Northern Kansai attractions

Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Kurama & Kibune

Kurama-dera

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 natu…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Ōhara

Sanzen-in

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 photographed …
Top Choice Temple in Northern Kansai

Bujō-ji

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 overlooking…
Buddhist Temple in Ōhara

Jakkō-in

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 on…
Waterfront in Amanohashidate

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 and M…
Village in Miyama

Kayabuki-no-sato

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 homes;…
Village in Tango Peninsula

Ine

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 them…
Buddhist Temple in Ōhara

Hōsen-in

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 pos…
Cave in Kinosaki Onsen

Genbudō

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

Chion-in

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 shap…