Political (Ancient Capitals), Cultural and Economic Center

Kansai Map

The Kansai region encompasses six prefectures: Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Shiga, Wakayama, and Hyogo. It boasts a rich historical legacy, with Nara and Kyoto serving as ancient capitals, making this area the focal point of political and cultural activities. Renowned landmarks include expansive tumuli, ancient palace remnants, venerable shrines, and temples. Facing the Seto Inland Sea, the Osaka area thrives as an economic hub. Meanwhile, the vast southern area is full of untouched nature, such as Yoshino and the Kumanokodo Road, which evoke a profound spiritual sense.

Easy access to Osaka on JR Tokaido Shinkansen (the bullet train) from Tokyo, Nagoya, Hiroshima, and other major cities. Or fly to "KIX" or Kansai International Airport, then transfer to the local JR train to Osaka and Kyoto.

Shrines & Temples

Koyasan Kongobuji

Koyasan_Candle Festival_高野山ろうそく祭り_s

The flickering flames of around 100,000 candles light the world, a founder of Shingon Esoteric Buddhism, Kukai wished what?
(Source: Wakayama Tourism Federation)

Koyasan Okunoin

Koyasan Okuno-in Gravestones along ceader trees_高野山奥の院

Why are there so many gravestones laid along the approach to Okunoin? Because they are awaiting Maitreya.

Osaka Honganji Temple

Two East and West Honqanji Temples stand along Shichijo Street in Kyoto, less than 500 meters away. Osaka Honganji was split into two due to the 10-year fight against Warlord, Oda Nobunaga.


Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle (大阪城)

Osaka Castle is located at the key point for traffic facing Osaka Bay. People in authority including emperors, Buddhists, and Samurai wanted this land. What kind of battles occurred to get it?

Wakayama Castle

Wakayama Castle Towe_和歌山城天守閣

A Keystone of Sea Transportation along the Kii Peninsula. It was built during the transition from Military Rule to Civilian Rule at the beginning of the Edo period.

Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle (White Heron Castle) (姫路城)

A World Heritage Site. Toyotomi Hideyoshi's supply base for troops on the way to high-speed return to Kyoto. What brought Hideyoshi to become the unifier of Japan?

Hikone Castle

Hikone Castle, National Treasure_国宝彦根城

Ii Naomasa, one of the four generals serving Tokugawa Ieyasu, pioneered the Hikoe Domain and its castle with his military prowess and great diplomatic power.

Azuchi Castle

Azuchi Castle, Oda Nobunaga was the first warlord who had a vision of unifying Japan. Nobunaga held the first lighting event in Japan to celebrate the realization of his vision.

Emperor & Imperial Family

Emperor Nintoku Tumulus

The largest keyhole-shaped tumulus in Japan (840m x 645m) of the 16th Emperor Nintoku, was built in the mid-5C. Its size is similar to that of a pyramid. Why so large? © Sakai City