Kansai is a region of western Japan famous for its food, culture and history. It is one of the most popular areas in Japan for both domestic and international travel. Kansai is made up of a group of neighboring prefectures. These usually include Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Hyogo and Wakayama. Each of these prefectures has their charm and reason for visiting, making the entire Kansai region a great travel location.
Osaka is often referred to as ‘the kitchen of Japan’ and the home of Japanese soul food. It has a reputation for hospitality and food culture that is among the best in Japan. As the home of okonomiyaki, takoyaki and more, this reputation is well-deserved. Osaka is also a diverse mix of different sub-cultures, different eras and different characteristics. This has helped cultivate a unique and interesting culture around the area.
When visiting Japan, Kyoto stands out as a “must visit” location. This can be for a number of reasons, from the many historical sites to the traditional experiences available. Kyoto is one of the most well-renowned and popular cities in Japan. It is a historical capital of Japan and holds many world-recognized historical places. Within Kyoto there are dozens of UNESCO World Heritage sites, mostly temples and shrines. Each site has its own unique features and appeal. Kyoto is a cultural hub for those wishing to experience Japanese history and tradition.
Nara is a smaller prefecture located next to Osaka. It is a popular day trip for travelers staying in Osaka or Kyoto. Nara was actually the first permanent capital of Japan. Before this, the custom was to change capital with each new Empire. Nara cemented the capital in place. Due to this, Nara is home to some of the oldest and biggest temples and shrines. Upon arriving in Nara, one of the first things you might notice is the abundance of the deer mascot and deer-themed objects. This is because one of Nara’s top attractions are the deer that roam freely through the city. While the deer tend to mostly stay in and around Nara Park, they are considered wild animals and can be found throughout the city.
Kansai is one of the most vibrant and lively regions of Japan and is a regular go-to for visitors to Japan. Whether it’s for the history and tradition of Kyoto, the food and culture of Osaka or the natural beauty in Nara, there’s something for everyone in Kansai.