Kansai Points of Interest and Places to Visit


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Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji)

4.5 star rating: Recommended 77 Reviews

The Golden Pavilion, or Kinkaku-ji,  is one of the most famous temples in Kyoto, and a major highlight of any visit to the city. The three-story pagoda ...  Read more

Nijo Castle

4.5 star rating: Recommended 56 Reviews

A truly impressive fortified complex, Nijō Castle was built in 1603 as the official residence of the first Tokugawa shogun. With its moats, walls, secret ...  Read more

Kiyomizu Temple

4.5 star rating: Recommended 38 Reviews

The Kiyomizu Temple is an ancient institution, dating back to 798 AD and the days of Nara. Its classic design influenced temple architecture for centuries.  ...  Read more

Kyoto Imperial Palace

4 star rating: Recommended 86 Reviews

Japan's royal family no longer live in Kyoto Imperial Palace, but the imperial furnishings have been preserved. The immaculate parkland surrounding the ...  Read more

Sanjusangen-do Hall

4 star rating: Recommended 10 Reviews

Built in 1164, Sanjusangendo Temple impresses in scope, size, and detail, with 1001 statues of Kannon, the goddess of mercy, flanking the main image of a ...  Read more

Osaka Castle (Osaka-jo)

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 37 Reviews

One of Japan's most famous castles, Osaka Castle played a major role in unifying Japan in the sixteenth century. First built in 1583 by one of Japan’s most ...  Read more

Shitenno-ji Temple

One of Japan’s oldest Buddhist temples, Shitenno-ji Temple was built by Prince Shotoku around 593 AD, a cultural hero of Japan who helped to bring the ...  Read more

Nishiki Food Market

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 55 Reviews

From sushi fish to kitchen knives, you’ll find everything under the sun relating to food at Nishiki Market. The covered market is a foodie's wonderland, ...  Read more

Fushimi Inari Shrine

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 35 Reviews

Dedicated to the gods of sake and rice, the Fushimi Inari Shrine is one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan. Five shrines dot the forested temple ...  Read more

Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 18 Reviews

Just because it is a museum does not mean that the Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum is not functional. This operational sake brewery introduces visitors to the ...  Read more

Arashiyama Park

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 17 Reviews

For classic Kyoto in a nutshell, head to Arashiyama Park. The perennially popular area is rich in temples and a riot of fall colors in November, with pink ...  Read more

Horino Memorial Museum

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 8 Reviews

The Horino Memorial Museum is about more than tasting sake. This traditional sake-brewing house in Kyoto honors the legacy of Machiya culture, a style of ...  Read more

To-ji Temple

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

The spindly needle atop the 55 meter (180 foot), five-storied pagoda of To-ji temple keeps protective watch over the city of Kyoto, as it has done since its ...  Read more


5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

The most famous entertainment neighborhood in Osaka, Dotonbori (also called Dotombori) boasts a rich history, an exciting nightlife, and cultural gems. ...  Read more

Kumano Kodo

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

The ancient pilgrimage to the Three Grand Shrines of Kumano spans as far back as 1,000 years ago and still continues today. The pilgrimage routes that ...  Read more

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