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 …
Village in Miyama

Kayabuki-no-Sato

Along Rte 38 in the village of Kitamura, you'll find Miyama-chō’s star attraction, a hamlet boasting a cluster of some 50 thatched-roof farmhouses, said to be the thickest concentration of these buildings in Japan. …
Cave in Kinosaki Onsen

Genbudō

About 5km south of Kinosaki Onsen proper, Genbudō is a collection of five mysterious caves with otherworldly surfaces of pillar-like ripples formed by basalt lava 1.6 million years ago. The route there along the Mar…
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…
Temple in Northern Kansai

Bujō-ji

Remote Bujō-ji is a Shugendo (mountain asceticism) temple that is also called ‘the Northern Omine’, a reference to Omine-san in Nara Prefecture, which is a centre for Japan’s yamabushi (mountain mystics). It’s a 430…
Waterfront in Amanohashidate

Amanohashidate

Called one of Japan's three great views in historical literature, Amanohashidate is a 3.5km-long, narrow sand spit covered with some 8000 pines. Along the length of the spit, there's decent swimming, plus beach show…
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…
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…
Village in Tango Peninsula

Ine

On the eastern side of the Tango Peninsula, Ine sits on a perfect little bay where boats moor as if in car ports under special houses called funaya, built right over the water. See them up close on a 30-minute boat …