyama Jokamachi (Samurai Kingdom Ninja-Ise)
Ise Azuchi Momoyama Jokamachi (also called Samurai Kingdom Ninja-Ise) is a theme park which brings you back to the life of the Azuchi-Momoyam …  more »
EntertainmentHistory
Ise Sea Paradise
Ise Sea Paradise is an aquarium located close to the famous Meoto-iwa (Wedded-rocks).
There are a variety of sea creatures such as freshwater …  more »
Entertainment
Ise-jingu Shrine (Naiku / Geku)
Ise-jingu Shrine dates back to approximately 2,000 years, and is a pillar among the most important shrines in Japan.
Standing by the Isuzu-ga …  more »
HistoryMuseum / Gallery
Okage-yokocho
Okage-yokocho is a traditional Japanese street in front of the Naiku Gate of Ise-jingu Shrine.
It has been reproduced the townscape of Ise in …  more »
Food / ShoppingHistory

Kumano, Mie

Maruyama Senmaida Paddy Fields
The historical Maruyama Senmaida Paddy Fields are preserved in fine condition.
Here, Japan’s lost rural landscape can be seen as it formerly  …  more »
HistoryNature
Onigajo / Shishi-iwa (Lion Rock)
The rugged one-kilometer coastline facing Kumano Sea was created by earthquakes and powerful wave erosion.
According to legends, an Oni (a Ja …  more »
Nature
Shichiri Mihama Beach
The Shichiri Mihama Beach’s gorgeous stretch of curving coastline extends 25 kilometers from Kumano to Shingu.
It is the longest gravel beach …  more »
Nature
Tategasaki
Tategasaki is a cape composed of a huge wall of rock, 70 meters in height and 600 meters in circumference.
The rock jutting into the entrance …  more »
Nature

Nara

Nara Prefecture is situated in the west central section of Honshu. The formation of an ancient nation started around mid-3rd century, with the Yamato district as its center, and was completed by the late 6th century. The capital was placed in Asuka, in the southern part of the Nara Basin, located in the northwestern part of present-day Nara Prefecture, and it prospered as the political and economic center of Japan until the early 8th century. After the capital was relocated to Heijo-kyo (now Nara City) in 710, many temples and shrines were built there under the direction of the imperial family and aristocrats, and temple towns soon developed. Such temples and shrines include Todai-ji Temple, which has the Daibutsu, the world’s largest Buddha statue, made of copper and gold, it is enshrined in the world’s largest wooden structure, Daibutsu-den (Great Buddha Hall). Other famous temples include Yakushi-ji Temple, which has wonderful old wooden architecture and a statue of Buddha, and Toshodai-ji Temple which was founded by the Chinese priest Ganjin, who came to Japan after difficult journeys and spread the principles of Buddhism.

Chugu-ji Temple
It is said that Chugu-ji Temple once used to be an imperial palace where Prince Shotoku Taishi’s mother lived.
The temple has been a convent  …  more »
History
Goro-goro Water
Goro-goro Water is fresh water flowing from Goyomatsu Limestone Cave.
The name “Goro-goro” came from the sound of groundwater reverberate thr …  more »
Nature
Hoki-ji Temple
Hoki-ji Temple was founded in 638.
It is said the temple once used to be a palace of Prince Shotoku Taishi, and then converted to a temple by …  more »
History
Horin-ji Temple
Horin-ji Temple is an ancient temple founded in 622 by Prince Yamashiro, a Shotoku Taishi’s son, to pray for his father’s recovery from illne …  more »
History
Horyu-ji Temple
Horyu-ji Temple was founded by the Emperor Suiko and Prince Shotoku Taishi in 607, taking over the Emperor Yomei’s will.
The temple was once  …  more »
History
Kashihara-jingu Shrine
Kashihara-jingu Shrine was established in 1890 to enshrine the Japan’s first Emperor Jinmu and the empress.
According to Nihon Shoki (The Chr …  more »
History
Kinpusen-ji Temple
Kinpusen-ji Temple is said to have been established in the Nara Period (710 – 794).
It is the head temple of Kimpusen-Shugendo, a branch of t …  more »
History
Menfudo-Shonyudo Limestone Cave
There are many limestone caves in the karst topography area in Dorogawa, and Menfudo-Shonyudo Limestone Cave is the only cave which opens for …  more »
Nature
Murou-ji Temple
Murou-ji Temple is a temple of Shingon Buddhism established in the late Nara Period (710 – 794) after a successful ritual to cure the illness …  more »
History
Tanise Suspension Bridge
The suspension bridge that crosses the Totsu-kawa River was built in 1954.
It is one of the largest suspension bridge in Japan, 297.7 meters  …  more »
LandmarkNature
Yada-dera Temple
Yada-dera is said to have been founded by the Emperor Tenmu.
The major renovation of the Honden main hall was completed in 2003.
Its statue …  more »
History

