Do not miss here: KYOTO, NARA, OSAKA
The Kansai region (関西 lit, western frontier) is the real heart of Japanese culture: here, all our imagery related to Japan comes to life. Majestic castles and countless sacred sites dominate the scene, standing proud among the skyscrapers of big cities or nested among the peaks of green mountains. Lake Biwa, the largest of Japan, is also located here.
This area, positioned in the central-southern part of the island of Honshū, consists of seven prefectures: Shiga, Mie, Nara, Kyōto, Ōsaka, Wakayama and Hyōgo.
Click on the placeholders on the map to see the articles on the individual prefectures!
When you go to Japan, a journey to Kansai is basically a must. The region is, in fact, one of the most visited in the country: the UNESCO heritages are so numerous here, accompanied by as many destinations of equal fame and hidden treasures.
The modern Ōsaka and Kōbe offer unique atmospheres and breathtaking night views, while the rest of the region expresses the true essence of ancient Japan. Having survived the bombardments of World War II, the wooden buildings of Kyōto and Nara attract tourists from all over the world, ready to take a dip in the past.
As always, aroundjpan.net shows you a lot more than the most classic destinations! Push yourself further and venture into the heart of Kansai: climb the towers of the ancient castles, explore the Ninja towns, admire the natural wonders on the north coast and savor the incense smell of temples in the mountains!
When you should visit Kansai
Kansai is a real gem that can be enjoyed throughout the year and, for this reason, tourists are always very many.
The winter is, as in the rest of the country, relatively sunny but this does not mean that snowfall is nevertheless frequent: this gives the lucky visitors the opportunity to see the beautiful traditional buildings covered by a soft white mantle that makes everything even more impressive.
Snow falls more easily than the northern part of the region, often reaching as far as Kobe and Kyōto. If you visit the latter in winter, get ready for long queues outside some attractions. Immortalizing the golden pavilion of Kinkaku-ji topped by snow is something that attracts thousands of tourists.
If what you are looking for from your journey to Kansai is to see flowering trees among ancient wooden buildings, you are in the right place.
The cherry blossoms usually take place in the first ten days of April. Of course, every city and every small village gain an air of magic with the arrival of this period. However, Yoshino (in Nara Prefecture) enjoys the reputation of being one of the best places in Japan where you can admire this show.
In summer, Kansai reaches a considerable heat but, being a mainly hilly region, it also offers some refreshment. Take advantage of the summer to visit more attractions: this region really offers a lot: the extended summer opening hours of attraction and some temples can give you more time to enjoy them.
If you want to swim, in addition to the beautiful pristine beaches of the north coast, you can follow the coastline of Wakayama, where Shirahama is considered the best beach in the region.
From the end of October to the beginning of December, the autumn colors make Kansai a real paradise for the eyes. The numerous mountains and hills are tinged with red, yellow and orange, catapulting temples and shrines in a even more fantasy atmosphere.
The explosion of colors corresponds, touristically speaking, to what is perhaps the most crowded period. We guarantee that visiting the Kansai in the autumn will be an experience that will leave you speechless and, if you want to enjoy the color show with a little ‘more tranquility, you can rely on the less known destinations described in our articles!
How to get to Kansai and get around