Minoo Park

Minoo Park (箕面公園) is a popular day trip from Osaka, a great place to go hiking or enjoy some local food and buy some souvenirs. It is what Mount Takao is to Tokyo, a very accessible and inexpensive to access hiking area, with all sorts of hiking routes for all sorts of difficulty. Most people takeContinue reading “Minoo Park”

Kinosaki Onsen

Kinosaki Onsen (城崎温泉) is a popular hot spring town in Kansai. The town is full of ryokans (Japanese style lodge) and hotels that have their own hot spring baths, plus there are 7 public baths around town to enjoy (600-800 yen). Kouno-yu is the oldest and our favourite with its open-air bath, but others are splendidContinue reading “Kinosaki Onsen”

Himeji

Himeji is most famous for it’s castle, which became a World Heritage Site in 1995.  It’s a great place to check out on the journey from Osaka to Hiroshima. Budget travel tips If you reserve a week in advance, you can get a free English language guided tour of Himeji Castle.  Contact the information centre (linkContinue reading “Himeji”

Ise Shrines

The Ise shrines are often regarded to be in the top 3 shrine areas in Japan.  The simple, yet spectacular shrines really have to be seen with your own eyes to understand their beauty. Budget travel tips Try to be here outside the holidays, as Ise can get horribly busy. May be a good ideaContinue reading “Ise Shrines”

Miyajima

Miyajima is yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site near Osaka and Hiroshima.  It’s often near the top of the list for most travelers, and offers and easy to access and peaceful rest from the big city. Budget travel tips Download the free tourist map here, or pick one up at the Tourist Information Center (see map). Everywhere is within walkingContinue reading “Miyajima”

Nara

Nara iorr a UNESCO World Heritage Site full of great shrines and temples, not far from Kyoto and Osaka.  A must-visit for most travelers coming to Japan, Nara has a large park where most of the action is, while there are a few more shrines and temples a short bicycle or bus ride away. Budget travel tips BeContinue reading “Nara”

Koyasan

Koyasan will really take your breath away. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a town of Buddhist temples in the mountains south of Osaka.  Even if you have seen many temples before, Koyasan will really seem like it’s in another league with it’s huge structures and massive graveyard.  English support, maps and signs are great. Budget travel tips AlthoughContinue reading “Koyasan”

Kobe

Kobe (神戸) is a stylish city not far from Kyoto and Osaka, that is known as one of the first ports in Japan to open up to foreigners.  It therefore has lots of unique architecture for a Japanese city, making for an interesting, cheap trip.  For budget travelers Kobe can all be done in a oneContinue reading “Kobe”

Hiroshima

Hiroshima (広島) can be an extremely emotional, sad place, but it’s one that must be visited. During World War 2 a nuclear bomb destroyed Hiroshima and most places for tourists are related to this.  It’s best as a one day trip from Kyoto. Budget travel tips Get a free tourist map from the Shinkansen exitContinue reading “Hiroshima”