Top ChoiceBuddhist Temple in Kurama & Kibune



Located high on a thickly wooded mountain, Kurama-dera is one of the few temples in modern Japan that manages to retain an air of real spirituality. This magical place gains much of its power from its brilliant...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Temple in Ōhara



Famed for its autumn foliage, hydrangea garden and stunning Buddha statues, this temple is deservedly popular with foreign and domestic tourists alike. The temple’s garden, Yūsei-en, is one of the most...

Top ChoiceTemple in Northern Kansai


Bujō-ji was founded in the 12th century by Emperor Toba, and while the main hall has been repaired over the years it stands pretty much the same as it always has: a simple wooden structure with a terrace...

Buddhist Temple in Ōhara


Jakkō-in is a small temple on the opposite side of Ōhara from Sanzen-in. It’s reached by a pleasant 15-minute walk from the bus station through an ‘old Japan’ village. Walk from the bus stop to the traffic lights...

Waterfront in Amanohashidate


Amanohashidate means 'bridge to heaven' and this narrow sandbar covered in some 5000 pine trees has long inspired poets and painters. It's also billed as one of Japan's 'top three views', along with Matsushima...

Village in Miyama


Miyama’s star attraction is this hamlet, home to some 50 farmhouses with traditional kayabuki-yane (thatched roofs) in the local Kyoto Kitayama style (a hipped roof with a peaked gable on top). Many are still...

Village in Tango Peninsula


On the eastern side of the Tango Peninsula, Ine sits along the beautiful Ine-wan. The village's signature houses, called funaya, are built right over the water, so boats can moor underneath. The best way to see...

Buddhist Temple in Ōhara


A quiet option, this temple is just down the path west of the entry gate to Shōrin-in. The main tatami room offers a view of a bamboo garden and the surrounding mountains, framed like a painting by the beams and...

Cave in Kinosaki Onsen


Genbudō is the largest of the five caves at this site, part of San-in Kaigan National Park, with other-worldly surfaces of pillar-like ripples formed by basalt lava 1.6 million years ago.

Buddhist Temple in Amanohashidate


Steps from the southern end of the Amanohashidate footbridge, this busy temple is home to an Important Cultural Property pagoda from the Muromachi period (late 1500s). The temple's o-mikuji (fortunes; ¥300) are...

Shinto Shrine in Kurama & Kibune


This shrine, halfway up the valley-town of Kibune, is worth a quick look, particularly if you can ignore the unfortunate plastic horse statue at its entrance. From Kibune you can hike over the mountain to...

Museum in Kinosaki Onsen

Kinosaki Strawcraft Museum

This tiny museum in a former kura (storehouse) displays mugiwara-zaiku (barley-straw crafts) practised locally since 1716. Straw is dyed and cut into tiny pieces, then applied to wood to form incredibly...

Historic Building in Amanohashidate


This historic 18th-century home belonged to a wealthy family of sake brewers and silk traders. There are well-preserved architectural details and artefacts explained in English leaflets.

Buddhist Temple in Ōhara


Only about 50m north of Sanzen-in, this small temple is often praised for its lovely garden and fudan-zakura cherry tree, which blossoms between October and March. You can enjoy matcha (powdered green tea) and a...

Buddhist Temple in Ōhara


This temple near Sanzen-in is worth a look, even if only through its admission gate, to admire the thatched roof of the main hall. It’s a good option if you’re trying to avoid crowds.

Buddhist Temple in Kurama & Kibune


Named for the sugi (cryptomeria) trees that surround it, this fine little shrine is a nice place to gather your thoughts after climbing to the summit of the ridge on Kurama-yama on the hike from Kurama to Kibune.

Museum in Miyama

Kayabuki Art Museum & Folk Museum

There are two historic kayabuki-yane (thatched-roof) farmhouses here: one that displays artefacts from traditional life in Miyama and another that serves as a gallery for contemporary craftwork.

Shinto Shrine in Kurama & Kibune


This atmospheric Shintō shrine is located along the trail up to Kurama-dera. The stairs to the main hall are flanked by two enormous cryptomeria trees.

Beach in Tango Peninsula


Stop for a dip at this pretty beach, hemmed in by pine-topped hills and with a tiny, naturally forming onsen pool (keep your swimsuit on).

Buddhist Temple in Kurama & Kibune

Sōjō-ga-dani Fudō-dō

This small subtemple on the descent to Kibune enshrines a figure of Fudō, one of the myōō (Buddhist Kings of Light).