Wakanoura bay, in Wakayama is a good choice for escaping to a less-known part of the Kansai area with rich scenic beauty, praised in the oldest Japanese poems.
An impressive temple with golden Buddhas, located in Wakayama is famous for its early bloom cherry blossoms, and the magnificent view of the Wakanoura Bay.
A small shrine with a unique black torii-gate has a great reputation for women. It will be an interesting stop along the Arashiyama bamboo grove walking path.
A well-preserved historical district, a temple town of Shonen-ji with 500 traditional Edo houses laid out in a 2 km grid, is located in Kashiwara city, Nara.
Saiho-ji Temple, commonly known as Koke-dera in the Arashiyama area offers a stunning Japanese garden. It’s hard to believe that moss can be a reason to visit.
A national park with the largest wooden foot bridge in Japan, to look out a panoramic view, is located in the east side of Osaka for a day hike or a picnic.
Mt. Hiei, Kyoto’s eastern mountain range is known for Enryaku-ji. It’s a decent 1day trip out of Kyoto to enjoy gardens, temples and shrines, and hiking trails.
Former Chikurin-in Temple, located at the foot of Mt. Hiei in Shiga, originally a villa of Enryaku-ji monks, is famous for its huge and beautiful garden.
Uji is a suburb of Kyoto well known as the capital of Japanese green tea, located on the banks of the Uji-gawa River. It’s a decent 1day trip out of Kyoto.
The highlight of Gion Matsuri festival is the “Yamaboko Junko” parade. Massive floats are pulled through the narrow, winding streets of Kyoto. See the schedule.
Yoshino-Jingu, located on Mt. Yoshino, the highest sanctity, a tribute from one emperor to another, to offer a taste of Japanese history and a commanding view.