Kinki / Kansai Region

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General Information

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

Mie Prefecture

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

  • Akame Shiju-hattaki Falls
  • Doro Valley
  • Iga
  • Iga Ninja Museum
  • Ise Grand Shrine
  • Meotoiwa
  • Mikimoto Pearl Island
  • Nagashima Spa Land
  • Okageyokocho
  • Sukodo Former Samurai School
  • Ueno Castle
  • Uga Valley

Mikimoto Pearl Island

Mikimoto Pearl Island

Learn about pearls and pearl cultivation

Sukodo Former School

Sukodo Former School

School for the Children of Samurai

Iga Ninja Museum

Iga Ninja Museum

Ninja museum displaying ninja tactics and weapons

Shiga Prefecture

Shiga Prefecture

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.

  • Chikubushima Island
  • Hieizan Enryakuji Temple
  • Hikone
  • Hikone Castle
  • Hiyoshi Taisha
  • Ishiyama-dera Temple
  • Lake Biwa
  • Mii Dera
  • Nagahama
  • Omi Jingu Shrine
  • Shiga-Kogen Highlands
  • Yumekyobashi Castle Road

Hikone

Hikone

Home to Hikone Castle; great castle town full of historical interest

Shiga-Kogen Highlands

Shiga-Kogen Highlands

Hosted events during 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics; one of world's largest ski resorts

Hikone Castle

Hikone Castle

Original castle; regarded as one of four national heritage castles

Kyoto Prefecture

Kyoto Prefecture

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

  • Amano Hashidate
  • Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama
  • Eikan-dō Zenrin-ji
  • Fushimi Inari Shrine
  • Gion Corner
  • Golden Pavilion - Kinkakuji Temple
  • Heian Shrine
  • Hozu River
  • Jojakkoji Temple
  • Kiyomizu Temple
  • Kodaiji Temple
  • Nijo Castle
  • Ninenzaka
  • Nishiki Market
  • Sagano
  • Sanjusangen-do
  • Silver Pavilion - Ginkakuji Temle
  • Tanzan Sake Brewery
  • Togetsukyo Bridge

Gion Corner

Gion Corner

Popular night spot to experience traditional Japanese arts

Kodaiji Temple

Kodaiji Temple

Outstanding temple featuring a small bamboo grove and landscape garden

Sagano

Sagano

Famous for its beautiful bamboo grove of Kyoto

Togetsukyo Bridge

Togetsukyo Bridge

Bridge reconstructed to model after the original bridge in Kyoto

Gion Festival

Gion Festival

Most famous festival in Japan; festival of Yasaka Shrine

Heian Shrine

Heian Shrine

Famous shrine dedicated to Emperor Kammu, the fonder of Kyoto, and the Emperor Komei, the last emperor in Kyoto

Fushimi Inari Shrine

Fushimi Inari Shrine

Stunning arrangement of thousands of red torii gates

Kiyomizu Temple

Kiyomizu Temple

Panoramic view of Kyoto from the broad wooden veranda

Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama

Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama

Famous for its snow monkeys in the winter time

Sanjusangendo

Sanjusangendo

Famous for its 1001 statues of Kannon, the Goddess of mercy

Osaka Prefecture

Osaka Prefecture

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

  • Dotonbori
  • Expo '70 Commemorative Park
  • Kaiyukan
  • Kansai Int'l Airport (KIX)
  • Mt. Showa
  • Osaka Castle
  • Osaka Int'l Airport (ITM) - Itami Airport
  • Nipponbashi
  • Shinsaibashi
  • Shin-Sekai
  • Shitenno-ji Temple
  • Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine
  • Umeda Sky Building
  • Universal Studios Japan
  • Video Game Bar Space Station

Universal Studios Japan (JDT Recommends)

Universal Studios Japan (JDT Recommends)

First Universal Studios park in Asia; features the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Nipponbashi

Nipponbashi

Large shopping mall specializing in anime and character goods

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle

Reconstructed after it was burned down by lightening; now modified into a museum

Dotonbori

Dotonbori

Popular nightlife and entertainment area; iconic Glico display

Kaiyukan

Kaiyukan

Considered one of the best aquariums in Asia

Shinsaibashi

Shinsaibashi

Osaka's largest shopping district and delicious street food

Shin-sekai

Shin-sekai

Known to be a more dangerous area of Osaka with higher homeless rates but great food

Hyogo Prefecture

Hyogo Prefecture

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

  • Arima
  • Hakatsuru Sake Brewery
  • Himeji Castle
  • Kinosaki Onsen
  • Kobe Chinatown
  • Kobe Harborland
  • Koukoen
  • Shoshazan-Engyoji
  • Shushinkan Sake Brewery
  • Takeda Castle

Kobe Harborland

Kobe Harborland

Large shopping and entertainment district along Kobe's port

Hakutsuru Sake Brewery

Hakutsuru Sake Brewery

Combines traditional sake brewing methods with new techniques

Arima

Arima

One of Japan's oldest onsen resorts; great day trip from Kobe

Kobe's Chinatown

Kobe's Chinatown

Chinatown in Kobe with great food and vibrant atmosphere

Himeji

Himeji

Famous for its National Treasure, Himeji Castle; popular cherry blossom viewing spot

Kobe

Kobe

Important port city with many shopping and dining options

Nara Prefecture

Nara Prefecture

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

  • Heijou Palace
  • Horyuji Temple
  • Isui-en Garden
  • Kasuga Taisha Shrine
  • Kohfukuji Temple
  • Nara Deer Park
  • Nara National Museum
  • Omiwa Shrine
  • Todaiji Temple-Giant Buddha
  • Yakushiji Temple

Nara National Museum

Nara National Museum

Displays works of Buddhist art, scrolls, statues, paintings and more

Nara

Nara

A small town with a long history, Nara is a place of historical significance

Deer Park

Deer Park

Famous Deer Park with friendly deer

Todaiji Temple

Todaiji Temple

National Treasure Great Buddha; one of the world's largest bronze statues

Wakayama Prefecture

Wakayama Prefecture

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

  • Awashima Shrine
  • Hiro-jinja Shrine
  • Kongobuji Temple
  • Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Route
  • Mt. Koya-san
  • Nachi Falls
  • Nanki-Shirahama
  • Okunoin
  • Wakayama Castle
  • Wakayama Marina City

Nanki-Shirahama

Nanki-Shirahama

One of Japan's best white sand beaches

Mt. Koya-san

Mt. Koya-san

Experience Zen and lodging at Mt. Koya san for a great spiritual experience

Nachi Falls

Nachi Falls

Japan's tallest waterfall with single uninterrupted drop

Kumano Kodo

Kumano Kodo

Group of pilgrimage routes that lead to the sacred Kumano Sanzan

Kinki / Kansai Region | Movie

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