Nara-shi, Nara

Hase-dera Temple (Nara)
Hase-dera Temple in Nara is the main temple of the Buzan school of Shingon Buddhism established in 686 for Emperor Tenmu.
After going through …  more »
History
Isagawa-jinja Shrine
Isagawa-jinja enshrines three gods, the altar at the center is for the empress of the Emperor Jinmu, the one at the right is for the empress’ …  more »
History
Kasuga-Taisha Shrine
Kasuga-Taisha was founded in 768 to protect Heijo-kyo Capital in Nara, and is one of the most famous Shinto shrines in Japan.
The shrine has  …  more »
HistoryPark / Garden
Kofuku-ji Temple
Kofuku-ji Temple was originally founded in Kyoto in 669 and transferred here in 710.
The temple was prosperous as the main temple for the Fu …  more »
History
Mount Wakakusa-yama (Mikasa-yama)
Mount Wakakusa-yama is also called “Mikasa-yama” (Three-shade mountain) since the mountain looks like three round-shape shades are piled up.
 …  more »
Nature
Na-Ra-Ra
Na-Ra-Ra is a place where unique restaurants are gathered.
It is conveniently located just in front of Kintetsu Nara Station and you can enjo …  more »
Food / Shopping
Nara National Museum
Nara National Museum exhibits a valuable collection of ancient works of art, particularly the selected masterpieces of Buddhist art.
The muse …  more »
Museum / Gallery
Nara Park
Nara Park was created in 1880 and covers a large area in the city center of Nara.
The park is popularly known as “deer park” since nearly 1,2 …  more »
Park / Garden
Old Nara Station (Nara City Tourist Information Center)
The building which contains both Japanese and Western styles used to be the station building of JR Nara station.
The two-story concrete build …  more »
History
Sarusawa-ike Pond
Sarusawa-ike Pond is a small artificial pond with 360 meters in circumference.
It was created in 749 as a pond of Kofuku-ji Temple.

The sig …  more »

Nature
Todai-ji Temple (Great Buddha of Nara)
Todai-ji Temple was built in the 8th century by the Emperor Shomu, who tried to establish a Buddhism-oriented nation.
The temple is well know …  more »
History
Toshodai-ji Temple
Toshodai-ji Temple is one of the great surviving structures of the 8th century.
It was built in 759 by Ganjin, an illustrious Chinese priest  …  more »
History
Tsukigase-Baikei (Tsukigase Plum Valley)
It is said that Tsukigase-Baikei (Tsukigase Plum Valley) is one of the best spot to see plum trees in the Kansai area.
There are about 10,000 …  more »
Nature
Yakushi-ji Temple
Yakushi-ji Temple was founded by the Emperor Tenmu in 680 to pray for healing of the Empress.
The temple was moved to the current location wh …  more »
History

Osaka

Osaka Travel Guide

Shiga

Shiga Prefecture is in the middle of Japan; Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan, lies at its center. It is surrounded by Mt. Ibuki to the northeast, the Suzuka Mountain Range to the east, Mt. Hira-san and Mt. Hiei-zan to the west, and the Shigaraki Mountains lie to the south.

