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Kinki region, also known as the Kansai region, is Japan’s southern central region. Kinki has the second largest population in Japan, after Kanto. It has a population of approximately 22,757,897 and consists of seven prefectures: Hyogo, Kyoto, Mie, Nara, Osaka, Shiga, and Wakayama. Major cities include Osaka, Kobe (of Hyogo prefecture), and Kyoto. Kinki is known for its many historically significant sites, having the most UNESCO World Heritage listings in Japan. The Kansai region is especially known for its delicious food. Osaka has many delicacies of its own including okonomiyaki, takoyaki, kushikatsu, and more. The famous Kobe beef and Matsuzaka beef are also products of the Kansai region.
Mie Prefecture is located in the Kansai region and is home to the Ise shrines. On the Shima Peninsula is the Ise Jingu. The Mikimoto Pearl Island, a museum about pearls and pearl cultivation, is also on Shima Peninsula.
Where To Go In Mie
Learn about pearls and pearl cultivation
School for the Children of Samurai
Ninja museum displaying ninja tactics and weapons
Shiga Prefecture is located in the Kansai region and encompasses Japan’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Biwa. The small city of Hikone in Shiga is one of the most visited sites in the prefecture.
Home to Hikone Castle; great castle town full of historical interest
Hosted events during 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics; one of world's largest ski resorts
Original castle; regarded as one of four national heritage castles
Kyoto Prefecture is located in the Kansai region and is best known as the former capital of Japan. Today the city has numerous temple and shrines that have stood for many, many centuries.
Where To Go In Kyoto
Popular night spot to experience traditional Japanese arts
Outstanding temple featuring a small bamboo grove and landscape garden
Famous for its beautiful bamboo grove of Kyoto
Bridge reconstructed to model after the original bridge in Kyoto
Most famous festival in Japan; festival of Yasaka Shrine
Famous shrine dedicated to Emperor Kammu, the fonder of Kyoto, and the Emperor Komei, the last emperor in Kyoto
Stunning arrangement of thousands of red torii gates
Panoramic view of Kyoto from the broad wooden veranda
Famous for its snow monkeys in the winter time
Famous for its 1001 statues of Kannon, the Goddess of mercy
Osaka Prefecture is located in the Kansai region and its capital Osaka City is the central city of West Japan with a population of 2.6 million. Osaka is famous for being a food-town and it sure has a good share of local cuisines.
Where To Go In Osaka
First Universal Studios park in Asia; features the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Large shopping mall specializing in anime and character goods
Reconstructed after it was burned down by lightening; now modified into a museum
Popular nightlife and entertainment area; iconic Glico display
Considered one of the best aquariums in Asia
Osaka's largest shopping district and delicious street food
Known to be a more dangerous area of Osaka with higher homeless rates but great food
Hyogo’s most popular tourist destination is the Himeji Castle, considered by many to be Japan’s finest castle. The castle was never destroyed and still stands beautifully in its original form.
Where To Go In Hyogo
Large shopping and entertainment district along Kobe's port
Combines traditional sake brewing methods with new techniques
One of Japan's oldest onsen resorts; great day trip from Kobe
Chinatown in Kobe with great food and vibrant atmosphere
Famous for its National Treasure, Himeji Castle; popular cherry blossom viewing spot
Important port city with many shopping and dining options
Nara Prefecture is located in the Kansai region and has the most UNESCO World Heritage listings in Japan. Todaiji Temple and Nara Park among the most visited sites in Nara.
Where To Go In Nara
Displays works of Buddhist art, scrolls, statues, paintings and more
A small town with a long history, Nara is a place of historical significance
Famous Deer Park with friendly deer
National Treasure Great Buddha; one of the world's largest bronze statues
Wakayama is most famous for Koyasan, or Mt. Koya, the center of Shingon Buddhism. On the peak of Mt. Koya-san surrounded by mountains is Kongobu-ji Temple, founded by Kobo Taishi, the Head Temple of Esoteric Buddhism, which has a 1200-year-long history.
Where To Go In Wakayama
One of Japan's best white sand beaches
Experience Zen and lodging at Mt. Koya san for a great spiritual experience
Japan's tallest waterfall with single uninterrupted drop
Group of pilgrimage routes that lead to the sacred Kumano Sanzan