Biwako Hana-Funsui Fountain
The 440 meters long fountain on Lake Biwa, 180 meters off the coast of Otsu Port, is one of the longest fountains in the world.
The fountain  …  more »
Entertainment
Enryaku-ji Temple
Enryaku-ji Temple was founded in 788 by Saicho (Dengyo Daishi), the priest who established the Tendai school of Buddhism.
As the headquarters …  more »
History
Gichu-ji Temple
Gichu-ji Temple is said to have been founded in the 12th century to mourn for Kiso Yoshinaka (Minamoto no Yoshinaka), a general of the Minamo …  more »
History
Hikone Castle
Hikone Castle was built in 1622 by Ii Naokatsu (Naotsugu) as the main castle for the Ii family who ruled as Daimyo domain lord over Hikone.
I …  more »
HistoryLandmarkMuseum / GalleryPark / Garden
Hiyoshi-Taisha Shrine
Hiyoshi-Taisha Shrine, also known as Hie-Taisha Shrine, is the main shrine of 3,800 Hiyoshi, Hie and Sanno shrines all around Japan.
The shri …  more »
History
Ishiyama-dera Temple
Ishiyama-dera Temple, which belongs to the Shingon sect of Buddhism, was founded in 747 by the high priest Roben of Todai-ji Temple in Nara a …  more »
History
Miho Museum
This museum is built so as to melt into the mountains of Shigaraki.

To preserve its environment, more than 80% of the building is undergro …  more »

Omi-jingu Shrine
Omi-jingu Shrine was established in 1940 to enshrine the Emperor Tenji who moved the capital of Japan from Asuka (Nara) to Otsu in 667.
There …  more »
HistoryMuseum / Gallery
Onjo-ji Temple (Mii-dera Temple)
Onjo-ji Temple, generally known as Mii-dera Temple, was founded in 686 in memory of Emperor Kobun, the elder son of Emperor Tenji.
The templ …  more »
History

Wakayama

Wakayama expands from the center to the southernmost part of the Honshu Island (the mainland of Japan). The mysterious mountains on Wakayama have attracted many people as a sacred ground since ancient times.

Doro-kyo Gorge
Doro-kyo Gorge expands along the Kitayama-gawa River, a stream tributary to the Kumano-gawa River.
Water reflecting the fresh greenery of su …  more »
Nature
Kawayu Onsen Hot Spring
Hot waters from deep below the Kii mountain range bubble to the surface on the river bank of Oto-gawa River, a tributary of the Kumano-gawa R …  more »
Spa / Hot spring
Kumano Hongu-Taisha Shrine
Kumano Hongu-Taisha Shrine is located deep in the rugged Kii Mountains.
It is one of the three Kumano-jinja shrines (Kumano Sanzan) along wit …  more »
History
Kumano Nachi-Taisha Shrine
Kumano Nachi-Taisha Shrine is one of the three sacred sites of Kumano Sanzan, along with Kumano Hongu-Taisha Shrine and Kumano Hayatama-Taish …  more »
History
Kumano-Kodo (Kumano Old Road)
Kumano-Kodo is a pilgrimage route with over 1,000 years of history.
People from all levels of society, from Emperors and nobles to the common …  more »
HistoryNature
Nachi-no-Taki Waterfall
Nachi-no-Taki Waterfall is 133 meters tall, 13 meters wide, and has a water flow of one ton per second into a basin measuring about 10 meters …  more »
Nature
Nachi-san Seiganto-ji Temple
Nachi-san Seiganto-ji Temple is the first major stop of the Saigoku Thirty-Three Goddess of Mercy pilgrimage.
The current Hondo main hall of  …  more »
History
Nanki-Katsuura Onsen Hot Spring
Of the many famous hot springs found in Wakayama prefecture, Nanki-Katsuura Onsen Hot Spring resort boasts the biggest collection of hot spri …  more »
Spa / Hot spring
Nanki-Yukawa Onsen Hot Spring
Nanki-Yukawa Onsen Hot Spring was found near Lake Yukashi-Gata, between Nanki-Katsuura Onsen Hot Spring and Taiji.
The hot spring has 1,400 y …  more »
Spa / Hot spring
Sandanbeki Cliff / Sandanbeki Cave
Rising to a height of 50 meters along a 2-kilometer stretch of the Pacific Ocean, Sandanbeki Cliff has been created by the erosion of its wav …  more »
Nature
Senjojiki Rock
Facing the Pacific Ocean, Senjojiki is a plateau of huge rocks created by the erosion of the ocean’s waves.
The name “Senjojiki” comes from t …  more »
Nature
Yunomine Onsen Hot Spring
Yunomine Onsen Hot Spring is said to be the oldest hot spring in Japan.
The piping hot mineral waters of Yunomine, a quaint little collection …  more »
Spa / Hot spring

Notes

Entertainment Entertainment Food / Shopping Food / Shopping History History
Landmark Landmark Museum / Gallery Museum / Gallery Nature Nature
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